On Flashback Fridays I reflect back on some of my past travels and travel mishaps before I started this blog: Follow at #FlashbackFri Camel riding in Morocco – it sounded like such a romantic experience.  Sitting on the back of a camel and riding into the Saharan sunset, camping in a faraway Bedouin camp, and watching the stars in the middle of the desert.  What more could a repressed explorer like me wish for?

moroccan sahara

The Moroccan Sahara amidst the Atlas mountains

When I first saw the camel with its lovely long eyelashes I was in love instantly. Most other camels were quite grumpy, but mine was such a gentle animal. We seemed to click instantly (maybe my bribe of dried dates did the trick). Our camel guide was a real Bedouin, a nomad who doesn’t stay in one place more than a week. He was a man of few words, but showed us how to dress appropriately for our Sahara adventure. Initially I thought that our face cover was a bit over the top, but it turned out that this was exactly the type of protection we needed in the desert.

chris camel riding in morocco 2

Early days, and still smiling…

camel riding in morocco caravanface mask moroccan sahara

The first half an hour of our camel ride was awesome and my camel was behaving very well too. However, camel riding in Morocco didn’t turn out to be as romantic as I had hoped. After two hours on a wonky camel I started getting quite uncomfortable and I couldn’t feel my bum anymore. My legs were in a constant state of tingling and I was starting to wonder when we would ever reach our romantic Bedouin camp?  Why was this taking so long? We were only supposed to be on the camel for 1.5 hours. It was getting darker and darker and a sandstorm was slowly but surely making its way toward us. I pulled the scarf that was wrapped around my head over my face to protect myself from the piercing sand. Have we got lost – or worse – kidnapped by desert traders?

After 2.5 hours we finally reached our camp. We were covered in sand and shattered. Camel riding in Morocco definitely wasn’t comfortable. For anyone who has ever ridden a horse you probably know that your butt and thigh muscles get quite sore after riding for just an hour. So imagine how sore I was after two hours on a camel. I wasn’t the only one who converted to the “squat-walk” for the rest of the night. Anyway, the Bedouins we were staying with served us some delicious mint tea and a hearty Moroccan stew and so our uncomfortable ride was soon forgotten. They then invited us around a big bonfire and sang traditional songs to us. We all got involved and soon started to dance along some traditional folk music. No wifi or smartphones, just sheer natural beauty and human companionship. It was a lovely night.

chris camel riding in morocco

Arrival at camp at night

bedouin camp during camel riding in morocco around camp fire

Then it was time to go to bed and I was a bit confused when I only saw one big tent. There were at least 15 tourists; surely we wouldn’t all sleep in one tent, would we? Turned out we would and it was one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life. Not only were my legs and bum pretty sore from the camel ride, I also couldn’t sleep amongst all the snoring that was going on. Since a bunch of Australian guys decided to get absolutely wasted around the fire, they just passed out and then started snoring like particularly noisy pigs. I gently tried to whisper to them that they were snoring and ask if they could please turn over. Nothing happened. I spoke a bit more loudly, trying not to wake everybody else up. Nothing happened. I poked them and I even tried throwing a shoe at one of them, but even that didn’t work. Chris couldn’t sleep either so we decided to call it a night and head out of the tent to watch the sun rise. The soft light turned the dunes into a vast ocean of bright orange waves. At last we had the romantic experience we hoped for. Or had we? As it got lighter we noticed that the dune we were sitting on was used as a toilet by our fellow travelers during the night…and romance killed!

camp during camel riding in morocco

My bed for the night. I’m standing on Chris’s, so you can see how cosy it was

sunrise desert

This beautiful sunrise made up for the lack of sleep

camels at sun rise

I think the camels liked it too

me at sunrise

We were quite glad when it was time to return to Marrakesh again after breakfast. But then it hit me:  to reach our 4×4 I would have to go back on my camel. Because of the sandstorm it was impossible to send the 4×4 all the way to our camp, so we had to bite the bullet and go back onto the camels.  The movements of the camel ride from the previous day caused a lot of friction and a nasty rash (too much information?). Some poor souls even had blisters, but I won’t go into any more detail here. Let’s just say I was in so much pain that I had trouble standing up,  walking and sitting down. And for reasons you can probably guess, then men in the group were complaining even more loudly, though by now in slightly high-pitched voices. So, camel riding in Morocco wasn’t exactly what I hoped it would be, but we made it in the end. I gave the camel my remaining dates and it rewarded my with a big sloppy lick on my face – at least I found a friend for life during our little adventure. 🙂

tammy camel riding in morocco

Ouch!

camel

So that was the time my bum went numb. Have you ever been camel riding in Morocco, or anything similar?

 

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

22 Thoughts on “Flashback Friday: The time my bum went numb

  1. Ouch – sounds quite uncomfortable. But what an awesome experience to be able to ride a camel through the desert and sleep (well. at least try to sleep) in a Bedouin camp. Great post!
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted…Samba: The New Love in My LifeMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 24, 2013 at 1:20 am said:

      Thanks Dana! Despite the pain, it was actually really cool with hindsight and I am glad I have done it.

  2. That’s a hilarious story! I can imagine a trip like that would be uncomfortable! I think I will just enjoy camels from afar 🙂
    Emily recently posted…A Weekend in WindsorMy Profile

  3. Yeah – been there done that… Rug burn on the bum and all! Loved your funny write-up about the experience though 🙂
    Lily recently posted…Bukit LawangMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 25, 2013 at 5:01 am said:

      Thanks Lily! I have never met a person who hasn’t had a sore bum after a camel ride. Why don’t they warn us beforehand? 🙂

  4. I couldn’t stop laughing reading this Tammy because I know exactly how you felt…about the butt pain AND the snoring Aussies. I’ve experienced both of those, thankfully, at different times and it annoyed me SO much so I’m not surprised that you weren’t feeling too romantic after that lol.
    Oh and next time? Try putting baby powder on the ‘areas’ before you get on the camel/horse – works a treat! 🙂

  5. Hahaha love your post!! Can’t wait to go ride some camels when I go to Morocco later this year 😛

  6. Camel riding is so unique and so uncomfortable! It has to be done though! Love the camel’s expressions!
    Arianwen recently posted…Diving with sharks in AucklandMy Profile

  7. Exactly, you have got to try it once. Despite the pain it is actually quite fun. and I love camels. Not sure, I’d do it again though. 😉
    Tammy recently posted…Stormy celebrations in SihanoukvilleMy Profile

  8. oh I hate animal rides! I once sat on an elephant and it was horrific!! Camels seems to be painful but surely less dangerous! 😛
    Chaitanya Shah recently posted…Travel Tips for Melbourne, Aus by Where’s SharonMy Profile

  9. Hi Tammy, great story! Brought back so many memories as we did the same trip a couple of years ago, complete with arriving in the dark and the sandstorm! We did manage to keep away from the ‘toilet’ though. 🙂 I wasn’t too fond of the camel rid, I never could have imagined my bum could hurt that much! I think they are beautiful animals but I really never ever wanted to sit on a camel again, even for 5 minutes. 🙂 But: the trip into the Sahara was a fantastic experience, an you’re so right: the sun set is amazing!
    Nina recently posted…All aboard: sailing the Caribbean Leeward Islands (exploring the lesser know islands)My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on July 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm said:

      Hey Nina, I feel for you. I would never go on a camel ride again either. I probably haven’t been walking properly since. 😉

  10. We did a similar trek in the Sahara- overnight by camel. It was possibly one of the funniest experiences of all our travels. But incredibly beautiful as well. I was walking like a cowboy for a while the following day and not sad to see the back of my camel either 😉

  11. I can’t wait to set out on an overnight camel expedition! It’s too bad that you had to listen to drunk men snoring all night and that you were sore (that thought had never crossed my mind), but it makes for a great story!
    Amanda recently posted…6 Tips for Enjoying AirbnbMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on July 16, 2015 at 6:25 am said:

      It is really enjoyable Amanda. Just make sure you take an extra cushion for the camel ride. Your backside will thank you for it. 🙂

  12. We’ve been wanting to go to Morocco for ages, but now that Lil B is born, so much of what I would have wanted to have done (camel riding!) those things aren’t quite possible, but we are still hoping to go in October! Any other fun things you’d recommend?
    LeAnna Brown recently posted…Budget Travel meets Travel Hacking: Getting the cheapest trips possible everytimeMy Profile

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