Hamid is a Bedouin. His family have lived in the desert for generations. He is one of three sons and two daughters. His family live in the local village, breed camels and run a desert camp where people can experience some of what life is like.
Hamid welcomed us to Nomadic Desert Camp and after we stowed our things we went for a drive. The camp is basic and beautiful. Each hut has 2 single beds (you can push them together if you would like to), a table and small chairs outside. Showers are at the back of the camp, work very well and surprisingly large. There is no electricity in the camp.
Before our drive we visited a camel that was resident in the camp. And if you think Matthew was nervous, he was.
Hamid drove us to where his family’s camels are. Camels roam freely unless rounded up. Pregnant females are penned just prior to giving birth to help them when the time comes and also to make sure that the foal can suckle. This is Hamid’s grumpy, feisty camel who has just given birth and loves him. Surprisingly camel hair is very soft, especially the foals – we were asked not to touch her back as it wasn’t yet fully formed.
Camels in the Middle East have a variety of purposes – meat and milk of course, but also camel racing and beauty contents (I kid you not).
After camels we drove further into the sand dunes to watch the sunset while Hamid built the fire.
After sunset coffee and dates are served. Right hands only are washed in a finger bowl and then dates are offered along with rich, sweet, thick Omani coffee. Your cup is filled and refilled until you shake it to indicate you’ve had enough.
We are a mixed group from all over the planet and while we are chatting Hamid quietly excuses himself, walks to the ridge facing the sunset and prays.
Then it’s back to camp for a dinner and time to sit around the campfire in the Majlis.
Next day Hamid is up early making bread on the fire ready for breakfast. It is served along with humous, Arabic breads, coffee and fresh camel milk still warm (from the camel Matthew met in the morning). We took a stroll before breakfast and this is what we found.
While we were breakfasting these camels were being got ready for our camel ride – the last experience before leaving the camp.
Beautiful journey, which reminds me of my one week trek in to Niger’s pink Sahara desert.
Did you like the camel milk? The pasteurized version is much more plain tasting and acceptable – just so you know, in case you hated the warm raw morning milk.
The camel milk was lovely. I think we’ll stick with the fresh version 😉 Your trip to the Sahara sounds pretty cool.
It was surprisingly good. I watched the camel being milked and drank it 5 mins later. Awesome!