This Bedu man was looking after six camels, moms with their babies. He saw us up on the hills and motioned for us to come down. He was by himself, and seemed happy for our company. The females were roped at the rear leg to keep them close the cave in the background. This baby shyly nudged my arm but backed off when I yelped. The Bedu man tugged at the camel’s udder, offering me a taste of camel milk as slowly it dribbled out between his fingers - I hesitated to lick his palm with the ever diminishing pool of milk.
Mountains, wadis, sand dunes and springs combined have created this majestic landscape. The elevations range from 800m (2625ft) to 1754m (5754ft). Annual precipitation is low and concentrated in the winter months. November when I visited was officially in the ‘wet season’ – dark clouds collected at the top of the jebel late one afternoon accompanied by a few claps of thunder but no rain fell. Day time temperatures were between 20C and 25C (68F – 77F) while lowest night time temperature was 10C (50F) according to my thermometer.
Everything is perfect: a blue sky with puffy clouds, the sand rippled and dotted with scrubby bush, mountains in the distance. Its late afternoon about 4pm, the sun’s glow warms the rippled sand. I’ve been walking for a few hours now, and camp is just ahead. Wanting the moment to linger, I stretch out motionless on the sand, feeling the heat of the day penetrate my clothes. Overhead, a raven flaps and circles. I blink the sun out of my eyes. The raven, caws and flies away, disappointed I’m no fresh goat carcass. Thinking of food, I brush the sand off my pants and make my way slowly back to camp.