Archive for June, 2008

Arrival at Turkey Creek (WA)

June 24, 2008
20 June
Russ and Ross arrived at Turkey Creek today (June 20), a small Aboriginal township. Everyone has been exceptionally welcoming and they enjoyed a BBQ put on by the townsfolk on Saturday morning. One particular lady in the community remembered the old Afghan camel trains coming into the town so Russ and Ros are very keen to catch up with her on Saturday morning.
The going has been relatively tough; spinifex, many gullies, rocks everywhere, nothing flat, no place to make a camp enroute – so the going has been quite slow.
"Baci" is still problematic but he is eating well and continuing with his ‘mates’, now heading south into the desert country. Russ and Ros will face some tough decisions in the future if "Baci" turns for the worse and they are in the middle of remote desert country. They will not be able to stop and wait for him to recover and the option to leave him behind to fend for himself will be very real. "Baci" of course will have second thoughts about that and will refuse to head off on his own, he’ll probably tag along with his mates, for as long as he can.
"Charlie" developed some rub marks early on in the trek and despite the attentions of Russ and Ros, one rub mark have become a sore and he will need to be loadless for some time if he is going to be useful as a water carrier across long waterless tracts in the not too distant future.
Russ and Ros are now entering into some difficult stages of their Thankyou Expedition.
Many many thanks to the people at the Doon Doon Roadhouse :-), the brilliant welcoming and hospitality of the Lissadel Station :-), :-), and of course to the people at the Catholic retreat (Warmun) at Turkey Creek and the wonderful townsfolk there. We thank you all.
Next stop – Halls Creek, 145km to the ssw.

Crossing the Diversion Dam – Kununurra

June 6, 2008
5 June
Kununurra Diversion Dam.
Russ and Ros crossed this spectacular landmark today. Have a look at the attached little picture and you can begin to imagine what these desert camels must have been thinking!
The string was nervous across the entire kilometre long road atop the dam wall. The largest body of water any of them would have ever seen would have been a river so their angst and concerns were branded on their faces.
The trek departed Kununurra today and made about 10kms, we are not too sure where exactly they are tonight?
More news on "Baci" later (he is still with them).

Timber Creek to Kununurra

June 2, 2008
Hi Everyone.
Russ and Ros here finally in Kununurra. What a journey it has been already and now we can say officially, we have completed 1/12th of the entire expedition.
The country has been extremely tough to walk through with the spear grass sometimes above your head as we lead the string. Many people have stopped and asked questions of what we’re doing and where we are going to. Lots of people have donated to the Children First Foundation and already we have raised over $1500, just along the road, even though the highway is not really a busy one.
There have been some absolute treasures of people who have assisted us in some of the most unusual manners. Francois Faber, a gent whom we met along the way has personally delivered a can of coke to us every day for well over a week during the journey. Now that was just Gold. The cattle station folk of the region have been fabulous and have shown concern for Baci and ourselves. Scotty the stock inspector from Katherine delivered meat to us and assisted us with the logistics with creek and river crossings. Ian Madahan, a treasured mate from Darwin had organised a packet of cigarettes to be thrown out of a window of a road train everytime the roadtrain driver saw us.
I have personally stepped on three snakes (Harmless ones thank god), we had a bull come snorting its way through the camp one morning and a pig was threatening us and the camels one night.We have been fire bombed from choppers as they burn the country and the camels have performed well all throughout the journey so far. I can’t remember a time when I have ever been so dirty with dust, dirt and sweat and any creek we camp near (which is not that often) is gold, just for a wash and to water the camels.
We are very concerned about Baci. We have administered antibiotic shots to him and he no longer shows the discomfort he had initially but is still not 100% and not fully out of the woods yet.
Heaps of people from Melbourne whom we have talked with say they will invite their friends and families along for the walk with the expedition in Melbourne on the 22/11/09 from Government House to the Royal Children’s Hospital as a show of thanks to Moira Kelly and the team at the Children First Foundation.
As we entered Kununurra, the police were called and they gave us an escort through the town to the showgrounds. Des, the showgrounds caretaker has been supurb and assisted us in anyway he possibly could.
Bruce, the editor of the Kimberley Echo has been a fantastic assistance and next Thursday, we will be on the front page of the paper, to help promote the foundation and the expedition.
There are so many people to thank and to save space, I will thank everyone who has assisted and been an absolute treasure so far.They know who they are and they have made me personally, one of the proudest Australians alive for being Australian.
As we will be leaving Kununurra and heading for Halls Creek, our thoughts are of course always with the children who the Children First Foundation assist and their families. We will be preparing ourselves for the Canning Stock Route and the desert country and hoping that everyone who logs onto the website gets involved with the expedition and it’s intentions and does some personal fundraising which can be added to the Bendigo Bank Account ready for the bank to present a cheque on the 22/11/09 at the Royal Children’s Hospital,to help save the children’s lives through the Children First Foundations work. Please remember that any donations can be made at any Bendigo Bank in Australia under the name: Children First Camel Trek. This is a closed account and only the bank has access to the account for a cheque to be made to the Children First Foundation.
Our continued thanks to our sponsors for having made the expedition possible in the first place and to our mates, friends and families for their support. Love you guys.
Ros and Russ
P.S. We should have done this years ago. Just loving every minute. All of the trials and tribulations to get the expedition on the road over the 12 years since I thought of the idea have lead us to where we are now.
The Darwin To Melbourne Thank You Camel Expedition 2008-2009
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