Archive for June, 2009

William Creek to Marree

June 29, 2009
Hi everyone.
Russell and Ros here in Marree safe and well.
 
There have been so many adventures since we have written but I shall mention just a few which were quite unique.
 
The camels were part of a scientific experiment involving infa-red photography of camels from the air as  a part of the investigation by the Government as to what to do with the feral herd of camels.
 
As you may well be aware, there are now over a million wild camels in the arid zone, (officially, 1.4 million) and they are doubling in number every 6-8 years. Ther environment will suffer greatly if this number keeps on multiplying without some form of intervention of sorts, keeping the number of feral camels down.
 
Some want outright culling activities to take place, as the Government is considering to spend scores of millions of dollars to become available to "manage " the feral herd. Many see this a huge waste of good quality, tasty meat in a protein deprived world and would like to see the money being spent on employment opportunities in Remote Aboriginal Communities where currently, employment and industry opportunities are extremely limited to almost non-existant,  through mustering the wild camels for processing for local, national and international consumption and export bringing in income to not only the communities but the Australian economy.
 
Others, from an animal welfare point of view have argued that a cull is inhumane and a huge waste of a resource.
 
Some have a religious attachment to the animal and don’t want anything to happen to the feral camels at all.
 
By taking arial photos of the camels, it may become easier to determine the numbers of camels in a given region
easier and therefore how to best manage the feral herd.
 
We travelled past Lake Eyre South. What a magnificent region, full of colors when the sun was setting . It is a region that is barren and harsh and the walking has been tough going, walking through powder like soil where you would sink up to your ankles with every step.
 
Along the way we met up with a group of Lawyers and Accountants who were volunteering their time and expertise to assist the people of Marree with legal matters and ‘getting through the paper work’. Top, lovely people and we spent a terrific night with them at Reg Dodds Outstation.
 
Unfortunately, we did have an incident where Neddy got injured from hid hobbles swinging around his neck and banging into his eye and jaw during a rare and unusual bucking string session. That is where all of the camels are scared into uncontrollable bucking and for me the only safe thing to do is hold onto Wabi’s noseline and "hide" from the tonnes of uncontrollable bucking camels. We believe it was Baci who started the bucking session and we have a couple of theories as to why it occurred. One thing is for sure, after such a scare, they won’t be doing that in a hurry again as they do learn, it is not worth it. As for Neddy, he was swollen and sore, could still eat and the swelling had gone down in a couple of days.
 
Finally, we reached Marree where the local folk had organised a yard for the camels and bales of hay for them as well. Thank you ever so much to everyone at Marree. Especially Reg Dodd who had organised the yards and the hay. Marree, like William Creek, is flat out with tourists because of Lake Eyre having water in it and the explosion of bird life that goes with such an event. It’s a great town with friendly people and an incredible history involving the Afghan Cameleers who operated the entire transportation system in outback Australia before the Ghan Railway line was completed and trucks became commonplace. The photos of the camel trains in the historical hotel are truely amazing.
 
Our next stop will be at Hawker and from here on end we will need to hook into some kilometers as we travel towards Melbourne. Our main issues will be somewhere to have the camels and camp for the night along the way which is behind a gate and wire for the camels safety and the travelling publics safety.
 
If everyone could pass the word out of our approach, if you know of anyone who lives along the route of…..
Marree-Peterborough-Renmark-Mildura-Echuca-SwanHill-Shepparton-Benella-Mansfield-Moe-Korrumburra-Leongatha-Frankston, please let them know of the expedition and if anyone they know who can assist us with this issue to keep a look out for the camel train.
 
The winds in the coming week are expected to get close to 50kms per hour from the west but we will keep on walking. Have to admit, neither of us are looking forward to such a tough week ahead of us.
 
On a final note, the donations for the foundation through the Bendigo bank are flowing in. Thank you everyone who has donated and for those who are considering making a donation to the Children First Foundation. We have raised aloing the road over $2000.00 from Alice Springs which is quite remarkable considering the remoteness of the region. Thanks to all of those who have kindly donated.
 
Take care and keep the Melbourne walk along Swanston Street to the Royal Children’s Hospital from Government House at 10.00am on the 22/11/09 date in your diary. Its a walk to show all of our thanks to Moira Kelly and those with the Children First Foundation for changing and saving children’s lives. We are still on track for this date with time" up our sleeve" for those unexpected incidents which can happen costing us time. Rain……………..That is a show stopper for sure.
 
Love to all
 
Russell Osborne
Ros Consoli
 
 

The Darwin To Melbourne Thank You Camel Expedition 2008-2009
is acting on behalf of the Children First Foundation
cffhome_working_r1_c1
 
and is
 
Proudly Supported / Sponsored By:
 
      logo_sc_tv                   Image11                gr_societybadge1                 nt logo
 
 
logo1logo2logo3             topRowBBLogo          Untitled1
 
 
Special Thanks:
 
  tvic_logo_02         oc7_9_3_4c__1          img_logo       Katherine & District Show Society Inc           
 
 

www.dundeecamels.spaces.live.com

 

Alice Springs to William Creek

June 13, 2009
 
Hi Everyone,
 
Seven weeks after having left Alice Springs and we have reached the home of the camels, William Creek.
Mostly travelling along the Old Ghan Railway line and were quite isolated away from the road traffic.
Along the road part of the journey we have met terrific people who have been terrific assistance to help Russ and Ros with this epic camel expedition to say thank You to Moira Kelly and those at the Children First Foundation.
They got rain 100 kms from William Creek which stopped them in their tracks for 3 days.
 
William Creek is extremely busy at present with water being in Lake Eyre. Russ and Ros are assisting friends of theirs at the William Creek Hotel with the enormous volume of people in the region whilst the camels are having a well deserved rest.
Their next leg of the journey will take them to Marree, which has a long history with camels and the ‘Afghan ‘ camel handlers of yesteryear. 
 
The Darwin To Melbourne Thank You Camel Expedition 2008-2009
is acting on behalf of the Children First Foundation
cffhome_working_r1_c1
 
and is
 
Proudly Supported / Sponsored By:
 
      logo_sc_tv                   Image11                gr_societybadge1                 nt logo
 
 
logo1logo2logo3             topRowBBLogo          Untitled1
 
 
Special Thanks:
 
  tvic_logo_02         oc7_9_3_4c__1          img_logo       Katherine & District Show Society Inc           
 
 

www.dundeecamels.spaces.live.com