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Back to routine at last

near Perth — 2000-01-01

Although we could sleep within our own four walls now, we continue to spend the nights in the tent. That’s because we have turned the bedroom part of our caravan into an office. To be honest, I never had a comfortable office like this in any of our expeditions. Right now I’m sitting here on a real office chair on castors at a small desk and look out the windows to watch our camels when I pause for reflection. They wallow in the fine dust the wind is carrying here, and I could spend hours watching them, but I must go on writing to create a record of our adventures.

After moving and setting up our new base here, we’ve finally come to some peace again. We feel as good as we haven’t in some time and need not be afraid of some imminent drama every day. Unfortunately we are forced to realize that a departure within the next few weeks is out of the question. The events of the past months, the constant trouble at Tom’s, the move to Perth, the erection of a new base, the search for new camels, writing the book and countless other incidents were the cause for repeated delays. However, the most important reason for postponing the departure of our expedition for the third time is the merciless heat of the Australian summer with temperatures up to 54 degrees Celsius in the shade. People warn us constantly against the tremendous heat. Tanja and I have been warned before, against Tom, and wouldn’t listen. We had to pay for it. This time we will listen to the well-meant advice of the natives and wait for end of summer or beginning of autumn to depart. We have learnt that a crossing of Australia has a chance of success only if we pay heed to the seasons. Apart from that, we have so much to do that we welcome the delay so we can take our time for all further preparation.

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