Monday, February 16, 2009

Tunisia lesson #4: Don't forget to tie your camel!

I got a really good walk in yesterday from the flea market in Gammarth to the beach walkway in La Marsa. It felt great to exercise. My friends Sarah, Courtney, Toney and I went to a sandwich place Mounir recommended to us and then walked down to the beach. It was sunny during our walk to La Marsa but by the time we reached the beach, big grey clouds had started to cover up the sky and the temperature dropped off. I am amazed how much the sun makes a difference in temperature here. When the sun was out yesterday it was gorgeous but as soon as it hid behind the clouds again we all put our sweatshirts back on.

We wanted to walk along the beach anyway so we bundled up and took a few pictures. Here's a picture Toney took of Sarah, Courtney and me. In case you couldn't tell, it was pretty windy.

After we got too cold at the beach we decided to head home but as we were walking back, Rachel called me. She had stuck her scarf in my bag earlier in the day and was with another part of our group on the street overlooking the beach. I let her know we were down ON the beach and on our way up. "Sounds good," she replied. "We're over by the camel." Rachel has quite the sense of humor so I kind of laughed her comment off, thinking I had missed a joke.
Sarah, Toney, Courtney and I walked up the beach toward the street where Rachel was and couldn't find the road up to it. I guess it was on the other side of the beach, but we decided we could just climb up the hill and jump the fence. La Corniche, the street overlooking the beach, has a white stone balcony with columns and we had to figure out a way to get over that. After a little scrambling and some rock climbing, we got up to La Corniche, jumped the balcony ledge and walked to where Rachel was. Then we saw it. There was definitely a camel on the beach.

I had expected to see a lot of camels when we take our excursion to the southern part of the country next week but you just don't see camels walking around La Marsa every day. This one had been left with its front legs tied together so it couldn't run off. I had read that this is what Tunisians in the desert do to keep their camels in one place but still allowing them to graze. This one was walking around with the limited mobility it had with a rope around its legs, chewing on some grass. Here's a picture of him.


  1. Just tying a rope around the ankles, that's pretty simple and creative. Its not every day you see horses wandering around, let alone camels. Great pictures, keep it up! I can not wait to see the pictures from when you get back from your excursion to the desert :)

  2. Love the pictures. Keep them coming.

  3. The practice of tying the legs was also done on horses by cowboys and horse back travelers in the old days. They called it "hobble". They would loop a rope around the fetlock of one front leg run it under to the back leg on the opposite side. This allowed the horses to graze with out wondering too far. They didn't have to carry hay with them this way only some few oats.

  4. Love the wildlife photo....Oh! and the one of the camel is great!