Camel Riding

camelsCamels are perhaps the weirdest animals I have ever seen. The romanticism of riding a camel as the sun shoots over the dunes projecting a shadow in the rolling sand like Lotte Reiningers shadow puppets, while still pretty darn romantic, is only slightly detracted from by the wild yet somehow simultaneously apathetic face of the camels. They are pug-beautiful; looking at them is painful yet somehow your heart leaps and you feel like you should name them and take them home with you. I named mine Desmond. Like great explorers, the students of the Ross School were shepherded (like camels perhaps) into a line and one by one placed upon the hump of a camel. The camel would then stand up and assume its true form of a lankly teenager who hasn’t grown into his body and who’s legs look too skinny for his torso. Meanwhile the courageous camel-rider would grip the saddle grasp with white knuckles and think “if I can barely stay on the camel as it gets up how long am I going to last when it starts walking” or “Wow camels are pretty tall, falling is going to hurt”. We then proceeded to be guided through the “great and dangerous” expanse of desert to our camp by the camel keepers who were all dressed in traditional, colorful Berber garb and reminded me of a Tintin book. They grabbed the rope tethered to the camel’s mouth and we slowly bounced up and down on the camels hump into the desert. As the sun began to set, it created a chiaroscuro of light along the rivets in the sand and the soreness in my legs disappeared with the light because who has time for sore legs when you are riding a camel through the desert in Morocco.

Written by Leif.