Instructions for riding the camel

The story takes place in the north west of Sahara. My husband and I have a driver who is also a bad tour guide. He is driving a Toyota Prado, a very comfortable car. We are a chatty couple and love to meet new people. But, I don’t like so much being in the car with a driver who is always speaking on his cell phone during the ride. It’s a little scaring for my/our security. Don’t you think? Anyway, I’m finally on my vacation and I don’t want to think too much. When we stop somewhere, our driver entrust us quickly to the local guide and go with other drivers to have fun. He asked me to write a review on Tripadvisor and I accepted but he can’t get the best possible review I thought to myself without saying that out loud. Accommodations are very good, the price is very reasonable; without hesitation I would recommend to friends the same agency.

For the second night of our African tour, sleeping in a tent in the desert was planned. After many kilometers we arrive to a hotel on the edge of the desert. The staff give us the room where we leave our luggage and put in a small backpack only a cosmetic bag and two bottles of water. Here we will be back tomorrow morning at breakfast and take our things in order to continue the tour. In the desert we are going on camels. We have to wait for the rest of the group. Departure is calculated so that during the ride we should see the sunset. I’m staying in the room while my husband is looking for a beer. In Arab countries it’s not so easy because they can’t drink alcohol. He returns after 15 minutes with two small bottles and offers me one. I know he would very gladly take both, but I also want to have a drink. On his face I don’t notice any particular disappointment.

They are calling us. Behind the hotel the group of seven people is ready. We are climbing on our camels. They have the hump, around which there is a kind of saddle. Above, there is metal structure where we sat and at the front there is a metal holder for which we are hold. In the group there are an American and two girls from New York, second generation of Chinese born in the Big Apple. And also two women from Columbia but they live in London. Me and my husband are riding our camels in the middle of those people. Camels are linked to one another. One of the two guides, both barbers, takes the rein of the first camel. The other is walking parallel to us trying to amuse the group. The guides walk barefoot on soft Saharan sand. I’m the only one not enjoying the ride.

The saddle is pinching me so much and the holder is too low. My husband is angry because I’m the only one who is complaining. He is telling me to relax and take it easy. I’m trying to follow his advice but I can’t relax. After an hour and a quarter of torture, I finally get off this unfriendly animal explaining to my husband that the problem were the saddle and the holder but he doesn’t believe me.

They serve us dinner and after we are going to sleep. All the people around us are not more friendly that my camel and they are too noisy. I wanted to spent a quiet night in the desert but my plan didn’t work out. I’m in pain because of my back, butt and arms. We also didn’t see the sunset because of the clouds. The next morning the clouds are on the sky so I can’t see the sunrise.

At return I don’t want to ride a camel and I decide to go on foot. It’s very nice to feel the sand under the feet, much better than be on the camel. The guide decide to give me the rope of the first camel in the row. So I run the caravan and talk to the Berber which shows me which way to go. I learned that they use camels for transport and that they almost never ride them. After 20 minutes the woman from New York is asking to stop riding camel. She is in pain because of the saddle. I look at her camel and I realize it was my camel from the previous day! Here is the proof; it wasn’t my fault! The problem was the saddle. As I tried to explain to my husband.


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