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Author : Robyn Davidson Pages : 256 pages Publisher : Jonathan Cape Language : ISBN-10 : 0224018612 ISBN-13 : 9780224018616
Description In April 1977, a young Australian woman set off from Alice Springs to cross 1,700 miles of desert and bush with four camels and a dog. Most locals who knew of her plan thought her at best imprudent and at worst out of her wilful mind. When Robyn Davidson discovered, as the journey neared its end, that the international press were all clamouring for reports on a new public property known as the Australian 'camel lady', it came as a considerable shock.Before she could leave Alice Springs, Robyn had to learn to ride, train and doctor camels who can weigh up to a ton. She embarked on a two-year campaign th wheedle camels out of people who had little
intention of parting with them, though they would accept her excessively hard work and growing expertise as if they would. Yet her growing love and respect for the magnificent animals - one of the most affecting aspects of this remarkable story outweighed any human impediments. Having never before changed an electrical plug, she had ton conquer a personal loathing for tasks requiring manual dexterity and learn to construct and repair all manner of equipment. She had to convince scoffing townsfolk that she was in deadly earnest about the journey. And then she had to convince herself.At last she headed out into the space and sun of the central desert with her intimates Dookie, Zeleika, Bub and baby Goliath the camels and dog Diggity. She learned to co-exist with marauding insects and insidious snakes, to shoot or outwit wild bull camels and, trickiest of all, to survive the infrequent brush with civilization. There were moments of sheer splendour and some of fear, others of intense ambiguity. She was pleased when Eddie, a respected elder of his Aboriginal tribe, accompanied her across 200 miles, telling her myths and stories of the Dreamtime, showing her how everything - sand, animals, bush, time - all fitted together in one integrated perception. She felt humbled by Eddie's wisdom, exhilarated by his wit and somehow admitted to a parallel universe this ancient people had always understood.Tracks is a compelling personal record - told with candour and humour of a young woman's dream and the sobering truths, unexpected rewards, joys and ironies she encountered in realizing it. The telling is as remarkable as the tale. Both exquisite photographs and masterly descriptions evoke this ancient, bony, awesome landscape with unusual vividness. And although the enterprise began as a pure gesture of independence - with the launching of a myth as an unlooked-for consequence and a frequent impediment - Robyn Davidson has eloquently satisfied the world's curiosity in a book of immense integrity and interest.
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