Caravan of Crazies
One of the highlights of the trip for me was the great camel ride we took across the desert after the final show. It was close to sunrise and Bill Graham rented every camel and horse he could find and we went in a huge caravan across the desert to a big tent village a few miles away called Sahara City. It’s sort of the Las Vegas of Egypt. It was a full moon and we had just about everyone – at least a hundred people. There were taxis that went the long way, and motorcycles. As I remember, Graham and Mickey led the procession, with Mickey on his fabulous white horse. It was just huge, and it could dance and prance because it was really a show horse, and Mickey just had the time of his life galloping around on it. He looked like he was in some movie or something. -Mountain Girl
Most of the people who went to Sahara City got either a camel or an Arabian stallion. I’d ridden a horse earlier in the trip and had the life scared out of me. I’d never done it before, and the second I got on, mine bolted. I was thinking, “My God, after all this I’m going to die in Egypt! ” But just as I convinced myself I was going to die, I got into the flow of it and it was just wonderful. Still, I was happy to get a camel for the night trip to Sahara City. It was funny, because if you’re an American woman, the Egyptian men all assume that you’re loose. The guy who owned the camel I rode told me he wanted to marry me. But the real trouble started when we got to Sahara City around sunrise. The next guy just wouldn’t leave me alone. He actually chased me all the way out to where Keith and all the other people from our group were. Everyone was yelling, “Leave her alone! Leave her alone! ” He was serious. He was going for it! Finally, the only thing that succeeded in getting him off me was when Ken Kesey stepped out of the crowd and poured a bucket of beer on his head. -Donna (The Golden Road)
The main image shows the camel park opposite the Mena House Hotel, where we all stayed. The horses were nearby and after renting the camels, Bill went to rent all the horses for us too.
Jerry ready to ride on a camel, with his native guide.
Omar, the master of the horses, on his Arabian Stallion. This horse had just been in the movie “Death on the Nile” and Omar was so impressed with Mickey’s riding abilities, he let him use this beautiful stallion during the whole visit. He was an absolutely lovely host, who invited us to his home, where we met his family and had a meal.
We stopped with the guides, along the way to look back at the Pyramids.
Photo Credits: Omar – Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, Others – Richard Loren