Caravane Route

Leo notes

Caravan notes

Cristel notes

    When traveling, Leo seems to always run into the oddest situations. Read on to learn about his most grandiose 'desert meal'.

    "I crossed the desert a few years ago, with a caravan and other travelers. The prince of the Zanaga tribe came to meet us, along with 500 men on camel back. After we had paid our right of passage, he invited the entire caravan to join him in his camp and stay with him 2 or 3 days. His encampment was 80 miles out of our way, and our camels carried heavy loads, so the merchants were unwilling to accept his invitation which would lengthen their journey. To keep us by his side, the Prince decided that the camel leaders would keep on marching while the merchants came with him.

As soon as we reached his camp, this mighty man gave orders that several camels be killed, as well as sheep and ostriches we had caught along the way. The merchants asked the prince not to kill any camels, for they were not accustomed to eating any meats other than lamb. But he told them that it was against his customs to only kill small animals for a feast, mostly when you entertained foreigners.

We ate what was served, most of which was meat, boiled and grilled. The meats were served on great plates, and seasoned with many spices from the Sudan. The bread was made of the finest flour. At the end of the meal, we were given endless amounts of dates and great vases of milk. During the meal, none of the tribesmen touched the bread, eating only meat and milk. Answering our puzzled looks, the Prince told us that his people are not accustomed to eating grain and eat only products of their land. He only purchased grain products for the foreigners he entertained every so often.

We stayed with him for two days and he was a very proper host. On the third day, he gave us permission to leave and insisted that he bring us back to the Caravan. By all means, the animals he slaughtered for our meal were worth 10 times the payment we made him originally."
(Leo, 38)