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Ballina woman travels with camels from Alice to Oodnadatta

ADVENTUROUS: Angela Parr, at left with one of the camels and, above, with Kamahl, Marie-Claude, Ruby the dog and their camels at the beginning of the 60-day desert trek.
ADVENTUROUS: Angela Parr, at left with one of the camels and, above, with Kamahl, Marie-Claude, Ruby the dog and their camels at the beginning of the 60-day desert trek.

THUNDERSTORMS, dust storms and wild bull camels were just some of the obstacles Ballina's Angela Parr had to deal with during her 600-kilometre trek from Alice Springs to Oodnadatta.

Angela and her dog Ruby joined Byron-born Kamahl Druesne and his partner Marie-Claude Asselin for the trek to raise money for a charity called Swags for the Homeless, which provides swags for people sleeping rough on the streets.

The trek saw them spend 60 days in the desert and ultimately raising almost $13,000 for the charity.

"The most amazing things that could go wrong, did go wrong, but everything had a silver lining," she said.

Working with a group of eight camels and a wagon to carry their supplies, five of the six females were pregnant and birthed along the way.

Angela Parr with her dog, Ruby, before heading off on their trek.
Angela Parr with her dog, Ruby, before heading off on their trek. Contributed

"We had (wild) bullcamels coming into camp and had to fire over their heads, and I had to use my stockwhip ... It was full on!

"People think a camel trek is calm and serene ... but it's 24/7 without rest." She took five chickens so they could have fresh eggs each day, and said the hardest part was finding food and water for the camels.

"My dog and I slept out in the swag every night and cooked on the campfire.

"We'd start getting ready each day at about 5.30am, walk for about five hours and collapse each night at about 8.30pm.

"But even then, you're listening out for dingoes and bull camels," she said.

Angela has travelled with camels before - a trek in India - but nothing as ambitious as this recent trip.

Topics:  adventure, outdoor-living




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