As you will recall, I somewhat got the hump at the end of The Rock Tour when we arrived too late to ride the camels. I’d been looking forward to that, and so I determined that I would not leave Alice Springs without doing something camely first!
And so it was, the morning of the day I was set to take The Ghan north again, that I was picked up by the guys from Pyndan Camel Tracks to make the dream a reality.
I’d managed to drag Martin, my photographer from The Rock Tour, along for a laugh, and pretty soon we found ourselves in the back of a minibus with a mixed bunch of ‘mature’ ladies, having a laugh as we made our way out of Alice Springs.
The ride took about 20 minutes, long enough for us to all get acquainted, and then we were there, at the camel station just outside of town.
We had a bit of time to kill while we waited for the camel train to arrive back from their early morning ride, and so I wandered around a bit and met some of the local wildlife.
But it wasn’t long until our rides had returned and were ready to go.
Of course the first thing we had to master was staying on the thing when it stood up, but that actually proved to be simple enough. You just lean back and hang on, and let the camel do all the work, as this video shows.
My camel was named Pixie, a sweet girl that I would get to ride all by myself. 🙂
The trek was to be an hour, and started out along the road,
before heading out into the open country of the Northern Territory.
It’s fun riding a camel. You just sort of amble along, going with the flow, letting it do it’s thing. It’s surprisingly comfortable up in the saddle, and with nothing to do but hang on, you really get to enjoy yourself and have a good look around.
At about half way we stopped off for a bit of a rest, and to allow our guide to take some photos of us. As you can see, at least one camel decided to avail himself of the chance to take a load off.
Then we were off again,
back to the station to say a fond farewell to our mounts (but not before I got this quick headstand shot to add to the collection).
The ride cost me $50AUD, significantly more than the one organised through The Rock Tour would have been. But it was also longer and no doubt far more enjoyable (the other one would have been 15 minutes up and down a small paddock apparently).
I’m really glad I did it, even though I had to squeeze it in the morning of my departure, and I’d thoroughly recommend giving it a go if you ever get the chance!
I’m currently playing a bit of catch up with the blog. The camel ride was a while ago, and since then I’ve been to Darwin, headed over to Perth (Toodyay), spent six weeks at my brother’s place, and right now I’m in Ubud, Bali, where I just had the chance to ride an elephant!
I’ll be catching up quick as I can, as I head back to Europe on the 8th (after a side trip to Singapore) and I’d like to get it all done before I land, as there’ll be plenty to blog about when I get back.
Because that’s when the real adventure begins; when I go back to ‘reality’. 😉