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I'm so happy i could sing

Clackline-Camp — 2000-05-22

Perhaps it’s because we are so well rested that today we are quicker than ever. Another reason may be that we agreed yesterday that Tanja is to pack up the kitchen – with the exception of a few little things – in the evening. Also we decided to have only a quick breakfast.

As early as 9:30 a.m. we start to saddle the camels, and because everything runs so smoothly the procedure only takes us an hour and a half. By 11 o’clock we are ready to leave. We are very pleased with this new record, and although we have not covered more than 17 kilometres in the ten days since we started, I look at the future of our expedition more confidently today. But before we finally start out I give Sebastian’s knee another treatment. Now that he stands up and has to walk for the next hours, this is a perfect time to keep his wound clean at least until we stop for lunch.

At a quarter past 11, out little caravan is on the way. We cross under the Great Eastern Highway near Clackline. The camels get slightly nervous when a road train passes over the bridge directly above our heads, but apart from opening their eyes wide with fear, they don’t give us any trouble. Only some hundred metres along the way, we follow Spencers Brook Road that is not busy at all. Tanja walks ahead again to warn the oncoming traffic and I wander behind to stop anything than comes up. It is a beautiful day and I’m in high spirits. After the endless time of preparations, it feels good to get the physical exercise and to work myself out. Deliberately breathing the fresh air I’m so happy I could sing. Big, wonderful trees give us shade, a rivulet meanders near the road. We pass many a small farm and meet various animals like cows, bulls, donkeys, horses and also emus.

An hour later we reach Heritage Trail again. A long time ago, this used to be a railway connection. If it wasn’t for the big rusty nails and withered sleepers we discover here and there, we wouldn’t believe that a train has ever steamed past here. At 3 in the afternoon we set up camp after we have marched all of 15 kilometres today. This may not be a great achievement, but to us it is a milestone. Full of satisfaction and in the best of moods, each of us goes in pursuit of his work. Sitting by the campfire we notice how quiet it is here. This is the first camp since our departure where we are not molested by the noise of traffic. Only once in the middle of the night we wake up from a muffled rumbling. Must have been a big kangaroo bull leaping through the bushes near our tent.

Day: 11






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