Last night a tropical storm was forecast, but didn’t happen. So we took a chance and headed into the desert to camp. We’ve wanted to do this since arrival and have collected some seriously cool camping kit in desert coloured canvas to get into the swing of things, but for one reason or another hadn’t been able to actually get out and use it. This was the perfect moment, as the purple clouds rolled away with just a brief flash of lightning.
So we hurled camping kit and three dogs into the car and headed East to where the nearest proper sand dunes are. We drove through heavy rain, but when we arrived at our selected camping spot it had stopped and the air smelt fresh and cool which is a novelty in these parts. We had a wonderful night out, sleeping on camp beds beneath the stars. We had heard all sorts of camping tales from the positive to the extremely negative (“the desert floor is a carpet of scorpions at night, except where there’s snakes”). Our experience was entirely positive: it was wonderful to get away from the city for the night – apart from a couple of distant camel farms there was nobody else for miles. But what I found fascinating was the way the three dogs reacted to yet another entirely novel experience.
Indie leaped out of the car on arrival like a bullet from a gun and roared straight up the nearest sand dune and on over the top and out of sight. After a busy few minutes he reappeared, still going like the clappers and doing a wall of death stunt down the sheer side of the high dune. Then he zoomed in zig zag fashion out of sight behind another dune, appeared briefly to pose on top of a third dune then disappeared again to the distant noise of galloping paws. He rejoined us in a while and entertained us with a high class juggling act in which he hurled a Wonderful Thing (that he’d found all by himself) in the air, jumped over it, and did several mad laps around it. We found, on investigation, that the Wonderful Thing was a sphere of camel dung, but as with so many things there is beauty in the eyes of the beholder. Indie adored the desert.
Guinness is now very, very old. She waddled away from the car, tried a short stiff-legged gallop in pursuit of Indie, sniffed the Wonderful Thing appreciatively and then came back to wait for the next meal. Guinness can take or leave the desert. Whatever.
Darcy gazed in horror at the sand that surrounded us (orange with cream overtones, very pretty). He didn’t like the way it felt on his paws. Crunchy and just – wrong. Then Indie reappeared at warp speed and did a handbrake turn, showering Darcy with sand by-accident-on-purpose. And it got behind Darcy’s ears. Again, wrong. Darcy didn’t like sitting on the sand even though we had put out a rug for him and he didn’t actually need to. His food tasted wrong (bound to be sandy, yuk). He didn’t like sleeping in the car, which we insisted on just in case the scorpion stories were true. Everything was all wrong. He didn’t like Indie’s present of an uninjured dung beetle either. He couldn’t wait to get home. Darcy hated the desert.
Fascinating. It will soon be too hot to camp, but we’ll take Darcy for fun walks in the sand to try to get him in the mood. Indie is already in the mood and counting the days till we access the dunes again. Guinness doesn’t care either way. Whatever.
I haven’t written a blog for ages, still finding my feet and on such a steep learning curve. Yesterday, for example, I bought a pack of beautiful white rolls for our picnic lunch. They were labelled ‘Spanish rolls’, which sounded promising and the plan was to put cheese into them. When I cut them open, they were filled with yellow custard. Totally unexpected and not great with cheese. Still, it was another step down the road of knowledge.