Archive for October, 2007

Training Walk from William Creek to Alice Springs

October 25, 2007

Finally, made it to Alice Springs after a seven week walk from William Creek in South Australia to Alice Springs to train the camels ready for the Darwin to Melbourne Thank You Expedition.

Firstly, we’d like to thank all of the people we encountered along the way who helped us and showed some of the "Aussie " spirit and enthusiasm for what we are aiming to achieve.

We must give a big thanks to Andria, Sue, Juzzie and Jerry for joining us along some of the most remote sections of the journey. Your help and friendship was invaluable.  A massive thankyou to the people at Finke, particularly Rewa, Mike, Peter and little Mitchell, who were kind and welcoming in the true ozzie style.
A big thanks to Dennis Orr for helping us when we arrived in alice Springs.

The section of the country we walked with the camels was along the Oodnadatta Track and up the Finke, crossing into the Northern Territory and then continued to Alice Springs.

The camels were nervous at first and it took about two weeks into the walk before they had settled into the routine of trekking. Overall, they were brilliant and now are trek ready for the expedition to start from Parliament House in Darwin on the 22/3/08 to Melbourne (23/11/09 from Government House in Melbourne to the Royal Children’s Hospital via Swanston Street).

Some of the country we saw along the way was absolutely stunning, barren in parts and heavily vegetated in others. There were days when we didn’t see another soul and days when it was ‘busy’ (4 or so cars).

We didn’t see another camel along the way but did see their tracks and scats. (Estimates are there are a million wild camels in Australia, and growing in numbers).

Trekking is quite exhausting work and it is constant in effort and thought. You always have the camels welfare in mind and our own of course. The regions are so remote at times the only evidence of civilization there are the track and satellites at night.

There was a very big distinction between the environments in South Australia in that region and the Northern Territory. South Australia was quite barren and the N.T. was quite vegetated in comparison.

Day after day, the camels performed their task of walking the kilometers without complaint. The longest stretch of the walk the camels went without water was ten days and four of those days was over forty degrees. It was on those days our own personal water consumption went from four to five litres to nearly eight litres per day. Everyday was the same routine of waking up before the sun and lighting the fire for a needed cup of coffee. Hobble the camels and let them loose for a feed. Capture the camels after about a two hour feed and then attach them together. When they were all strung together, then just start walking. Walk till one o’clock and have lunch, then walk again until about three thirty, hobble the camels for an afternoon feed, recapture them and tie them to trees for the night. Of course there are a million other things to do during the day and it was so surprising how quickly each day went.

Now the camels will have people, traffic, building and noise training in preparation for the expedition. Our eight camels are just brilliant to say the least. They have so much love and trust in them towards us now it is hard not to see them everyday, all day as we were on the walk. I can understand how come many cameleers just keep going and wander Australia for years and years.

Just to let you know, we now have over 400 photos of the training walk and once we have them processed I will post them in the photo section.  There are some stunning sights and classic shots in amongst them.

Take care everyone and hope to see you all in Darwin on Easter Sunday for the start of the expedition.

Love you All
Ros and Russ