Story and pictures copyright © 2000 Julia Hazel
Endangered Ant Plants need a Break
(a firebreak, that is)

July 2000

Opportunities crop up at unexpected times, and this one was no exception. Jeshan and I were about to head north from Cairns when a chance meeting led to an invitation to take part in another National Parks project.

Beautiful country, up over the dividing range and far from the coast.

An opportunity to lend a hand in the struggle to save threatened species.

All in all, a fine chance for a sailor to do something totally different...

Yes, I'd love to go!

First bit of harsh reality: I have to carry a heavy pack on my back all day. We need to lug in everything we need for the next week. No, that's hardly accurate since "everything I need" fills up a small boat and leaves a long wish list. Rather, we have to get by with the food and equipment we can carry. That's all. NOTHING more. No way to get anything else until we walk (crawl?) back out of this remote area.

Then it's a long day of foot-blistering scrambling up and down steep slopes. I'm dreaming of a radio-controlled mini-helicopter to carry my pack. Walking used to be easy before I got weighed down like this!

Then a long night lying on hard, cold earth with rain soaking through my minimalist imitation of a tent.

And a week of hard yakka ahead... hmmmm, I must be crazy.

Next: Ant Plants need a Break - Page 2

Photo Jules with back pack © 2000 Rupert Russel, story and all other pictures copyright © 2000 Julia Hazel

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