Monday, March 30, 2015

Desert Dork diaries

My last trip took twenty days, 5750 km and pretty much all my energy. Nevertheless, I stopped by and enjoyed the desert, exploring its nooks and crannies. Here are some snapshots.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A day to be grateful

Apparently, today is the day to be grateful to be alive.

There's a house next door where I do my laundry. I went there last Sunday and I went there this morning. There were clothes and washing powder all over the place, but I thought someone was just lazy to clean it up.

After I was done, I went back home and started preparing lunch, when I heard a knock on the door. 'Bring your camera.' This can't be good. I cringe as I walk over the yard as I know there's heaps of snakes around.

It's a King Brown, the second most venomous snake in the world. For a weird reason, they like this place. It's got to do with water, as I'm told. I recall a commotion last night, but I didn't pay much attention – there's always something going on here. And now there's blood and brooms and freak-outs.

Inside the house where I do my laundry – and I can't stress 'inside' enough – was the darn snake. Last night. In the toilet. Right next to the washing machine. Right there! Twelve hours before I was there. Now it's lying dead in the burnt grass outside, the same way I could've ended up.

And people laugh at me when I walk around like a crazy person, watching my every step; flushing before using the toilet. Scary stuff, people – scary stuff. I might as well walk around filthy and smelly.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Field Diaries

People often ask me to write from the desert, but when I'm here, I'm so busy and exhausted that I simply can't make it.

It's Saturday, 19:47 and I've barely just sat down. I had to wash up twice as the red sand is lodged so deeply into my pores that the towel changes colour after the shower number one.

The question is whether this will be posted at all. The internet connection is criminal, and there's no way I'm walking over to the office to get a better signal, or I'll come back with fifteen different bites.

I drive around 330 km every day, feed ten people, clean after them, play hide and seek, write notes, negotiate terms, change tyres, put on sun screen, get laughed at, make two attempts to cross a sand dune, try to understand people talking over the two-way radio, select the music playing in the car, drive into the sunset without being able to enjoy it, miss out on all the beer (it's a dry community, which mean no alcohol whatsoever), discover contents of various cans, hand out cold drinks, get offered bush turkey for lunch – I could go on, but I'm too tired, so I'll take off.

I shouldn't even try, but I will try to post a photo taken the other day. It's a ngiyari or Thorny Devil, an animal very special in this part of the country.

And now I'll go and enjoy what's left of my weekend, because tomorrow I need to fix two tyres, clean the place up, sort out the car, do the laundry, deal with the paperwork, prepare the food for the next camping trip (with the elders), make lunch, welcome one of the elders, get some rest – don't make me go on...

Ngula nyaku (see you) from the Great Victoria Desert!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...