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Girala Station, Burkett Road: holiday over, the real journey begins

10 September 2011 | 98 km | zzOz total: 4,213 km

Awoke with sand frosting everything in the tent, fine, dusty sand, 5mm thick over the whole interior.

Blowing since midnight, the wind was a real distraction as I packed up. I took a few photos of the campsite, as I usually do after brekkie in bed each day, no coffee today.

When I was completely packed up, no small task compacting that pile of sustenance and water aboard, I realised that the camera was not in its usual spot, my top shirt pocket. But ain’t going to be unravelling my gear at this stage.

Did an emu stalk of the campsite environs, few steps, look around, a few more. Not on the ground, it must be somewhere in the stack. Searched in some easy to get to places but no luck.

The wind was strong and I had memories of various headwinds over the past few weeks but it turned out a cross wind for the most part, even some assistance getting up over the Rough Range, obviously the early explorers had a sense of humour to ascribe that name to those, big, sand dunes.

By the time I turned directly into the wind down Burkett Road it had calmed, mostly. A degree of agitation remained, I’m not cameraless with my Pen EPL-2 in the bar bag, but it’s almost as big a drag to pull it out as it is to name it, my standard photo frenzy subdued, I do take more than one photo a day you may be surprised to find.

As the time ticked close to 5pm I found a spinifex free campsite, can’t camp in the middle of that needle sharp grass, and started looking through my gear: food, clothes, sleeping bag, tent, shirts I’ve worn, didn’t take long.

Nothing.

In the end, this is starting to get to be a real mystery, I pulled my computer bag out of my long stuff sack, the double decker component of the trailer load, it’s pitch dark inside so I rummaged around in my three spare tyres, something didn’t feel like a tyre, there’s the camera.

Wahhh, hooooooooo.

I knew it had to be somewhere but couldn’t imagine it to be quite that obscure a hiding spot.

Finally the wind was gone.

It’s dead calm.