UP UP UP UP UP !
The day's trekking begins.
It is always an impressive sight the first time our trekkers see
the camel string rise for the start of the day's journey.
It actually looks much better than it is. If the lead cameleer
actually said "It's going to be windy today" with the
right tone of voice and action then the camels would still rise!
Once at the end of a trek we finished at a cattle station homestead.
Upon arrival the stock yards were a hive of activity with huge trucks,
4WD vehicles, mooing cattle everywhere and busy stockmen running
about moving cattle, cracking whips and making much noise. We wondered
how well behaved the camels were going to be and with much apprehension
we entered the yards, sat the camels down and commenced unloading.
Much to our amazement, the camels behaved themselves perfectly.
They didn't even blink an eyelid, let alone move or stand up. We
unloaded them completely and then, with all still tied together,
we gave the command "Up up up up up" to take them back
out to their paddock. Well we'd never seen such a perfect demonstration
of camel symmetry. The front camel rose, then the next, then the
next and so on forth down the line until all camels were standing
up and still, in utterly perfect unison! We knew all the stockmen
were watching and of course we made out like it was an everyday
occurrence, but normally it is a hickeldy-pickeldy movement as the
photo on the right shows.
Norm the manager there knew the truth about what had happened.
He walked past us quietly with this wry grin on his face and muttered
beneath his breath "How'd you arse that?". We just grinned
a knowing grin.
I'm sure one day we'll hear about this incident in a much embelished
story of local folklore. It was very impressive and never to be
repeated to be sure. But how about the timing! Love it.
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Up up up up up !
Photo - Tony Sheffield (2006)