Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

Back in the desert

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This was the third trip we’ve made to the desert. Each time we have gone with Mousa in his Landcruiser. Most times he wears shorts and t-shirt, but this time he was wearing his thobe.

Mousa deflating the tyres of his Landcruiser

We took the highway south passing the new airport, the town of Wakra, the refineries and on to the Sealine Resort. On the way, we stopped briefly at a service station. In the back seat of the vehicle next to us was a goat who was blissfully unaware that he was probably going to be the main course in a desert barbecue.

Goat

We did the usual run up and down the dunes at precipitous angles.

Mousa told us that this time we’d detour to a camel farm where we could get some camel’s milk. He’d not been there for some time and was friendly with the Sudanese brothers who managed it. It was not part of his usual tour. So we headed off away from the dunes across a much more stony desert which resembled those images of the surface of the moon or Mars.

At the camel camp

We arrived at the camp in the middle of nowhere. There were around 20 camels, including a number only a few weeks old. The camels were being bred for racing, a popular sport in Qatar.

Only one of the four brothers was about… two were away and the fourth was unwell in one of the tents waiting for an ambulance that was having major problems finding the camp.

We had a look around at the camels and were then invited to sit down and have coffee. Coffee beans together with ginger were crushed in a pestle, then brewed on an open fire in a small blackened kettle.

Pouring coffee

After coffee he went into the camel pen to milk the camel.

Camels in pen

Its back legs were tied together.

Milking a camel

It took no longer than a couple of minutes to extract two large bowls of camel milk which was a very warm, camel body-heat in temperature.

Camels milk

We decanted some milk into plastic bottles to bring home.

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The sun was beginning to set as we left the camp. The ambulance had still not arrived.

No too far way we could see a couple of Landcruisers alone in the desert, where two men were just finishing training hunting falcons.

Falcon trainer

Falcon

As we drove back in the twilight, we could see the red and blue light of the 4-wheel drive ambulance in the distance. They’d been told to head for the communications tower near the camel camp… they were heading towards the wrong tower.

The milk is now in our fridge. I think we will boil it and then chill it before we drink it.

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