Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Desert Mums – Update May 17th

The Desert Mums – Update May 17th
Day 13...walking... As Robin Williams in the movie “Good Morning Vietnam” said – HOT…… DAMN HOT!!!
The Desert Mums had a feeling that today was not going to be pleasant when the flies came out earlier than normal. The desert heat is remaining fierce even though most of the rest of Australia is enjoying cool Autumn weather.

Another 31 kilometres was bowled over today and the Mums report that they are “delirious with aches and pains”, but oh so happy that they have only one more big 31 kilometre day to go. They will then reach Big Red and can then settle back for two days of well earned rest before the balloon launch.

More wonderful, generous tourists were encountered on the track today and they stopped for chats and photos with the Mums. Ed and Janice also returned with a full gas bottle to ensure everyone could have the hot meals to which they are now accustomed – cold juice was also delivered which reported as being “beyond delicious!”

As I mentioned last night, I was going to ask for some personal insight from each of the Mums as to how they were feeling about the journey so far. I was hoping for something really gritty, deep, insightful………but they are keeping “mum” (no pun intended). Anyway, here are their words:

Margot: “It seems the desert attracts the most generous tourists.”
Carolyn: “My determination is writing cheques that my feet can’t cash!”
Debbie: “Shoo Fly”
Susie: “This is tough….incredibly tough, but as Ian (husband) predicted, when you think the tank is empty, it is not even sitting on half!”

Okay, at this point, any thought that I may be even halfway to a good reporter is dashed! I can’t even elicit a modicum of personal, deep feelings that I can share with you (sorry Coach Grant – check the Debonator’s response!! – if that wasn’t giving me the “flick” …oh, no, that’s only for the flies, isn’t it?) No doubt everyone closest to these courageous women will have a much better insight into the personal emotions they experienced during this trek once they are back in the loving embrace of their families and friends.

The support crew and Kathy also added a few comments:

Andrew: “I’m improving my golf swing and plotting to move Susie’s tent closer to everyone else’s (as well as any other mischievous acts I can come up with)”. (Note: the entire crew snores, so Susie moved well away!)

I am planning to have photos of the entire crew in the final newsletter after the Mums have reached Birdsville, so that everyone receiving the 300 plus emails that go out each day can put faces to the names that must now be becoming so familiar. I have a photograph of Andrew that, after reading his comments, I am SO tempted to use!) PS: If I don’t use it...I can be bought!

Kathy: “I knew the Mums were tough – I attempted to walk another 10 kilometres with them and due to the heat, had to bail out at 2 kilometres. They’re four incredibly tough women. (Can’t kill the videographer until after Birdsville – it’s in the rules – the documentary has to be finished!)”

Denis: “The journey is nearing its end and despite a few rocky moments, the girls have powered on and I’m terribly, terribly proud of the whole lot of them.”

The Desert Mums are now just short of 30 kilometres from Big Red. They have “officially” walked across the Simpson Desert National Park from west to east. They saw the sign on the western edge of the desert and have now also viewed the sign on the eastern edge – they still have a bit further to walk to get to Big Red as it is out of the park, and as well and there is a further 15km to plod before they enter the township of Birdsville, but WOW, they have walked across the Simpson!!!!! What’s another few kilometers after the distances they’ve done!? (They could slap me for saying that……..but, hey, I’m out of range).

“Til tomorrow... love from... The Desert Mums...

PS Andrew IS now sporting a beard!

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