An evening in Broome.....
Now home from the expedition cruise of Western Australia
and the Northern Territory, I'm sharing the highlights
of a really wonderful adventure.
Dromedary Camel - Camelus dromedarius
The highlight of our stay in Broome was definitely the sunset camel safari ride! In the late afternoon, as 100 degrees abated slowly, we were directed to beautiful sandy Cable Beach......and told to look for the camels wearing yellow and black blankets. There are several camel trains, ours was named 'Ships of the Desert' and advertised as the original and best since 1981. The handlers were young and energetic, mainly from European countries, working their way around the world.
Getting instructions from the handlers.......and feeding carrots as a treat before mounting.
Camels are quiet but pull funny faces and groan once they
know you are going to climb on their backs - can't say I blame them! They are inquisitive, affectionate, and attention-seeking.
Just know you want some interesting camel facts, so here goes!
24 camels from Peshawar and Karachi were first brought to Australia in the 1840's to cart supplies for explorers. Between 1870 and 1920, another 20,000 camels and their 2,000 cameleers arrived in Australia.
- Weight: bulls 800-1000kg - cows 600-800kg
- Strength: a working camel can carry half their own body weight for 6-8 hrs. a day
- Speed: normal 'amble speed' 5 kph - racing camels gallop at 25 kph
- Feet: camels have broad, flat leathery pads, two toes on each foot, no clip-clopping hooves
- Movement: when walking a camel moves both feet on one side of the body, then both feet on the other side
- Hump: contrary to popular belief, a camel does not store water in its hump - which is a mound of fatty tissue from which it draws energy when food is scarce
- Water: camels need very little water if their diet contains moisture-rich pasture. On average they consume 20-30 litres per day in a domestic environment. A severely dehydrated camel can drink 100 litres of water in 10 minutes.
- Food: camels in Australia eat 82% of the plants available to them in the wild. Domestically kept camels are fed a diet of oaten hay and lucerne.
- Lifespan: domestic camels approx. 40-50 years, wild camels approx. 30 years
Up until the 1950's, Broome's pearl shells were in great
demand for buttons. It was the camels job to cart the
shells to the port for shipment.....their route being
along Cable Beach, so camels walking the sands is
not a new thing!
Ready to ride..........................
............quite high up there - a fully grown
adult camel stands six feet at the shoulder
and seven feet at the hump.
Center camel providing delightful transportation
for me (front) and Paula as the sun set.
Yes, this was definitely one of my favorite things on the
Western Australia expedition......
........say hello to Alice!
Be sure to pay a visit to Claudia our party hostess at Mockingbird Hill Cottage where sharing a favorite thing will bring you in touch with so many interesting bloggers.