Monday, November 15, 2010

Bumpy Sunset Ride

Today I spent the morning lounging on the beach. With the constant wind, it was actually very nice. this beach is so wide and deserted, it is perfect for my father. There was no one near me at all. I could see people up and down the beach farther down, but since this is the wet season, it's not the time of year most people travel here. There is a nude beach section farther north beyond the rocks, but not feeling too adventurous, I decided to bed down where I was. They also allow dogs and cars to drive in the northern area, it seems beyond the rocks, anything goes. I called Grandma and Pop and talked to them beneath my hat for about an hour to block out the wind. They both laughed at the thought of me camel riding at sunset this evening. I explained that they would be in a train, their would be no effort on my part to have to control the camel or steer it in any way. I was excited about riding a camel, not because I particularly enjoy large animals, in fact, horses seem to hate me, but it was the novelty and the unusual nature of this that attracted me. I have ridden a camel before, but I was very little, and it was just at the fair, one of those that goes round and round.

I spent the afternoon at the pool, sunbathing and guzzling water, trying to control my internal temperature. I have pretty much accepted the fact that I will be covered in sweat from the moment I emerge from my room until the time I return to bed. It's, of course, not the most pleasant state to be in, but with your choice of bodies of water nearby, there is some kind of relief. I've been taking cold showers for about 2 weeks now just because the prospect of a hot shower when it is already almost 100 degrees is not an attractive one.

I was to report to the camels at 4:45pm, just right of the rocks, in the forbidden zone. The sun sets relatively early here because the whole Western Australia state is one time zone, so the farther east you travel, the sooner the sun sets. I rounded the rocks, hoping not to get an eyeful of nakedness, but all I saw was cars driving out. I approached what I hoped was my train. I was told they were the camels in blue, and they were all wearing blue covers with their names on each covering. We were given a little instruction, then told to get on. We were warned to hold on tight as the camel stands up because the camel goes forward first, then back, so if you aren't paying attention, you can be thrown over it's head when standing up. It was a pretty exciting event to be on it's back while standing up, but it's over within 3 seconds. My camel was named Zoarim, and he was pretty well behaved. He did want to pass a few times when the other camels were going too slow for him, but he didn't buck or anything like that (can camels buck?) We got back around sunset and got some pretty good shots, thanks in part to Matt, the assistant. He was staying in the same hostel as me and recognized me because he asked if I was staying at Beaches. I thought I had recognized him too, but it didn't make sense to me for someone with a job to live in a hostel long term. He said he's been here bout 4 months and had just stayed at Beaches because it's nice and cheap. He was originally from Barossa valley in Adelaide. I agree that Beaches is a very nice hostel in comparison to hostels, but unless he has a private room, I couldn't imagine living in an 8 person dorm for 4 months. He explained he got the job by doing a ride like me then finding out later there was an opening for an assistant. We got to feed carrots to our camels after the ride. I have only video of this, but it's pretty good, so ask me to see it sometime.

I came back to my hostel and had pasta and a glass of house red wine for dinner. You could tell it was amazingly cheap house wine because it was chilled. I'm considering going to see the crocs tomorrow at the Malcolm Douglas center down the street, if I'm up for blowing 30 bucks. Tomorrow is my last full day in Broome, so I might just soak up some more sun for free.

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