Archive for the camels and humps Category

the Ship of the Desert

Posted in camels and humps, penny for my thoughts, professional tourist in the making, Rajasthan on December 29, 2012 by twotwoeight

One of my ‘life’s greatest mysteries’ has always been trying to figure out where to sit on a one-hump camel.  We even debated about it on the flight to India! I always imagine that on a two-hump camel, the answer would be obvious — between the two humps.  But what about a one hump camel?  Do you sit perched atop the hump, or do you sit at the crook of the neck in front of the hump? And wouldn’t the latter sort of break the poor dromedary’s neck?  Well, lo-and-behold, that mystery is solved now!!!  Incidentally, did you know that a one-hump camel is a Dromedary and a 2-hump camel is known as a Bactrian? 😉

camels galore

Camels are indeed incredible creatures.  With their gentle glassy eyes and long wavy eyelashes, their stare has this silent ability to pierce through your heart.  However, these creatures also have a comical side  to them — watch them face-on carefully for a few moments, and without realizing it, you may just burst out laughing at the way their mouths move when they chew their food, it seems like they are gesticulating.  Our esteemed tour leader (who is not a big fan of these dromedaries mainly for the lack of their speed) does an unbeatable imitation of this beloved creature’s gesticulations, which sent us all into fits of laughter aboard the train!  Priceless!

Ali and Rajah

Meet my Ship of the Desert, Rajah, and his rider, Ali.  Rajah is 5 years old, barring miscommunication with Ali.  On average, an Indian camel can live up to 40-50 years, so you might think that Rajah is just a young chap, but apparently, they reach adulthood after the age of two years and can reproduce at the age of 4 or 5 years old.

camel wanted adds

One thing he and I have in common it seems is we both tend to sneeze alot!!! I wonder if he has allergic rhinitis too…and how much antihistamine it would take to alleviate his symptoms? 😉  Rajah is also easily distracted by food.  He likes to stray off track and graze whenever he sees plants of his liking.  Many a times, Ali had to direct him back on course with some gentle verbal cues and some occasional tugs on the reins.  Well I guess that’s his nature and instinct for survival under the harsh conditions of the desert — eat and drink opportunisticly, since you never know when your next meal is going to be.  They can go for up to a month without any drink or food if necessary, how awesome is that!

me on my ship of the desert

So back to the question of where do you sit on a dromedary? Well, the camel riders put a double-seat saddle on top of the camel’s hump, with lots of padding in front and behind the hump so that it will be steady.  So the front rider sits in front of the hump in the crook of the saddle, and the second rider behind it.  Genius! You learn something new everyday! 😉