Mongolia: A Camel Can Go Days Without a Drink, But Who wants to Be a Camel?

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October 7th 2017
Published: October 16th 2017
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The camels are learning and seem eager to please their handlers. We have been practicing with them what they already know, sitting and getting up, and slowly adding new commands each day.

Their personalities continue to develop and become more evident each day, I assume this is in correlation to their comfort level with these Westerners who have dropped into Mongolia determined to change their lives forever.

We began leading them today and took a practice run to get them water. There is a small outbuilding not far from our camp that has a primitive pipe shooting out of it. There is a small concrete trough to catch the water and all of the animals in the area seem to know it is the place to go for water.

The only obstacle being that the water flow is controlled by one of the herdsmen in the area. He holds the key, literally, to the pump thus holding complete control of the water flow. The locals must work together to allow for the slow pump to fill the trough, but I have no idea how they keep this set-up from freezing. It would never run water in a Kansas
Thirsty CamelsThirsty CamelsThirsty Camels

Photo credit: Gillian Barber
winter and it is no secret Mongolian winters can be brutual.

It is determined the camels must begin to prepare themselves for the journey ahead and must adopt a watering schedule that keeps them healthy while also conditioning their bodies to not expect daily water.

Our camel professor, Russell, sets these camels on a schedule of water every other day. The schedule will be adapted as the departure date nears.

My camel, now being called Blackie because apparently Aussies must add a "y" sound to the end of every word and name, is eager to go to the well, but he doesn't want to be herded, he wants to be lead. I gladly took hold of his lead rope and escorted him to water.

He has a funny way about him that doesn't seem to fit the reputation of being the trouble child. When we walk through small ditches or dips in the terrain, he slows down and delicately chooses his steps even when his team mates are charging through or running amuck.

His gentle behavior continued when we got to this primitive waterhole. He chose his steps carefully and stopped just before the trough. He actually seemed to stop and look to me for permission before drinking. I gave him verbal permission and he filled his belly. Surely, this was just a coincidence. Surely a camel this green does not think he needs permission to get a sip of water.

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 23


Fellow Cameleers and New FriendsFellow Cameleers and New Friends
Fellow Cameleers and New Friends

Photo credit: Gillian Barber
Camel HaltersCamel Halters
Camel Halters

Photo credit: Gillian Barber
Teaching My Camel to KooshTeaching My Camel to Koosh
Teaching My Camel to Koosh

Photo credit: Gillian Barber
Camel LessonsCamel Lessons
Camel Lessons

Phot credit: Gillian Barber

Photo credit: Gillian Barber
Camels on a WalkCamels on a Walk
Camels on a Walk

Photo credit: Gillian Barber

16th October 2017

Water for Camels
Valeri: Tell me about the Shamans. You might guess I'd be interested. I love how your 'problematic' camel is a shy and well-mannered personality. Great photos. They fit my dreams of Mongolia! Tell us more!!
17th October 2017

Shaman Ceremony
One of the expedition team members--the one from Mongolia--had been struggling with some health issues. She had met with multiple doctors and with no improvement, she met a shaman who told her she needed to have a ceremony to expel evil spirits from her body. The hope is, this ceremony that lasted for hours, will be effective so she feels healthy and strong enough to set out on the expedition later this month.

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