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Elizabeth Terry

I fell in love with Jordan immediately. Not the country, but a camel, and not a cigarette but an animal. 

However I was expecting at least one to be named Camilla. Camilla Camel was not only alliterative but a name most apt for a camel. Tall, somewhat gangly, flirtatious but not delicate. However I was allocated Jordan. Each camel had a Middle Eastern name. Not one Camilla in the pack.

Jordan was fourth from the back of the camel train.

“He's nearly 40,” said Matt the senior camel driver, as he directed me to the beautiful animal with long golden eyelashes.

I climbed into the saddle with much style, so I thought.

“If he’s old, is he going to have a heart attack and fall over dead with me on top of him?”

The lady on the very ugly camel behind me laughed. “Don't worry, I’ll photograph you.”

“Thanks” I replied, unconvinced of my safety. I changed the subject and asked young Tim, who was much friendlier than Matt: “How do you position the animals in the train?  Is Jordan in this position for a reason?”

Tim was an English backpacker assigned to a few camels towards the rear.

“He’s toward the back because he's young.”

“But I was told he’s 40 - surely that's not young. Anyway how long do camels live?”

“To about 50 or 60. Jordan’s only 16. Who told you he was 40? Does Jordan look like a 40 year-old camel to you?”

“Don't really know as I haven't met any camels up close before today. But he is rather frisky-looking and he has no grey hair”. I was confident none of my own tell-tale roots were visible from my height above Tim. I tightly held onto to the saddle-handle, fearful that a fall of over two metres would definitely damage more than my pride.

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