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Each of our camels has its scene

Burakine-Camp — 2000-06-13

Today, we don’t get to start until 11:30 a.m. According to the GPS, Sebastian is moving at a speed of 5.8 kilometres per hour. Jo’s blisters are getting worse and worse and it appears that her entire heel has meanwhile changed into one monstrous blister. Every day before we start I draw out the blister water with a syringe. Jo has meanwhile resorted to walking in sandals. Tanja has trouble with blisters, too. The pain in her back has eased somewhat since she stopped carrying the cameras. My knees are as well as can be expected in the circumstances. Hardie tugs at the nose leash the same as ever and messes up his mates. Hardie, without any doubt the ugliest of the lot, is not endowed with a high IQ, either. Often when anything goes wrong he will be the one to have caused it. During the daily minding of the camels it’s surely him to run off in some odd direction, get entangled with his rope around the trees, fall into rabbit holes and stumble over branches on the ground. Hardie’s simply our best laugh. But Hardie is small and sturdily built and able to carry great loads. Also, he darts to the ground quickly, which is naturally because he is particularly lazy, but I must have a good word to say about him, too.

Meanwhile all of our camels have had their scene. Sebastian has bruised his knee, chafed his shoulders sore and tugs at the nose leash like a camel. As for Hardie’s peculiarities, I’ve just described them. Goola, too, who we used to call Kadesch, has caused us a lot of excitement. Jafar has strained his left front ankle and Istan, friend of the horses, is presently suffering from an overstretched shoulder. This goes to prove how important it was to take it easy in the beginning of the expedition so that man and animal can get accustomed to the strain, and one or the other week point in the saddles and equipment can be detected and corrected.

Speaking about saddles I must mentioned that Jo and I have discovered a significant constructional fault. With every step he takes Goola knocks his knees against the saddle bags. This fact is going to turn into a major problem for his in a short time. He is presently the only one to carry four bags. At the latest starting at Paynes Find we are going to walk under full load, which means that all the animals will be burdened to the brim. Therefore, it’s good to find the problem areas now. We intend to take another close look at the saddle design once we have reached our week’s destination, the community of Cleary.

All day long we fight against a gusty wind, until at 4:20 in the afternoon we find a camp site behind a place called Burakin. We set up our tents on a narrow strip between the tracks and the fence of a farm. On the other side of the tracks, there is a road and then another farm fence. Although we sit here as if on display, it is a pleasant camp. I hear but one car an hour from the road, and there seems to be no railway traffic at all during the night.


Day: 33






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