Arrived mondaymorning by jeep at the Bedouin village. Met the camels who are going with us. I will sit on a mother (forgot her name), her 8 months old daughter travels with us as a bonuscamel, she cannot be packed. So 5 in total and my two guides Aliyen (easy to remember because of Aliwen, wine from AH haha) en Awèd.
The video’s tell more than words. This is all new for me and so completely different than I’ve ever done. I just stood there, looking around me and not knowing if I was looking forward or not. Of course i knew it would be a extreme different civilasation, but sitting amongst them is something else than watching a documentary. They live here, total families with some chickens, cheep, goats and camels. They brought me in, this lady from Holland who wants to go into the desert on her own for fun. Be our guest! Leave some money please. I think this is their only income.
While I am drinking nescafé with them (they tea of course) around the fireplace, i can just observe them and bé there.
The wife and eldest daughter are sitting further away, covered in cloths, trying to seduce me to buy some “kralenfrutsels” and staring at me all the time. I do not exectly know what to do, buy this stuff I will throw away at home or feel a little uncomfortable by ignoring it. I choose the last option.
We are finally off. Byebye Joyce!
The first time getting up in the air on the camels back is a bit challenging, also climbing on her anyway. But sitting ang wiggling woggling high in the air is … well what shall I say… unusual.
I never rode a horse, but it must be a bit like this. We walked for 1,5 hour or longer, no clue. Al kind of stuff runs through my head: my arms are burning, i need something over my arms. My trousers is not wide enough around the ankles so it is too tight. My arse…hmm pretty comfy still in my cycle-underwear. I sit, they walk, do I feel comfortable with this? What do they think of me? Do they like it to go on a trip together, father&son, or is it just for the money they desperately need? How will desert look here in the Sinaï? Did i pick the right desert? Maybe only rocky stuff here and no sand? Fears…..and more and more….
Then they stop, if camel can go down, if I am ready? Holy shit, I do not know, ….and here we go… and it is not realy easy, you have to adjust to this strange three-phase movement. It can go pretty rough. But I didnot fell of one time.
We have our first break. Tea-and lunchtime!
They give me a spoon, but I like it more to eat with my hands, finally totally accepted. I love there food. Delicious tahinsauce they made.
After a few hours we go on, they pack all the stuff and after the raise I feel all of a sudden better, more relaxed. When my ladycamel starts to walk I feel like an Arab princess, covered in scarves now, slowly moving rythmitically forwards, a very calming movement.
At 4.30 we stop and there is hours of work. (for them)
I have no clue what they expect from me, but I take my camera and go for a walk. The light is changing very quickly…the sun disappears behind the rocks…. no sharp sunlight any more. The camels are relieved from their véry heavy packs and with their front legs bind together they go step by little step to some bushes to graze.
No juicy grass but dry stokes with needles. They carry all their own food as well and it reminds of me and my 20kg rucksack that gets lighter by the day.
My guide Awèd makes a relaxing spot for me next to the rocks with a backsuppurt from the sadles, very kind. In the papers of Joyces Desert was written down that you must not make your bed next to holes or big rocks. “Oké…. “…. i cannot communicate with him and decided not to interfere.
In the meantime, hours later, it is totally dark. A fire is made really next to my spot, so they sit in fact at my footend… We got two visitors, a German lady tourist with her Arab guide, they also sit at my foodend. And what happens, the three guides talk nonstop their language, really nónstóp. In the meantime they smoke, drink tea and the food is on the fire.
I was not expecting this. No silence at all!! No private spot at all! I can not even clean my nose on my own. Ánd where I am thinking about constantly, this fire gives firesprinkles once in a while and I cannot take my precious matrass ánd Pauls too expensive superlight sleepingbag out, there will get burningholes in it.
In the meantime they cook me a really delightful meal. Some special fish they took with them (no clue how they kept that fresh, but the first day must be oké, not?) and loads of veggies and speceries.
I cannot complain about what they make for me, really delicious. During dinner I chatted a bit English with her and her English speaking Bedouïn guide, but as soon as I could I took my book and started reading. I calmed down a bit but i missed my first night in total silence in the desert. And only when I start brushing my teeth and blowing my matress the English speaking guide understood and left my foodend. Now afterwards I know I just should have taken my “lap” they spread out for me all the time, and should have left them, no problem.
I loved it, lying in the open desert air! Finally alone. I feel satisfied and overwhelmed. In my comfy sleepingbag on my back I think about the first day in the desert. Pfffff, what a day!