Saturday, June 19, 2010


This snapshot happens to be my most favourite shoot, taken about fourteen years ago, during my holidays along the southern edges of Gobi Desert with Catherine, as part of the Ancient Silk Road sojourn.

It was also my first encounter with the obnoxious beast known as the "Ship of the Desert". I was told by my guide - in no uncertain terms - that I should not stand in front of the creature at any time, as it would happily provide me with an horrendous as well as torrential experience of his habitual spit.

Up close, the creature was far from ugly. Soft doey eyes & long curly eyelashes gave its face a friendly delicate look, which belied their underlying toughness.

Actually, I was most impressed by the creature because of its legendary survival ability in a truly inhospitable environment.

I had read that it could store water in its blood stream & not in its hump ~ one of the most enduring & misunderstood myths.

Interestingly, its hide could provide tents for shelter, & the meat was said to be similar to veal, although a little tougher. The milk was actually more nutritious than cow’s milk, & was often used fresh as a drink, as well as being made into cheese.

More interestingly, the camel's dung could be used as a fuel with no drying necessary.

Do you know that a "camel" is also called an "oont"?

Anyway, to cut to the chase, the camel is really a wonder of self-containment & self-sufficiency, able to survive hostile environments just on what is contained within.

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