Our sat nav shows a gravel road. We are a little ambivalent about whether we want to drive 50 kilometres of bumpy roads.
It's a good thing that our sat nav has old information and the track turns out to be a nice narrow asphalt road, so we can take the shortcut into the mountains.
We are the only ones far and wide. No oncoming traffic, no overtaking traffic. A relief after an exciting day of hiking. The memories of the various canyons try to sort themselves out in us and at the same time we think about where we could sleep tonight.
Suddenly Gerd calls out "Look back there, are those camels?" Good question, because it is a large herd of big animals that blend in with the camel-coloured background in the evening sun.
We roll up slowly, overtake them and sure enough: a huge herd of camels. Considering the relaxed traffic situation, Gerd simply stops on the road, switches off the engine and we stand in absolute silence in the middle of the herd.
Now they are the ones overtaking us. To the left and right of Felix they sneak past. We can't get enough of them.
Camels are callous-soled, which means they have full, fat and springy calluses as soles. The calluses on the feet ensure that the animals' weight is distributed on the loose sandy soil and that they do not sink in. In addition, the heat of the hot desert sand does not get through. And, what we now hear (or don't hear), they walk past us incredibly quietly.
We discover little camel kids and even, what we somehow didn't know, camels in all kinds of colours from very light to dark brown.
The desert here has its very own magic, which is especially enhanced by the peace and quiet. The camels' passage is somehow special, we understand the word "desert ship" much better now. It must rock quite a bit when riding up there. (Since we don't ride on all kinds of animals, nothing rocks either).
We stand there, let them pass us by and are absolutely moved. That we are allowed to experience this makes us speechless, grateful, humble.
Later, in the car, I read out: "Contrary to what many believe, camels do not store water in their humps, but up to 200 kilograms of fat and connective tissue. The fat can be converted into water in a complicated metabolic process with the help of oxygen - so indirectly they do serve as water reservoirs. In cool weather and when they eat juicy, watery food, camels can go for weeks without extra water. Also, the hump protects the body from the sun by absorbing heat." (Source: www.kindernetz.de)
What a beautiful gift on our trip through Tunisia.
PS: Here in Tunisia we only see dromedaries, the one-humped camels. The two-humped ones are called bactrian camels, but both species are camels.
Thank you for reading our travel memories.
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Best regards - Heike & Gerd