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Our Camels have Forgotten Everything

Six Mile Rock-Camp — 2000-06-06

Going on at last. Under normal conditions, the stay here would have been much too long, but considering the actual circumstances I’m quite content not to have lost any more time.Again we are quite exhausted from the hard work of loading the camels before we even start. The long interruption has got us out of the rhythm we have acquired in these past weeks. We are tired as we set out at 11:30 a.m., the sun is shining and promising a nice day.

No sooner have we covered the first hundred metres than Istan acts up and with mighty buck leaps charges up against his mates in front of him. Jo immediately guides the camels in a large circle, but Istan keeps jumping up and down like mad. The heavy saddle with the kitchen equipment and food is being hurled up and down. Having walked ahead a few metres I have no choice but to watch spellbound. Jo makes them walk another circle in a different direction. Istan seems to realise that the saddle remains stuck to his back like a tick and finally gives up.

We draw a deep breath and continue our march. It’s only a few minutes before the bucking starts up again. Sebastian is so nervous now that he rushes ahead with a speed of 5.8 km/h, according to my GPS. Jo has to muster all her strength to hold him. Obviously, the long rest didn’t do the camels any good, because it looks like they have forgotten everything. It is a stressful day, and we can hardly get them to calm down. In the afternoon, the landscape suddenly changes. There are less and less bushes and trees. Our view is unlimited and we can admire the far-stretching farmland. In hardly noticeable ripples, the waves of the outback seem to phase out here. Notwithstanding the strain of walking and the problems with our animals, my heart feels suddenly at ease at this sight.

At 3:45 p.m. we have covered a distance of 17.5 kilometres, and find a small strip next to the railway line about 10 kilometre outside Dowerin where we can set up our tents.

Day: 26






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