Monday, March 11, 2013

Camping and Falconry

Recently a Qatari friend of mine called and invited me out to the desert with some friends. I'm always up for that, I like hanging out and learning about doing things the Qatari way. First we headed out to the northwestern desert to meet up with some other Qataris.

They had something special with them:

So we spent some time watching the falcons chase pigeons.

Some hunts were successful.

Some weren’t. This one pigeon wisely flew under one of the parked Land Cruisers (it also wisely refused to come out).

Another pigeon immediately flew away as fast as it could. We followed the pigeon and the falcon in the Land Cruisers for a couple of kilometers until we came to a small ruined wall.

The falcon was sitting on the wall, exhausted, and with no pigeon.

That’s because the pigeon had spotted a hole in the wall and flown into it.

We eventually left the falconers and about 10 km away set up camp for dinner. We weren't staying overnight, just dinner and chatting for a while.

First we had Arabic coffee.

Then another Qatari friend came by in his Land Cruiser with dinner.

Now that's delivery! Out in the middle of the desert and still the delivery finds us. ;-)

After we ate we were sitting around chatting and drinking coffee when suddenly a thick fog came in.

Now we were stuck! You could barely see 40 feet so there was no way anyone was going to drive through the desert under these conditions. We had no choice but to build up the fire and wait it out (we were burning wood that the Qataris brought with them in large bags). Thanks to the dampness of the fog it soon got pretty cold and without the fire we’d have been freezing.

It was possible that we would have to sleep in the Land Cruisers until the morning but luckily the fog cleared by around 1:00am so we were able to go home.

All in all an eventful day and I was glad to have been invited along.

If you would like to see more picutres of falconry here is a post from a year ago when I went out to the desert to watch it.

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