« back       further »

Psychological low

Cleary-Camp — 2000-06-30

Unfortunately our situation remains unchanged. It’s still a riddle to me, why we continue to be faced with so many problems. It’s as though we’re soldiers, fighting on more than one front line at the same time. The problem with the saddles just wont go away, the constant rain is annoying and our lives and expedition are increasingly endangered by the ever wilder camels, it’s a struggle to repeatedly report of the same problems over and over again in my diary. It’s required great effort for me not to fall into a psychological low these last few weeks. The fear that this expedition could fail right from the beginning is a great burden to bear. However, there’s no use in making life difficult or diminishing the quality of life with such thoughts. I remind myself constantly that problems are there to be solved and are nothing more than hurdles which I can overcome. All our lives are filled with hurdles of various degrees.

As I write these lines, I ask myself : Why did I choose this way of life? Well, it was my free choice to cross Australia with these camels, and the reasons for my decision have been given in the beginning of this diary. We are completely free to throw in the towel at any moment and just give the whole thing up. But, and this may sound a little strange, there is in fact no alternative to this life of expeditions for Tanja and I. Although we have many deep valleys to cross, we know that there are as many wonderful heights which present us with a 360° view of nature not unlike that of an eagle in flight above her nest. This is just one of the many reasons why we go on, it helps us to realise why we choose to walk into a new world, to be inquisitive, to search, to observe, to learn, to analyse, to smell and to taste the full flavour of life and it’s hardships. Tanja and I are sitting now by the camp fire, cutting more of the roughly 4 cm thick strips from the old car tyres and being interrupted by interviews every now and then. These rubber strips are to be wrapped around the dangerous corners of the L-frames to reduce the risk of injury. Should one of the camels suddenly spring up and unluckily strike Tanja or myself, the consequences would be disastrous… I shudder to think. In any case, prevention is always better than cure. Cooking up a treat! I’m busy rekindling the camp fire with large, dead branches and leaves this evening, as Tanja cheerily suggests ‘Lets cook ourselves a treat tonight!’ ‘Okay, what do you suggest?’ I ask ‘How about blackberries to begin with, then some delicious potatoes and onions baked in foil alongside tinned peas and asparagus, together with hot fresh Damper (bread baked in the camp fire or bedourie) with butter’ ‘Wow, sounds like Christmas! Do we have blackberries and asparagus?’ ‘We have one titbit for each month and I think we should enjoy something special by such a lovely camp fire.’ She answers, laughing. I’m as happy as a child and immediately begin making the damper with the flour we brought. I add some chopped onion and garlic to the dough to make it really tasty and knead with all my might. I then form the dough into a roughly two centimetre thick disk which I place onto the lightly floured surface of a hot, shiny pan, sitting on our camp fire. In order to maintain the correct heat for bread baking, I shovel some hot coals over the lid of the bedourie and nestle it down into the embers. The only thing that remains to do is to wait impatiently for my creation and to watch the flickering flames of the fire. In the meantime, Tanja is preparing the delicious meal. Soon the tempting smell of baked bread wafts up into the night air and I carefully scrape the coals from the top of the bedourie, lift the heavy lid and check to see if the damper is ready. ‘Check this out, better than any baker!’ I proudly say, admiring my crispy, golden-brown damper. Tanja is soon finished cooking the rest of our meal and we sit down to enjoy a mouthwatering dinner. We are gazing at the stars above, as we so often do, and suddenly see a meteorite which has broken through the earth’s atmosphere and lights up the night sky. Tanja takes my hand in hers and in this moment we know why we endure so many hardships.

Day: 50

We are happy about comments!