Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Blue and red. plus lots more red and orange, gold, pink...

I was doing the ironing today, so of course I was thinking about camels. Specifically, my last camel outing, which - what? Of course there's a connection between ironing and camels! Keep up! Oh, all right then, if you must: our steam iron is a high-tech job that has a separate tank for the water, which comes through a pipe. And it gurgles, a low-pitched noise that is exactly like the standard complaint a camel makes when it knows work is in the offing. Ok now? Can I proceed?

So, regular readers (*brief silence*) will know that I was riding a camel the week before last, when I returned to Broome after my Kimberley cruise. It's the standard thing to do, and a couple of companies run treks, the red and the blue. I was actually a bit surprised to learn that they do two or three treks (well, 4km rides along Cable Beach) a day, every day except Christmas - because the classic outing is the sunset ride which begins at 5pm and finishes back at the starting point exactly as the sun sets, at 6pm. Pretty impressive timing, I thought.
It's a slick operation, everyone is briefed and mounted efficiently, there are jokes, there are photos taken, and then you set off, lolloping slowly along, two to a camel (heavier person behind) with a couple of young men walking alongside and the one who lost the toss following behind picking up the poo that escapes the nappy each camel wears.

The guy with us was a chatty sort, clearly had his spiel sorted (what two other animals also walk with the legs on each side going together?) and babbled away, fortunately concentrating on some other riders further up the line so that we could appreciate the gaudy beauty of the sunset. It never gets old. I've done Cable Beach before, and I've done Uluru at sunrise - equally spectacular - as well as daytime rides in South Australia and in Dubai (probably there also on Australian camels - they export them, you know, for racing, anyway. With mechanical jockeys!) And the sunrise/sunset rides have always been the best, for sheer Technicolor over-the-topness. So make sure that's what you do.
(No? Giraffe and cat.)

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