One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
By: Robyn Davidson
Published: May 30, 2995
US Movie Release: September 19, 2014
If you read and loved WILD by Cheryl Strayed, you will like TRACKS too. Both books share a woman who impulsively decides to take on a thousand-plus mile hike without previous knowledge or experience. Check out my review of WILD, HERE. In Davidson's case, she decides to trek across the deserts of Australia with four camels. Davidson had no previous experience with camels or hiking across the desert. Yet, she decides to take on this challenge and does it with great fortitude.
In TRACKS, Davidson states,
" 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."
When describing the camels, Davidson talks about them saying,
"They are affectionate, cheeky, playful, witty, yes witty, self-possessed, patient,
hard-working and endlessly interesting and charming.
They are also very difficult to train, being of an essentially undomestic
turn of mind as well as extremely bright and perceptive.
This is why they have such a bad reputation."
I read this book over a period of six months because I didn't really have a deadline and at times the pace of the story was a little slow for me. Davidson fills in lots of detail regarding the care and training of camels, their caretakers, and her challenges with obtaining the camels. At times there was information overload, but her stories of the people, especially the Aboriginal people, were interesting and written with much love for them. I appreciated the progression of Davidson's character through her journey. She was meek and people pleasing at the beginning and by the end her eyes were open, her opinions were shared and she found a way to experience true joy. Davidson gives us a unique view of the beauty of the Australian land and their people. Her journey is physically and emotionally grueling, heartfelt, and real. You will be captivated and inspired.
The movie version of TRACKS will hit US theaters on September 19, 2014. It is already available in other countries.
"I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, and best of all I had learnt to laugh. I felt invincible, untouchable, I had extended myself, and I believed I could now sit back, there was nothing else the desert could teach me. And I wanted to remember all this. Wanted to remember this place and what it meant to me, and how I had arrived there. Wanted to fix it so firmly in my head that I would never, ever forget." Robyn Davidson in TRACKS
Robyn Davidson made this trek across the Australian desert in 1977. She was born on a cattle property in Queensland, Australia. She went to Sydney in the late sixties, then spent time studying in Brisbane before moving to Alice Springs, where the events of this book begin. Since then, she has traveled extensively, living in London, New York, and India. In the early 1990s, she migrated with and wrote about nomads in northwestern India. She is now based in Melbourne, but spends several months a year in the Indian Himalayas.
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