United Arab Emirates V: Dates and Camels
Bedouins cooked dates to make date butter the so called tamr which could be stored indefinitely. In storage rooms, there were shelves with small channels that caught date syrup . Date harvest is every year from June to October. The best are partially brown fresh and soft dates. Somebody has to climb the tree and throws tufts of dates down to his friend. There are 40 milion date palms in the Emirates. One local date gatherer is going to show us how to climb a palm tree. He is bare foot! And he has a strong rope around him and the palm. By moving the rope up he climbs fast as a monkey. I have to try it but I really am not good at this. I rather buy some dates which are truly delicious.
I move to a camel market . A baby camel has been just born here so they spilled some milk on him. As the Bedouin proverb says„Good is good that he gifted us with an ideal tree for the life in the desert – date, and showed his grace by giving us camel”. They are greatly constituted for long rides on sand.
Arabian camel has only two toes and he puts weight on hind segments of his toes. This segment is buttressed with a flexible callus. He can haul down muscles and close their nostrils. He has two layer eye lashes which cover his eyes agains sand. He has thick wool on his back which serves as fat reserve isolation against the sun. Other parts of his body are bald to cool down the money. He can eat plants with thorns. You easily recognize when the animal is starving as his hump flaps loosely. He is really resilient animal. Be glad when somebody calls you here “you camel”. Camel has better memory than elephant. He can drink up to 50 liters of water, which means 10 leather bags which poured into a wooden watering place called hawd. Camel can last up to 30 days without water, depending on temperature, food options along the way –cactus acacia tree is enough for him – weight of load, and traveled distance. Water is stored in stomach, he can part of his fat reserves change into water.
I go on – now I am heading for the road leading to the mountains. Behind it are thermal springs . Land here is beautiful and the place is interesting. Water is cool so I will refresh myself there. People go here in summer for picnics – pleasant shadow rules under the trees. I have seen more than enough. Therefore I move to the hotel and I am about to experience action packed jeep safari!
To be continued...
Text/photo: Sylvie Halouzková
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