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The solution

Cleary-Camp — 2000-06-16

After a hearty breakfast, Jo, Tom, Petro and I discuss the saddle design. As I’ve mentioned before, this is our last chance to make some modifications. Each of us has some different proposals, and after a number of ideas have been rejected, we agree on welding an L-shaped rack onto the saddles of Goola, Hardie and Jafar. It is the only chance to keep the bulky load away from the camels’ bodies. Also, the luggage will still hang low so that the centre of gravity will be far below the humps. Consequently, there will be little movement in the camels’ shoulder area which reduces the risk of chafing. Nevertheless, a certain stability will be guaranteed. Shortly after we have come to a successful conclusion with our exchange of ideas, Jo, Tom and Petro say goodbye and leave for Goomalling. Petro, who is also very good at welding, is going to make the frames together with Tom while Jo will sew more saddle bags for Jafar and Hardie. „I’ll call you on the radio tomorrow!“, says Tom as they leave, and the two of us are alone again.

I use the day to give some interviews, look at the photographs in the book by daylight, mind the camels and get some rest. In the evening, I convert our fireplace and dig a hole in the shape of a heart into the red earth. „Instead of flowers, I give you this fireplace.“ I say to Tanja and she is happy like a little girl. „Let’s call it a declaration of love in the bush.“, she whispers and gives me a kiss.

Day: 36




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