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Friday, October 11: Day 172 – I’d Walk a Mile With a Camel

We started the day with a camel ride. We had done this before and thought that it was worth repeating as we lumbered through the beautiful rocky mountains and the red sand dunes. Before we left, Marwan tied on our Jordanian scarves the proper way. I tried to do it myself and Marwan said that it was very good for an American but not so good for a Jordanian. We look like Arab bank robbers. FYI: I am smiling!!

The scarf is as big as a square tablecloth but is better than a hat for sun and sand protection. I might start a fad when we live in Virginia Beach!

There are no wild camels even if it looks like it is standing out in the middle of nowhere. They will go home but, if not, your neighbor will keep the camel until he sees you. A camel is very expensive, about $1,400. If a driver hits a camel during the day, the driver is at fault. If a driver hits the camel at night, it is the owners fault. Each camel has a brand mark to identify the owner.

Camel is jamel in Arabic. In Bedouin, the word is Be eer but also Bel. They have one baby per year. The camel can go without water for many days – up to 2 weeks in the summer and one month in the winter. When you press in the stomach and it bounces back, there is enough water.

My camel was the last of the three males. My camel, Alion, wanted to sightsee on one side then the other and moved at a faster pace than the rest of the caravan. He would move up so close to Rob that they got aquainted!

When we got to the end of our camel ride, Lath stood on his camel. Watch this video:

He told me to do it. I can barely stand up when I am sitting on the floor. There is no way that I could do that. He encouraged me and I kept trying. I decided to put my feet behind, then push myself up with my arms and then bring my feet in. It was hard but I did it. Rob got a picture but he was too close so all you see is me and no camel. Soon my camel decided to walk. Time to get back down!!! Lath told me that I am now a Bedouin!!

Just when I finished Marwan and Sayed pulled up in the Jeep.

I was so excited to tell them about standing on a camel that I left my cell phone in my camel purse.

A few phone calls later and Lath had found my phone and would leave it at the front gate so that we could pick it up when we returned. Phew! Crisis averted…yet again!

We took pictures on the spot that a picture was taken for the movie, The Martian. The first one is from the movie; the second one is Rob.

Here was a nearby Martian pod tent camp.

Then we went on a Jeep ride to visit with a Bedouin shepherd and his family. He is 72. He has 10 sons and 2 daughters. The eldest grandson served us delicious sweet tea.

They showed us around their dwelling place. I was only able to see one sheep. But we also saw camels, goats, chickens, and even a soft baby rabbit.

We did not speak the same language so I tried to play tag, but it was chaos.

When I was it, they would all run after me. Who knew that tag was such a difficult game to play and explain. Watch this video about my giving instruction and even with an interpreter:

Later we had a traditional Bedouin lunch in the desert. Sayed’s wife prepared it.

Maqloba is the dish that is cooked with chicken or lamb, rice, cauliflower, and sometimes eggplant.

Marwan was telling me about a black vegetable with green hat. Eggplant? Marwan says that is a bad name. Aubergine is better. Apparently, white eggplant grows in North America and that is why we call it that!! This plant is technically a berry and has a long history in almost every country.

Here is a picture of the sand dunes that we climbed. It doesn’t look high in the photo but here is a picture from the top.

We rode to several stops. The Mushroom Rock. Sayed took some neat pictures. I could not balance on one leg! Sayed wondered how I could stand on a camel but not on one foot.

Rob climbed to the top of this famous rock. It is very scary. Recently a French girl fell and died.

The Wadi Rum looks different each time you travel here. Here is a picture of Donna at the same place in 2016. Doesn’t it look like the state of Illinois??

We arrived at our overnight camp. Construction wasn’t quite complete and we are basically camping!!! But it’s location, location, location!

Our host asked, “Where are you from in the USA?”

We said, “Ohio’.

He responded, “Aloha”. Hmmm

We had a traditional Bedouin feast called zarb where the food is cooked underground. The firepit burns for two hours.

Then you put in the seasoned meat. Chicken, potatoes and carrots on the top layer, lamb on the second layer and rice on the bottom. Cover with lid, blanket and sand. It cooks for 2 hours. It is yummy.

A full day for this Baby Bedouin!!

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