Camel Ride on Lighthouse Beach
Transport Yourself to the Exotic !
We had arranged to have a camel ride on Lighthouse Beach. No..........we were not in some distant country where camels roam the deserts, and are part of every day life for the locals. We were in Australia.
Worried we might miss out, as we were just on closing time, I ran down onto the beach where white sand stretched either way as far as the eye could see, indigo blue waves crashing onto the shore and receding in a white frothy rush, leaving a darkened line where sea meets sand.
Bimbo and Neptune
I immediately had this strange feeling of deja vu. Silhouetted against the skyline, four camels stood one behind the other, linked by a thick rope. Heads haughtily aloft, they were decked out in rich , colourful, jewel-toned cloth, giving them an exotic look, of some faraway culture.
I was reminded of the last time I had stood this close to a camel, in a small oasis village in the middle of the Sahara desert.
Somehow, this camel ride on Lighthouse beach made me feel I had been transported to a culture far from Port Macquarie on Australia’s east coast.
Sitting in his deck chair with a pile of ancient looking crash helmets, piled in the middle of a blanket was the camel driver.
With brown barefeet below rolled up khaki, cotton cargo trousers, his head covered with a well worn Australian outback hat, and flowing beard, John somehow fitted the persona of a camel driver.
We signed a waiver form, clearing John of any liability for any accident we might have on our camel ride on Lighthouse beach......... and were each handed a battered helmet, which sat rather precariously on our heads – and frankly probably would do little to protect one in a fall. Some of the helmets looked like army museum pieces!
Using John’s knee as a ladder ( he must have verytough knees........ I flung my leg over my camel, Bimbo's wide back. Leaning as far back in the saddle as possible, on John's command , he then rose to his full height, while I hung on grimly.
I was jerkily tilted forward when his back set of legs were stretched to their full height, the front legs still bent.Whoa! Gradually, he raised his front legs and I was aloft. What a tremendous view from up here!
Brian followed suit, on appropriately named Neptune. John patiently organised us in formation, one behind the other, before taking the lead and setting off slowly down the nearly deserted beach.
I found I had to lean back a little to stop tilting too far forward. But the views were magnificent, and I clutched the saddle with one hand, taking photos with the other.
Reaching the end, John turned the camels to face the sun...their usual stance. It was also a good photo opportunity,and we posed with Bimbo and Neptune, who seemed rather bored by the process.
John was a fount of camel knowledge, which he imparted with quirky humour! He asked questions.......which he knew we were unlikely to answer.........and proclaimed the punishment for being incorrect was putting our hands in the dung bag under the camels tails!
I was surprised to learn that Australia has over 1 million camels. Imported to work out in the desert, they have become something of a nuisance in some parts. In fact........ I was very amused to hear that Australia exports camels to Saudi Arabia!
He explained how their feet worked in the sand......and did you know they excrete salt, leaving pure filtered water stored in their blood vessels? No........not the hump!
With this information imparted with a few jokes, we ambled back to our starting point.........reluctantly climbing off our mounts, our camel ride on Lighthouse Beach was sadly over!
For $25 for a 30 minute ride, it had been a fabulous and most enjoyable experience.We both declared it one of the best things we did in Port Macquarie, and definitely the most unexpected!
MORE USEFUL INFORMATION on AUSTRALIA
Guide to Australia
Travel in Australia
The Great Ocean Road
Campervan Rental Australia
Tangalooma - Moreton Island
Travel Guide Books Australia
Return to Fascinating Travel Destinations - Home
Sign up for the RSS feed so you are updated when new pages are published.