01 Aug2010

Camels Can Be Evil :)

by Marketman

IMG_5964.JPG

The Teen was an Aman convert after this exchange she had with a manager of the hotel on the first day of our stay… “Excuse me, is it possible to arrange for me to ride a camel?” to which, the gentleman answered, “At Aman, we can do anything… would you rather the camels come to the hotel or would you like to go to the camels?” She hobbled back to our room, impressed. Obviously, we were going on a camel ride the following afternoon. Fearful that having the camels come to us might cost a significant sum, I told her to arrange for the hotel to send us to the camels some 15 minutes away in a section of Marrakech called the Palmeraie…

IMG_5949.JPG

We headed to the front entrance of Amanjena at the appointed time, and a large dark green Mercedes limousine pulled up to transport us to the camels. I just had to laugh at the irony of this. The camels should be amused. We had opted out of a a real desert experience, what with the Teen in a cast and Mrs. MM having a serious sand phobia, so we did the tourist thing and headed to the Palmeraie, a section of town with massive villas, tons of palm trees and bands of camels for hire, waiting for tourists to fleece. I had a bad feeling about this from the start, but we weren’t planning on returning to Camel-land anytime soon, so figured we should just do it, if only to meet the Teen’s desire to ride a camel.

IMG_5950.JPG

My biggest mistake was not checking online what a camel ride SHOULD COST, and to make a short story shorter, we got fleeced. NEVER pay more than $10 for a 20-30 minute camel ride. We got three camels that were tethered together, and went for a 20 minute ride through the nearby palm groves. Mrs. MM was out front, on her camel “Madonna”, while I followed on my camel “Ayeesha” and the Teen brought up the rear, riding on “Shakira”. My camel was the biggest darned camel in the lot, probably because I weighed nearly 200 pounds…

IMG_5968.JPG

Madonna and Shakira had recently given birth, so the baby camels followed behind us, untethered. They were about 3-4 months old and cute.

IMG_5983.JPG

At one point, the baby camels were called over and went ahead of us to munch on some greens…

IMG_5993.JPG

Patches of persil or parsley were growing amongst the palm groves, and apparently this herb is a camel favorite. The guy accompanying our trio of camel riders grabbed a bunch of the persil for each of us to hold onto and presumably feed to the camels when we were done with the excursion.

IMG_5997.JPG

On closer inspection, the parsley actually looked and smelled more like chervil, and it turns out there is a variety of donkey chervil that must be the one that camels like to eat…

IMG_6002.JPG

Shakira, the Teen’s camel, kept sniffing my leg and crotch area, wanting some of that persil and frankly, it was getting a bit annoying. :) At least my humongous Ayeesha kept farting back towards the Teen. Needless to say, we were laughing all throughout this adventure.

IMG_6007.JPG

But the EVIL happened on the dismount. Camels have a particular way of lying down on the ground to let you off, and it seems they usually make it a gentler two-step process. My camel, however, decided to practically flop down like in a cartoon and with my high center of gravity, I nearly got thrown off the darned beast and rolled off its neck, probably breaking my own neck as I landed on the ground. Since the Teen was in a cast, all of the locals were helping her get off her camel and I was on my own. In a knee-jerk reaction, I pushed strongly against the small handle or rail and proceeded to get the sharpest pain in my chest I have ever experienced. I prevented a fall, but was now nearly certain I was in the midst of a massive heart attack. I stumbled off the beast, tried to stand on two wobbly legs (that’s what happens when they are spread over the massive back of a camel and you don’t do stretches regularly) and made a beeline for the Mercedes. Sharp piercing pains from my left armpit across my chest were excruciating, but not wanting to alarm anyone, I simply told the driver to return to the hotel immediately. I figured if I was going to die, I was going to die in an Aman. Sweating profusely despite the strong airconditioning, I tried to calm my breathing and will this to be simply a pulled muscle and that’s what it turned out to be. For the next day or two my chest was sore, but at least I hadn’t suffered a heart attack. :) Let’s just say on the topic of camel rides – been there, done that. Never again. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Jen Laceda says:

    Awww…I don’t mean to be rude, but that was a funny story. I’m still laughing my head off!!

    Aug 1, 2010 | 10:38 pm

     
  2. Tricia says:

    Thank God it wasn’t a heart attack! I’m so amused by the hotel manager’s reply to the Teen about the camel! :)

    Aug 1, 2010 | 10:40 pm

     
  3. joyce says:

    gahd. i got scared for you for awhile there while i reading. thank heavens it was only a pulled muscle.

    Aug 1, 2010 | 10:42 pm

     
  4. Rona Y says:

    I’m glad your chest pains were nothing too serious, but that was seriously LOL!

    I empathize with you as I took a 3-day camel (they’re actually dromedaries) trek across the desert and was sore for what seemed like weeks after! They’re definitely not the most comfortable animal to ride! One of our group actually did fall off his camel when the camel fell going up a steep sand dune. It was a bit scary, but both he and the camel were OK. Our camels were not only farting, but also peeing and pooping in front of each others’ faces! Poor babies were tied very close together, so it couldn’t be helped!

    (As an aside, when we went to the camel stable to start our journey, there were all these brown egg-shaped things on the ground, and we thought they might be reptile eggs. Turned out to be camel poop!)

    And don’t feel too bad about being fleeced in Marrakesh. EVERYONE gets fleeced in Marrakesh at least once, and badly fleeced at that (Fez was almost as bad, but the other cities I visited were not so bad). Good thing you haven’t tried taking the taxis!

    Aug 2, 2010 | 12:24 am

     
  5. Rebecca says:

    Whoa! Glad you are ok!

    Aug 2, 2010 | 1:39 am

     
  6. edee says:

    love the Teen’s fashion sense :)

    Aug 2, 2010 | 6:55 am

     
  7. Footloose says:

    Excepting the chest pain you felt, I find the part of your precipitate alighting from the camel funny. Could you have been the last straw for the beast?

    Aug 2, 2010 | 7:06 am

     
  8. Melanie says:

    Your Guardian Angels must have been on super alert during that camel ride. Esp. for the Teen, who couldn’t afford any more injuries! We’re all glad you’re okay save for that pulled muscle, MM. Bad camels! Cute babies tho. Then again, wait till they grow up! Argh.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 7:14 am

     
  9. Mimi says:

    What a wonderfully hilarious read on my birthday today! Sorry about your injury though. Last time I rode a camel was in Egypt, 1990s. They have a peculiar stink and their gait gave me camel-motion-sickness, that experienced so never again.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 8:20 am

     
  10. Clarissa says:

    the heart attack scare was, well, scary. :s i’m always afraid of getting sick while out of town or abroad, but a heart attack is toooo frightening a thought.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 8:29 am

     
  11. Fran says:

    I so needed this laugh. I’m sorry, but I laughed out loud and HARD! I’m sorry you got hurt, but I saw this going down a different path — one where your daughter falls off on her cast and … well, it would have been bad. Or that you got spit at and that is never a good thing, especially with a camel! Ewwww!!

    The times I’ve ridden camels have been a bit scary. It always feels as though you’re going to fall off.

    Hopefully you’re feeling better now.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 9:01 am

     
  12. Miguel P. says:

    did you pay through aman or direct to the camel guides? just wondering who fleeced you.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 9:20 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Miguel P., camel dudes did the fleecing. But I do wish the Aman chauffeur had guided us accordingly… but in Morocco, fleecing is a way of life, an unfortunate aspect of local dealings and this would NOT happen again during the rest of our trip… more on that later. I am glad lots of you seem to be getting a Monday morning laugh out of this. In retrospect, it was quite amusing. In the middle of the chest pains, all I could think of was piggy revenge. :)

    Aug 2, 2010 | 9:47 am

     
  14. mardie c",) says:

    had i been there i probably would have whisked you to the nearest hospital right away to have that chest pain checked….comes second nature to me being a cardiac nurse :) What happened to the Teen’s leg? In all, it was a funny story. Glad youre okay though.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 10:09 am

     
  15. zena says:

    LOL! That was hilarious! =D

    Aug 2, 2010 | 10:10 am

     
  16. Lissa says:

    “I figured if I was going to die, I was going to die in an Aman.” haha!

    Aug 2, 2010 | 10:38 am

     
  17. Quillene says:

    Thanks for the laugh. At least not one of you got spat on! :)

    Aug 2, 2010 | 1:05 pm

     
  18. Isa Garchitorena says:

    Bit of camel trivia. There are two types, the Bactrian and the dromedary. Easiest way to remember? If you lay the B on it’s side, it has two humps like the Bactrian camel. If you lay the D on it’s side, it has one hump just like the dromedary camel! Convenient huh?

    Aug 2, 2010 | 1:42 pm

     
  19. millet says:

    i’m really sorry, MM…i’m concerned and all that..but this was just too funny!

    Aug 2, 2010 | 5:41 pm

     
  20. Footloose says:

    Isa G great mneu… gee can’t remember the word. Actually, first question they put to you in the camelidae yard is, one hump or two? Apparently, the word camel itself derives from an Arabic root that means beauty which proves once more that it is indeed dependent on the beholder.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 5:51 pm

     
  21. Vanessa says:

    “I figured if I was going to die, I was going to die in an Aman.” Best line ever!

    Aug 2, 2010 | 6:40 pm

     
  22. Mom-Friday says:

    Great story to tell your future grandkids! :D I was literally at the edge my seat as I was reading…good to know you’re alright. What an adventure! In case you miss the camel, you can just visit the dromedary camel at Paradizoo in Tagaytay, or Zoocobia in Clark ;)

    Aug 2, 2010 | 6:50 pm

     
  23. Jaimie says:

    I am surprised that the cost of the camel ride was not made known to you by Aman. They usually have a folder of suggested activities in the room or at the library with the corresponding price. I took a similar camel ride at Aman I Khas in India opting for the camel to pick me up at the property and ride out in the desert. The ride was gentle and lovely. Getting on and off was nerve wracking but members of the staff of Aman made sure I was aware of how this was to be done and guided me accordingly. I remember it being fairly expensive but for me the experience was worth it.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 7:18 pm

     
  24. sunflowii says:

    your camel flopped down at the end? she was probably thinking “hay salamat, tapos na!” =)

    Aug 2, 2010 | 9:48 pm

     
  25. Fards says:

    “I figured if I was going to die, I was going to die in an Aman.” LOL, I know it wasn’t funny for you then, but that one line just was sooo funny. I loved that,:). Am just glad it wasn’t an MI.

    @Isa, that mnemonic is good, but then again recalling the 2 kinds of camels will be another thing.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 10:41 pm

     
  26. marilen says:

    MM, while enjoying such a hearty laugh over your encounter with the camel, my heart also went out to you and for you – the pain you experienced.

    Similar story – also got fleeced with a 15 minute ride on a camel around Giza. Basta!!

    Aug 3, 2010 | 3:31 am

     
  27. Angela says:

    I am sorry to hear that you injured yourself, MM, but that was a funny story! Really? If you were going to die, you wanted to die in an Aman?? lol

    Aug 3, 2010 | 2:16 pm

     
  28. Betchay says:

    Love the first photo! swak na swak sa topic!
    Thank God you’re ok.The worst you can experience in a vacation is to get hurt…in a foreign land! But sorry MM, cannt help laughing.Your camel story is so funny!

    Aug 3, 2010 | 6:19 pm

     
  29. Candygirl says:

    Hee hee funny! Enjoyed the kwento :-)

    Aug 3, 2010 | 11:24 pm

     
  30. Joy says:

    Yes, camels are quite evil and I heard they smell bad. It seems that you guys had a good time :D

    Aug 4, 2010 | 4:57 am

     
 

Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2017