The book "A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback" tells the story of Robyn Davidson's journey across the desert for 1700 miles. The story highlights the challenges that people face as they move across the desert with their camels. Spending two years in the desert with the camels exposes one to the challenges that the pastoralists go through when moving from one part of the desert to the other (Davidson, 1995).
"Tracks -A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback" is a story written by an Australian writer Robyn Davidson. The narrator arrives in Alice Springs, with only her beloved dog named Diggity, her suitcase, and six dollars (Davidson, 1995). Her intention of traveling to Australia is to have a new life and start training the wild camels and take them on a trek in the desert. She has had a wonderful life in Queensland but was willing to abandon this. Initially, she is optimistic but later wonders if she made an informed decision. Davidson's optimism is influenced by Anti-Aboriginal racism that is rampant in Alice Springs. The majority of the people in this part of Australia think that the Aboriginals are unwise, but Davidson does not believe this.
Upon arriving in Alice Springs, she is employed at a pub, and she interacts with people who tell her of men in this locality who can help her get the camels. She plans a meeting with one of the men, but he quickly turns her away due to a lack of experience (Davidson, 1995). She does not seem to know much about the camels. The third man named Kurt believes in Davidson, and since he owns a ranch, he offers to let her train, and he could subsequently sell her camel at a subsidized price. She agrees to the deal, and although Kurt is abusive, she agrees to train the camels under Kurt's guidance. This experience makes her learn a lot about camel training. She is close to Kurt's wife, Gladdy. She worked with him for a while, and although this is the kind of work she wanted, she had to quit and resume the pub job.
Davidson gets familiar with the sexism and racism in the Alice Springs, and after Kurt convinces her to return to the ranch, she agrees. The two get a lot better than the first time, and she is more keen on camels than the first time (Davidson, 1995). She wants to know each camel better and pays close attention to the specific personalities of each camel. She makes friends with the people living near the ranch and relies on them for support. She quits her job at the ranch the second time as Kurt's cruelty towards her persists. She feels that she has wasted so much time and has learned little about camels. However, Sallay offers to give her two camels, and she has to pay her by working for a few months.
Davidson is happy and feels that there is hope, and the decision to move to Alice Springs to pursue her passion was right. In Sally's place, she learns a lot about camels and is optimistic that the trip was worth taking. However, this changes after a year since moving to Alice Springs, and she feels that the mission is not easy (Davidson, 1995). She visits a friend back to Queensland, and her friend tells her that her trip was worth it. She, therefore, goes back to Alice Springs and selects two camels that Sally had promised to give her.
She chooses an old and young female camel and the friends she has been living with moves out of the house and allows her to live there until they get a buyer. Her old female camel is named Kate, and the female is called Zeleika. She quickly gets used to living alone, and she is happy about the experiences she has daily. She becomes friends with the Aboriginals such as Ada Baxter as well as Jenny and Toly. Jenny and Toly are young Aboriginals involved in fighting for aboriginal rights. She is contented to have friends who support her, but when she starts working with Kurt again through his wife, she feels unhappy (Davidson, 1995). It is through Kurt's wife that she gets to know some children and the oppression they face, which has made them depressed. Some children have affected the oppression and end up in reform schools that are not fully equipped to support the children.
Kate plans a trip but is not able to proceed with it as one of her camels has a wound that is infected. She involves several vets in treating the camel, but instead of recovering, the wound gets worse. After seeing that her Camel Kate is in a lot of pain, she shoots her to spare her the pain. The death of her camel and well as Kurt's rudeness makes her depressed. Kurt becomes insane, which accelerates Davidson to the extent that she thinks of committing suicide, but Gladdy helps her. Gladdy however, leaves, and her husband subsequently sells the ranch to people who as Davidson to work for them. She is attacked by one of the camels named Dookie, and the owner is afraid and sells it to her together with another bull (Davidson, 1995). She starts a trip with the camels, and her trip is both challenging and fulfilling. She spots Rick, who works for National Geographic taking pictures.
Davidson walks the 1, 700 miles with her our camels and her, and although he felt it was a difficult journey, she soldiered on. "I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult, and there's no going back" (Davidson, 1995). In his book, there are several important theories worth exploring. One of the theories is self-discovery and is evident right from the beginning of the trip when Davidson decides to take a trip to Alice Springs. She had no experience in camels but is optimistic it will be a success.
The second theme addressed in the book is that of being an outsider by choice. Davidson leaves her home in Queensland, where she had a wonderful life and pursued her dreams in a foreign land where racism is highly evident (Davidson, 1995). The journey has its fair share of challenges, but they are overshadowed by her desire to train camels and take some along her trip. She had the alternative of abandoning the adventure and going back in her country free from all the challenges. There is a cultural conflict, but she does her best to create tolerate between the aboriginals and her culture. She is treated rudely by some people like Kurt but also meets some friends who help get along with her journey.
"Tracks -A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback" is a story worth reading. The first person narration of the story makes it interesting and easy to follow. Davidson's love for camels and the sacrifices she makes to pursue her dream of training and trekking with camels is motivating. Although she faces a couple of challenges, she is determined to press on. She treks with her four camels and her dog in the desert.
Davidson, R. (1995). Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback. Amazon.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020, from https://www.amazon.com/Tracks-Womans-Across-Australian-Outback/dp/0679762876.
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