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The costs appear to be exploding

Emu-Camp — 2000-08-18

After hearing the bad news from Germany, I can’t stop thinking my torturous thoughts. Even though I am an adventurer and lead an exciting life with Tanja, the financial safety of such expeditions is a necessity. The costs appear to be exploding at the moment though, and we had never reckoned with such high expenses here in Australia. The bad rate of exchange alone means we lose almost 30 pfennig to the mark and the website was our idea of reaching a much wider range of readers. But we had never imagined that the cost of translating and the huge number of hits on the web page could increase our costs so incredibly. Anyway, Tanja and I use the day to write letters per e-mail and send them over the satellite phone. It is amazing to be out here with camels, emus, kangaroos and many beautiful birds, and still have to write such letters. But it’s all part of the expedition and shouldn’t be left out. Between writings, I conduct a few interviews and have a hard job concealing my current sadness.

In the late afternoon, Phill the kangaroo shooters comes tearing like a tank through the bush, in order to pay us a visit. At the Pindathuna camp, we had agreed to mark our spots with a ribbon on the side of the track. ‘Good marking! I found you straight away!’ Phill calls, jumping out of his jeep and strolling towards us. ‘I thought I’d pay you a visit. I’m going to head out east through the bush tonight, and then come around towards the south. I haven’t been out that way for quite a while and hope to shoot at least 30 kangaroos.’ He tells us companionably, passing us a cold beer wrapped in newspaper. ‘Oh Phill, many thanks!’ I call and open the bottle, letting the cool liquid glide down my throat. ‘How do you feel about joining me in a drive up the road a bit to check the grid situation out?’ he asks nicely. I am overjoyed by his suggestion and we leave before sundown. Rufus likes nothing more than driving in the car, so he jumps up onto the back of the ute, soon to be filled with a mountain of dead kangaroos. He presses his nose into the warm wind while we drive and lets his tongue loll out, grinning madly and barking ecstatically as we pass a group of emus. He has been with us now for 15 months and although he is difficult to train, even refuses to listen at times, eats disgusting things and even steals food, we love him nonetheless. Half an hour later we return to camp after a satisfying drive. There is no cattle grid to be found over the next 25 km and tomorrow promises to be an uneventful marching day. Phill takes his leave before sundown and has barely left the camp before we hear the first shots ringing out.

Day: 99




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