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Published: February 9th 2006
Mike, my roommate, organized an overnight camel trek for the guys on the program. We had met a stable owner while riding horses and guidebooks had mentioned the possibility of spending some time out in the desert on extended camel rides. A few phone calls and a deposit later, we were set to go on what we thought would be a few hour ride out to someplace, camp, and a few hours back. What ended up happening was a several hour camel ride which ended up returning us to a location about 20 minutes from the stable. There, we set up camp (under the stars), and enjoyed a great Pyramids sound and light show from a distance. After staying up for several hours, I decided to try to get some sleep while some of the other guys continued to joke around in the desert night. As we sat around the campfire, the topic of the ‘camel spider’
came up. This spider was rumored to usually prey on the camels, but occasionally on humans as well. The way it supposedly did this was by injecting venom into its target, and then munching away leaving a open wound. This was verified by our guide,
and not knowing better, we all covered up our faces for the night. Turns out that the spider is harmless to camels and humans. Oh well, I am no worse off for believing it. We all slept a few hours, woke up stiff, and got going for the day. As we all got on our camels, Toby’s provided the entertainment for the morning. Once his was standing, it turned its head, spit cud in his face, and literally started to attack him. After he jumped off, the guide was able to get it into an agreeable mood and his beast of burden didn’t do anything else during our ride. Still, it got the morning off to a humorous start. Our return to the stable, since it was only twenty minutes away from the camp site, took us into the actual area set aside for the Pyramids and up through some hills for about two hours. It was after spending the night out in the open that we discovered that such activity (in that area) was illegal. Not only was that, but our entry into the pyramid area was before official opening hours. As such, a whole group of mounted (on
camels) police came to visit our guide and get some $$$. They wouldn’t do it in front of us, so they sent us off in front and then negotiated the damage. Our guide was not in a good mood after they left. We returned the camels and went back to our lives along the Nile without further incident.
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