They prefer to ride kneeling, especially if they mean to gallop. It is an extraordinary feat of balance, for riding a galloping camel, especially over rough ground, is like sitting on a bucking horse. A Bedu usually carries his rifle slung under his arm and parallel with the ground, which must add greatly to the difficulty of balancing. I could not ride kneeling; it was too uncomfortable and too precarious even at a walk. I had therefore to sit continuously in one position, which became very tiring on a long march. The first time I rode a camel in the Sudan I was so stiff next day I could scarcely move. This had not happened to me again, but I was afraid that it might when I started on this journey, for it was seven years since I had last ridden any distance. It would have been humiliating, for I had claimed that I was already an experienced rider. In Darfur I had fed my camels on grain and had trotted them. A good camel travelling at about five or six miles an hour is very comfortable, but when walking even the best throw a continuous and severe strain on the rider’s back. In southern Arabia the Bedu never trot when they are on a journey, for their camels eat only what they can find, which is generally very little, and have to travel long distances between wells. I had al ready learnt on the journeys to Bir Natrun and to Tibesti not to press a camel beyond its normal walking pace when travelling in the desert. I was soon to discover how considerate the Bedu were of their camels, always ready to suffer hardship themselves in order to spare their animals. Several times while travelling with them and approaching a well, I have expected them to push on and fill the water-skins, as our water was finished, but they have insisted on halting for the night short of the well, saying that farther on there was no grazing. Whenever we passed any bushes we let our camels dawdle to strip mouthfuls of leaves and thorns, and whenever we came to richer grazing we halted to let them graze at will. I was making a time-and-compass traverse of our route and these constant halts were frustrating, making it difficult to estimate the distance which we had covered. On good going, where there was no feeding to delay us, we averaged three miles an hour, but in the Sands, where the dunes were steep and difficult, we might only do one mile an hour.