« back       further »

Verne leaves us

Wundowie — 2000-04-28

It’s raining cats and dogs and unpleasantly chilly. Just a few days ago, Verne told us that he was is running out of money and could not afford the expedition. It was a regular shock to me. Of course, Verne has to pay only for his share of the food, everything else would have had to be organized without him, too, and because he is a friend we don’t expect him to contribute anything.

Verne is coming into the caravan and helping himself to a cup of tea: “I just rang Toni, he is on his way back to Kalgoorlie and is going to take me along. I have a job and am going to make some money. When I have enough to pay for my food and drink I’m going to join you. It shouldn’t take longer than 4 weeks. Tomorrow morning I’ll send you the money I owe you by Girobank transfer and ring you up”.

Tanja and I are taken aback by his quick decision.
But considering that we are having difficulties ourselves with the financing of this gigantic expedition, we are not in a position to take over the costs for Verne.
“Well, if you think that this is the best way, we have no choice but to accept your decision.” I reply.

Already 10 minutes later, Toni stops his jeep in front of our caravan. A friendly embrace, a cup of tea together, and before we know it, Verne sits in the jeep.
“Good luck for your departure!” Verne calls and waves as Toni shifts into gear and rolls off. “Stop! Stop!” Tanja shouts. In the rush of leaving Verne has forgotten a part of his personal belongings. Luckily, Toni hears Tanja’s call and comes to a halt again. In the pouring rain, we haul Verne’s equipment onto the loading area, wish each other good luck once more and off they go. “You think he is going to come back?” I ask Tanja. “I don’t know. I don’t think so.” she replies quietly. After all that Verne’s told us it wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t come back indeed. Could be that the preparations took too long from his point of view, or that these last months of our living together made him change his mind. Considering that in this preparatory stage we have been relying on the fact that he was going to accompany us for the first third of our journey, his unforeseen departure means a painful loss to us.

It is precisely those first four weeks that are most critical. We must walk our camels along busy road and railway tracks, where pieces of broken glass threaten to cut up their soft soles. We ourselves are inexperienced when it comes to packing our entire equipment on their backs. We have yet to learn how to tie them together correctly and the animals, above all, are not used to carrying all that luggage.

There are countless reasons I could list here why Verne’s support is of such importance to us. Well, we’ll see if he rings up tomorrow and pays the money he owes us. If he doesn’t get in touch again, we’ll simply have to manage without him.

We are happy about comments!