Friday, May 19, 2006

The Desert Mums – Update May 19th

Day 15...resting...(oh, bliss!)... The Desert Mums report “After such a fantastic and emotional day yesterday, it was a real treat to be able to sit on top of the biggest sand dune in the Simpson Desert and watch the most spectacular sunrise full of so many amazing colours. Then as we made our way down for breakfast, the Aussie salute began two hours earlier than usual! Bugger!!!!”

Such was the beginning of the Desert Mums first and much needed rest day. This day was spent chasing the shade of a gum tree, enjoying a hot shower (courtesy of Den’s solar heated bush shower, and only the 2nd in two weeks), and waiting anxiously for their support team (Andrew & Kathy) to return back from Birdsville with their long list of urgently required contraband – anything not in a tin.

“The liquid refreshment contraband is required for medicinal purposes (yeh, right) as we all have a case of desert tinnitus – similar to normal tinnitus (or ringing in the ears), except this is a buzz in the ear.”

Denis headed for Birdsville today to collect the trailer with the balloons and gas bottles and took the opportunity for a shower and to do some laundry. Andrew and Kathy also hit the track for Birdsville a bit later in the day on a mission (shopping list in hand) to scour the Birdsville General Store for goodies for the Desert Mums (and no doubt themselves!). They too took the opportunity for a shower at the Birdsville Caravan Park and to do some of their own laundry. The poor Desert Mums, the ones that have done the REALLY hard yards, had to stay back at the base of Big Red in the heat and dust and entertain themselves – I guess they weren’t complaining – at least they didn’t have to walk today.

The Mums are looking forward to another rest day tomorrow before their epic balloon launch on Sunday morning on top of Big Red. Now that they are only 40 kilometres from Birdsville, they are tasting victory. No one will give up at this stage – that’s a given - they’d have to be at a point where they needed to be carried out on a stretcher, rather than give in now. Not happening.

Further comments from the Mums:

PS “Still no camels

PPS “Please – anyone - let us know the names of the Griswald Family –( Lampoons Vacation)”

(Clearly, we need to get our girls back home after this question!! - that desert sun must be a killer! – or what else do you talk about all day with the only pressing matter on the agenda to find some shade and beat the bloody flies? – perhaps they could have had a competition on how many of those little suckers they could kill – nup, that game wouldn’t have an end!)

Throughout the entire walk…… the heat, the flies, the dust, the pain, the dreadlocks and no icecream…… the Mums have never lost sight of the reason for their journey……..let us not forget either…….if any of you wish to support their effort and make a donation for breast cancer research, or indeed enter the “number of steps” competition, please go to their website at and follow the prompts. You can click on either “donate”, “pledge” or to the right of the page, “competition”.

Until tomorrow…………The Desert Mums say goodnight after a VERY restful day…………..

I have attached a photo supplied by Ian Shuey from the Balloon Artists & Suppliers Assn of Australasia (BASA). Ian suggests that this hat is good for protection against the hot desert sun (questionable) and keeping the flies away (well………I’d be scared if I saw anyone wearing this!)

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