Friday, April 16, 2010

When life gives you camels, get on! :: Michelle Styles

Last month, my family and I went to the Sinai Peninsula for a holiday. We had planned on going on several excursions, but not on camels. My husband dislikes heights and ever since the horse experience when we were on honeymoon nearly 22 years ago, I have never dared really suggesting that he does such a thing. So I want along with his suggestion that we book two snorkeling expeditions -- one to the Egyptian National Park at Ras Mohammad and the other to Tiran Island. The interest was more in seeing the birds than the fish as both my husband and youngest are keen birdwatchers. The proposed excursion to Ras Mohammad was no problem but the one to Tiran Island proved impossible. The tour company offered an alternative -- ride with camels in the desert, visit a Bedouin camp and see the stars.

So with very few expectations, we set off into the desert. The excursion turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. Riding camels is very different to riding a horse. You get on the camel when when it is kneeling on the ground, and hang onto the pommel as it lurches upwards. You then have the option of riding astride or hooking one leg around the pommel. I personally found the hooking far more comfortable as my camel had a rather broad back. Camels also move differently to horses. They move two legs in tandem,when they are walking rather than each leg separately.

Once at the Bedouin camp, despite my fears that the experience might be hokey or even Disneyfied, the whole thing was thoroughly interesting. From drinking sweet Bedouin tea (tastes like sage but made from desert herbs) to smoking or rather choking on a shisha or water pipe to watching the sunset over the mountains and finally seeing the full moon rise, the experience will long live in my memory.

We even had an encounter with the Sheikh as my husband had brought his binos and various Bedouins wanted to take a look through them. In order to do that, they had to first have the permission of the Sheikh. At this point, I did think it a shame in a way that I am a historical author, rather than a Presents one!

So has anyone else been pleasantly surprised by an unexpected adventure lately?


On 7 May, my latest book Compromising Miss Milton releases in the UK, I am offering a signed copy to the first name out of the hat on 21 April to answer this question:

What are the names of the hero and heroine of Compromising Miss Milton?

Send your answer to

The back cover blurb reads: Marrying the Governess!
Buttoned-up governess Daisy Milton buries dreams of marriage and family life in order to support her sister and orphaned niece. But maddeningly attractive Adam, Viscount Ravensworth, is one distraction that shakes Daisy’s safe, stable existence.
Now ghosts from Adam’s past in India threaten Daisy’s future. Just what will it take to convince a tightly-laced miss to forgo society’s strict code of conduct…and come undone in the arms of a reformed rake?

And you can read an excerpt here.
UPDATE: Kirsten Steins was the first name out of the hat. I have sent her an email comfirming. Many thanks to everyone who entered.

1 comment:

Dina said...

Hi Michelle, enjoyed your excerpt.