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The day's trekking begins.

It is always an impressive sight the first time our trekkers see the camel string rise for the start of the day's journey.

It actually looks much better than it is. If the lead cameleer actually said "It's going to be windy today" with the right tone of voice and action then the camels would still rise!

Once at the end of a trek we finished at a cattle station homestead. Upon arrival the stock yards were a hive of activity with huge trucks, 4WD vehicles, mooing cattle everywhere and busy stockmen running about moving cattle, cracking whips and making much noise. We wondered how well behaved the camels were going to be and with much apprehension we entered the yards, sat the camels down and commenced unloading. Much to our amazement, the camels behaved themselves perfectly. They didn't even blink an eyelid, let alone move or stand up. We unloaded them completely and then, with all still tied together, we gave the command "Up up up up up" to take them back out to their paddock. Well we'd never seen such a perfect demonstration of camel symmetry. The front camel rose, then the next, then the next and so on forth down the line until all camels were standing up and still, in utterly perfect unison! We knew all the stockmen were watching and of course we made out like it was an everyday occurrence, but normally it is a hickeldy-pickeldy movement as the photo on the right shows.

Norm the manager there knew the truth about what had happened. He walked past us quietly with this wry grin on his face and muttered beneath his breath "How'd you arse that?". We just grinned a knowing grin.

I'm sure one day we'll hear about this incident in a much embelished story of local folklore. It was very impressive and never to be repeated to be sure. But how about the timing! Love it.

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Up up up up up !
Photo - Tony Sheffield (2006)



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