17th January 1933 - camels eructations, farts, stink. Hezekiel

One sits behind the hump on a saddle with an iron frame and goat skin sides. The feet are in a pair of stirrups and one steers the animal by a rope attached on one side to a mushroomed pin through its nose. The getting up is rather astonishing at first but once up they are rather easier to steer than a horse and they have a long swinging walk which is very comfortable, at least at first.

We saw them throw a young camel which was being broken to a pack for the first time to the accompaniment of loud protests from the camel. Whenever one approaches a camel it makes a noise like being sick inside and chews the cud vigorously with the intent to spit, but as soon as they are off and away they generally stop it.

Both Bony Bream and Henke admitted that one must be vigilant with a camel. They could kick with both fore and hind legs, and given a chance, they constantly complained. A favourite trick was to stand up suddenly at the split second a foot went into the stirrup. One must keep the left foot standing on the bent foreleg until the last possible moment, and the left elbow behind their chin to stop their spitting aim getting on line. I learnt the saddling technique pretty well. The trick was not to be distracted or made careless by noise, eructations, farts, stink or attempts to bite. the price of freedom was indeed eternal vigilance. They do not naturally go without water, they have to be trained.

They have to be accustomed to go without water for chosen periods, up to 10 days is possible but it takes some weeks of training. Everyone advised that it was unwise to ride a camel more than four miles the first day. The rider needed to train too.

We got news today that the donkey waggon had broken down about 30 miles away.

It seems now that we will be going out to Tetus's place on our own book, Tetus being in my opinion a bit of a fool. Hezekiel who will be our camel boy now looks a bit more intelligent.

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