The Camel Market was
humming buzzing just plain in-your-face LOUD!
Pop music blasted from speakers, shopkeepers bellowed out their wares, anxious to offload as much of their fresh produce as possible in the final hours before the sabbath, and I caught snatches of conversations in many strange languages as I slowly negotiated the seething throng oozing through the narrow alleyway. This is obviously the place to go if you’re looking for pancakes, apples, bananas, aubergines, fish, peppers, Turkish delight, persimmons, pomegranates, pastries, bread, avocadoes, eggs, beans, fresh flowers, shoes, underwear, t-shirts, jewellery, sunglasses, DVDs, household linen, belly dancing outfits, pasta, every kind of pungent spice imaginable, and more confectionary than I’ve ever seen in one place!
You can forget the camels, though. Not a hump in sight.
While seven of us had ventured forth from the hotel to investigate the Camel Market, most (quite understandably) blanched at the prospect of launching themselves into this Friday afternoon crowd of bustling humanity and turned back.
You may quite rightly call me naive and foolhardy, but if you’ve read my other blog you’ll know I get a real buzz from markets like these in foreign places.
On and on I walked, soaking up the sights, sounds and aromas, until the alley opened out onto a square where folk sat drinking coffee, or took a break from their shopping to watch a busker.The next street was lined with stalls selling handcrafted goods, but was blocked off at both ends with checkpoints where guards conducted bag searches on everyone wanting to enter. It was only then that I realised just how vulnerable the Camel Market was.
By this time I was quite lost, but I followed the westerly sun back to the seashore, across the road from our hotel, and there discovered R and B2 watching the sunset in style! I joined them! And as the sun set slowly in the west……... along the sand came a man carrying a python (!!!) and B2 just couldn’t resist posing with this reptilian accessory. No way could I have done that! But then, I guess we each choose our own particular kind of risk-taking, don’t we?