« back      

Final departure?

Wundowie — 2000-05-07 - 2000-05-11

Today we conduct a conclusive test with the new saddles and are happy to find our camels accepting them.

On the day of our scheduled departure, Monday, May 5, 2000, there is a bad weather front with persistent rainfalls. Once more, we postpone our departure and wait for the weather to improve. A photographer of the Western Australian Daily shows up and takes some pictures.

The radio station JJJ calls and asks about the final departure date. Also some ABC station, the TV-station Channel 31, Radio Gong, Radio Berlin and other German broadcasting stations ring up. We are now under pressure somehow, but the weather is extremely bad.

Joe has set up her sewing machine in the barn and is sewing some bits and ends while Tanja, also armed with needle and thread, reminds of the busy little tailor in the fairy tale. We use the cold and rainy days to sew the last straps, park the caravan under a corrugated tin roof, and load everything we are not taking on the trip into Jo’s and Tom’s trailer. It is a strange feeling to see the caravan standing under the carport all empty, considering that it has served us as a home for six months. Now our entire household is lying around outdoors and getting wet. A feeling of homelessness creeps up on me, and a bit of fear along with it. In a couple of days all we’ll have will be the unknown outback and the starry sky to call our home, and I hope sincerely that we are going to love this life out in the open again.

We spend those cold nights without a roof over our heads with our friends and hosts, Melinda and Phill. They invite us for dinner, we talk a lot and are even able to make jokes about our departure having been put off so many times. “If we don’t start soon, I’m going to lose faith in this expedition.” I say, jokingly adding: “Perhaps we ought to buy a four-wheel drive after all, and tackle the whole undertaking more on the safe and comfortable side”, although I feel more like crying.

We are happy about comments!