TRACKS by Robyn Davidson (hier online bestellen)
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A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
Davidson, a young woman who had "never changed a light-bulb, sewn a dress, mended a sock, changed a tyre, or
used a screwdriver," took a train to Alice Springs in central Australia with six dollars in her pocket and a
wildly unrealistic ambition: to capture wild camels, train them, and then cross the great desert of Western
Australia with them.
Her journey is an exploit in the extravagant tradition of the great Victorian explorers, but Davidson is not
only an explorer, but also a young woman who wishes to get past the negativity and alienation of modern, urban
existence and seek fulfillment in close harmony with the natural world. Testing her physical and emotional
resources to the limit, Davidson crosses half of Australia on foot, in the process coming to know the desert,
the rhythms of traditional Aboriginal society, and herself. Davidson seeks transformation, epiphany, and
freedom, and eventually she finds these things. Her story turns out to be not of a hand-to-hand battle with
the forces of nature but of a passionate love affair with them.
Excerpt from book:
"I arrived in the Alice at five a.m. with a dog, six dollars and a small suitcase full of inappropriate
clothes. 'Bring a cardigan for the evenings,' the brochure said. A freezing wind whipped grit down the platform
and I stood shivering, holding warm dog flesh, and wondering what foolishness had brought me to this eerie,
empty train-station in the centre of nowhere. I turned against the wind, and saw the line of mountains at the
edge of town.
There are some moments in life that are like pivots around which your existence turns-small intuitive flashes,
when you know you have done something correct for a change, when you think you are on the right track. I
watched a pale dawn streak the cliffs with Day-glo and realized this was one of them. It was a moment of
pure, uncomplicated confidence-and lasted about ten seconds.
Diggity wriggled out of my arms and looked at me, head cocked, piglet ears flying. I experienced that sinking
feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back.
It's all very well, to set off on a train with no money telling yourself that you're really quite a brave and
adventurous person, and you'll deal capably with things as they happen, but when you actually arrive at the
other end with no one to meet and nowhere to go and nothing to sustain you but a lunatic idea that even you
have no real faith in, it suddenly appears much more attractive to be at home on the kindly Queensland coast,
discussing plans and sipping gins on the verandah with friends, and making unending lists of lists which get
thrown away, and reading books about camels.
The lunatic idea was, basically, to get myself the requisite number of wild camels from the bush and train
them to carry my gear, then walk into and about the central desert area. I knew that there were feral camels
aplenty in this country. They had been imported in the 1850s along with their Afghani and North Indian owners,
to open up the inaccessible areas, to transport food, and to help build the telegraph system and railways that
would eventually cause their economic demise. When this happened, those Afghans had let their camels go,
heartbroken, and tried to find other work. They were specialists and it wasn't easy. They didn't have much
luck with government support either. Their camels, however, had found easy street-it was perfect country for
them and they grew and prospered, so that now there are approximately ten thousand roaming the free country
and making a nuisance of themselves on cattle properties, getting shot at, and, according to some ecologists,
endangering some plant species for which they have a particular fancy. Their only natural enemy is man, they
are virtually free of disease, and Australian camels are now rated as some of the best in the world.
The train had been half empty, the journey long. Five hundred miles and two days from Adelaide to Alice Springs.
The modern arterial roads around Port Augusta had almost immediately petered out into crinkled, wretched,
endless pink tracks leading to the shimmering horizon, and then there was nothing but the dry red parchment
of the dead heart, god's majestic hidy-hole, where men are men and women are an afterthought. Snippets of
railway car conversation still buzzed around in my head."
About the author:
Davidson was born on a cattle station in Queensland, Australia. She writes extensively for National Geographic
and other magazines, and has also written a novel, Ancestors. She divides her time among London, India, and
Australia and is currently working on a new book based on life in Rajasthan.
TRACKS by Robyn Davidson
Broschiert - 250 Seiten - Picador
Erscheinungsdatum: 9. Januar 1998
Preis: € 11,95
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