Seriously, it didn’t all happen straight away… me quitting my corporate job, hitting the wide open road and chasing camels around the outback.

 

Firstly, it was freakin scary, especially the thought of driving around remote Australia as a single female. If you’ve seen Wolf Creek or heard of the Falconio case, you’d understand what I’m talking about.

 

So, my new motto became ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

 

You see, there’s always little seeds planted along the way, before we make our big decisions. My friend had travelled solo around the great Ozzy outback, and not only was she OK, but she made it look easy. I was inspired that I could do the same.

 

But I was living in Darwin, and there were no camels up that neck of the wood. So where the bloody hell should I start?

 

I was in no rush. I was waiting for the universe to give me a sign. I always got signs.

 

And then, I was reading the local Darwin newspaper (NT News) and I saw an ad for camels in Darwin… what the?! I called straight away.

 

On the other end of the phone was an interesting character from Mt Isa, passionate about camels and so committed, he’d been putting ads in newspapers all around Australia to source other fellow camel people. After an hour on the phone it was decided…

 

My first camel stop was to be Mt Isa, an outback mining town in Queensland. Often known for simply being ‘bloody hot’.

 

It was time to hit the wide open road. I packed Rusty and I into the car, chucked in a couple of backpackers for support and good measure, and we-were-off. The adventure had begun!

 

First up was a quick stop off in Perth. I used this opportunity to offload some goods, catch up with friends and family and get prepared for the adventure ahead. And then it was time to go solo…

 

Karla Hooper

 

I was Mt Isa bound and the Nullarbor Plain was in my sights. For those not familiar, the Nullarbor comes with a few stories of its own… namely (in my case). UFO’s. Holy eeeek, I’d be lying if I said this didn’t play on my mind. There were thoughts of abduction, sightings and all sorts of crazy things.

 

But actually this treeless stretch of straight road that lasted 2 days was absolutely magical and the freedom I felt on my first night camping will be etched in my mind for eternity.

 

Rusty and I were free and loving life.

 

After many hours and days of driving, we finally arrived in ‘The Isa’ and my first camel encounter was near…

 

Karla Hooper

 

Part 3: Gypsy Dreaming – Mount Isa Camel Lovin

 

Missed Part 1 of the Gypsy Dreaming Story? (check it out Here)