Can it get any better ?
I must confess I wasn’t too thrilled at the idea of getting up at 4am but it wasnt too much of a hassle Slip in to something comfortable for riding ,grab an apple ,top up your water bottle and out the door to the pick up stop down at the Desert Gardens Hotel
The stars were big and seemed to hang low and the air seemed to be already buzzing at the resort even at 5.am
I had met Steve the day before when I visited the camel farm ,a great guy part indigenous who moves between his job with Juvenile Justice in Grafton helping indigenous kids in trouble with the law find a more positive orientation in life and coming out to Ayers Rock to catch wild camels and break them in and lead tours such as the one he led at sunrise today .He just loves gettig paid to do both .
Thats what I have noticed since being here poeple with big adventurous spirits taking hold of all sorts of plum opportunities they might find up here as a once in a lifetime opportunity Their love for the Northern territory and their ability to immerse themsleves into the expansive landscape the nature and wildlife the general embracing and appreciation and respect for aboriginal culture .Big characters living their lives as an adventure and also getting paid to do it
Anyway we were saddled up and ready to go by 5.00am it was exhilarating being out in that cool serene beautiful landscape the energy was crystal clear the stars were large until they faded as the sun came up .As we climbed up over some dunes ULURU came in to view very dark still waiting to be illuminated by the suns rays .
Its easy to see why they call the camels the ships of the desert I soon adapted to the gentle easy ryhthm and sway of the camels rolling movements as we ambled along ….it was very pleasant
My camel was called McPhee he looked a bit of a rough nut but he was really well behaved He had only been properly broken in about a year ago .All the camels at the Camel farm are captured in the wilds very few are actually bred at the farm at Ayers Rock and they keep predominantly males for the tours who are stronger and bigger than the females
Camels were prolific in many lines of business and actually played a significant role in the building of roads and railways in Central Australia and Northern territory and the overall outback economy up until they were replaced by more modern methods of transportation .
There are still hundreds of thousands of camels roaming wild in the Australian outback as modern developments in technology saw them rendered redundant the Govt officially ordered their owners to shoot them but not partial to the idea the cameleers at the time who hailed from places like Afghanistan and India chose to either hand them over to Aboriginal poeple who release them in to the wilds .
The camel behind me Lucky was pretty good also and gave me a few nuzzles along the way The poeple riding Lucky A mother and her son had slept camped out under the stars in their swags at the Ayers Rock resort camping grounds and had a couple of dingos sniffing round them through the night .They said they were afraid thier food might get taken After watching the Lindy Chamberlain interview just prior to coming away I would have thought that might have been the least of thier worries
What a story Lindy Chameberlains was my blood ran cold as I heard in the documentary that the Government had issued a directive to get her behind bars as soon as possible as her story was bad for Tourism in the state Unbelieveable corruption went on. Witnesses were withheld like the aboriginal trackers who quickly saw and tried to tell their stories about what had happened ,the forensic evidence of so called blood in the car actually turned out to be copper oxide that floated around in the air from mines or profcessing plants in the town where the Chamberlains hailed from Lindys freedom 3 years later hinged on the fact a tourist from overseas trying to climb the rock fell to his death and the police in the search for his body came across the missing matinee jacket that corroborated Lindys story
They met us at the end of the camel ride with hot chocolates and home baked breads welcome after the early morning start without brekky and the chill morning air …
Apart from my visit to Kakadu which I loved and will write about later this has been my fave thing to do on this trip This holiday has just gone so very quickly A few more nice things to do and them back to the Sunshine Coast next week