Camels and Lizards and Goats, Oh my!

Monday 14th May 2007

Hello again everyone,
Well, last weekend I had an awesome time quad-biking in the desert, so I thought I’d tell you all about it.

The quad bikes

We drove out north towards the Iraqi border, past a few tiny airfields and military camps (like you do) to the quad bike rendezvous. They didn’t have enough for all of us to go at once, so we went off “Lizard-spotting” in the car while the others biked.
We saw LOADS of them, they’re big and yellow with fat bellies! The biggest one we saw was almost 2 foot long, but most were about a foot or so.

We drove past Bubyan Bridge – a bizarrely giant humpback bridge that goes to Bubyan Island, a vast island of uninhabitable mudflats. The bridge itself is intriguing because it’s been closed pretty much since it was built, and you’re not allowed to cross it.
We’re not really sure why, although given the island’s proximity to Iraq, they may have wanted to stake a definitive claim on it by building a bridge.
Who knows.

Bubyan bridge and a giant fat yellow desert lizard

After the lizard fun we headed back for our turn on the quad bikes, and drove past loads of camels, from sun-bleached almost-white straggly ones, to sleek looking well-fed black ones (possibly racing camels).


The quad biking was really fun – there was a little herd of camels feeding behind some rocks – they are so used to the noise of the quad bikes that you can drive right up to them and they barely blink at you (although at one point I was taking pictures and realised the others had all driven off behind a ridge. There’s nothing scarier that a completely silent desert and 20-odd camels staring at you from close proximity!)

Actually, there are lots of things scarier than that, but nevermind!
The boys raced up and down the dunes, while us girls explored the flatter deserty bits, and we even found a herd of desert goats with their shepherds behind another ridge.
It was really fun, and I’m keen to go again, although the desert’s a tad hot these days!

Keeping with the wildlife theme, I discovered a cockroach in my bathroom the other day. There was a fairly involved capture process, which lasted so long that I decided to name him Gomez, but he has since been disposed of, so there we are.

In fact, for a deserty country, Kuwait has rather a lot of wildlife, including the scariest feral city cats you’ll ever see in your life!
These cats are monsters – I’m pretty sure they’re half-lynx, (very panther-esque), gigantic great buggers with straggly fur and battle scars (these cats are seriously ‘street’) – the kind of cats that go around in gangs and carry knives. I think they’ve gotten so big because there’s such an excess of rubbish everywhere, but then, if it weren’t for them, Hawally would be over-run with rats and cockroaches. They’re completely used to people, and aren’t remotely scared of us, although I’m pretty scared of them and
their diseases!
When you come across them hanging around the wheelie bins, they just stare you down until YOU cross the road to give them a wide enough berth (yowling the feline equivalent of “Yeah you’d better keep walking buddy!”).

On that note I’ll say goodbye, hope you’re all well and I’m looking forward to seeing
everyone soon!

lots of love
fraidy-cat Maya

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