The weather is warming slightly and our final trekking day was beautiful. Tanami was sitting patiently chilled out whilst everyone prepared for their last day, for the guests and final for a while for the rest of us. He is huge but at only 5 years old, still has some growing to do. He came straight out the desert so doesn’t carry an emotional scars of abuse. As such he is just an enormous softie and he is a giant, even his head is twice the size of the others so who knows how big he will end up. Karen gives him bear hugs around his neck and Jasmine has passed apples and carrots to him, mouth to mouth. I’m not quite up to that yet as I know his size and weight could be destructive even without any intent.
I’m still struggling with my foot so was fortunate enough to have a ride on Ava. It was lovely to be able to enjoy the stunning scenery and wedge tailed eagles gliding round on the thermals. When walking I’m either watching my feet or the camel string so this was a delightful interlude and Ava is a lovely rocking-chair ride. She was ‘abused’ by well-meaning people, taught to do tricks and kept with horses. The latter meant that when Karen acquired her, she neighed and walked in a diagonally opposite gait pattern instead of both legs on one side at a time. She also had some less than pleasant streaks which had not been her own fault. Now she is confident and assertive, a great leader of the A string.
We picnicked under the Cock’s Comb mountain which has graced many of these photos before heading back to the station mid-afternoon. This group had a longer final day as they had missed a whole day earlier in the week due to rain. The crew were staying out for another night as the conditions were so good and it was a bit late to start packing up the camp. Everything was there and ready so it would have been a shame not to make use of it (despite the need for showers and clean clothes!) One family left us at this point but the other wanted to stay and camp another night using their own fancy camping kit but only on the condition that we were all together and no longer ‘serving’ them.
Karen took us back to the camp from the station on roof rack of the Landcruiser! This appears to be a bit of a tradition and was quite a ride. We still had some mince left over and Cam, the Dad, produced some bottles of local wine, Barossa Valley no less. It was super to be able to just sit around the fire, as one would normally do when camping and not have to wait on anyone. I was awake at 6am the following morning which was rather frustrating as we could have had a lie in but I was able to just undo my swag and watch the stars disappear (saw Orion, the first constellation I ‘ve recognised but obviously an early morning one in the southern hemisphere as it runs across the night sky from the evening in the northern).
We feasted on banana pancakes (just banana and egg) and freshly brewed coffee. What a great end to a super trek. Two weeks break from trekking after our initiation by fire and very steep learning curve. Then we have 40 school kids for 8 days!!!!!