Camels: A "Curious" Encounter

The Steppe

Southern Kazakhstan

October 12, 2018


Here's a "Pop Quiz."

A camel with one hump is known as a Dromedary camel.  (Camelus dromedarius found in Africa, Arabia and South Asia)

What is the correct name for the camel with two humps? (Found on the Steppe of Central Asia)

Prize for the first correct answer: 

One liter of verblyuzh'ye moloko. 

Valley of Castles

The Peninsula of Mangystau


October 20, 2018

Hello from the Valley of Castles,

Here are excerpts for an official Mangystau publication:

The system of small remnant mountains is known among the local population under the name of Airakty-Shomanay.

In 1851, the great Ukrainian poet and artist T.G. Shevchenko was in exile here. These mountains so impressed him that he made a series of drawings under the poetic name "Valley of Castles."

The Gobi: Sand Dunes

Gobi Discovery Ger Camp
The Gobi

August 19, 2010

Dear Family and Friends.

Sand dunes.  I am here, overnight, at the Gobi Discovery Ger Camp.  To see the sand dunes.

Until today, the only sand dunes I have ever seen are on the south shore of Long Island or the east coast of Florida.  Those dunes are little hills with convenient wooden walkways.  You carry your chair, umbrella and towel over the dunes to the beach.

Why am I here for the sand dunes in the Gobi?

Merzouga: The Dunes at Erg Chebbi

Auberge du Sud

Erg Chebbi

April 23, 2013


My Dear Fellow Travelers,

It was a looong van drive from Fes to Merzouga.  Here in the desert we are scheduled for a shrt camel ride over the dunes of the Sahara. 

A camel ride?   Done that a couple of times.  Not my favorite activity. 

I decided to plant my boots in the sand and admire the scenery from ground level. 



Wadi Rum: "Is Anybody Out There?"

Wadi Rum

The Valley of the Moon

The Jordanian Desert

May 31, 2007

Is Anybody Out There?

I am alone.  Yes, I am sitting alone, on a mat, in the shade of an overhanging cliff.  In the middle of this sun blasted desert valley.

A few minutes ago, while I was exploring the Nabatean engravings on the hills nearby, Salim, my driver drove off in the white Jeep.  He just drove off.  I waved at him but he just drove off across the dusty desert floor, through the red hills and out of sight.  Out of sight.  Gone.

Al Ain: The Camel Market

Al Ain

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

April 18, 2016

 I didn’t count them of course, but there must be several hundred camels for sale at the Al Ain Camel Market.  Goats, too.

At first I thought,”Why do we need so many camels?” 

A few may be bred for racing.  But camels as a major means of transportation are now a distant historical memory.  **

Then I remembered, “Aren’t we all envious of anyone who can afford the ultra soft luxurious texture of a camel hair jacket or coat?” 

And that’s just the beginning.