I guess I was just busy working. I did get four days off to fly home and see the family, which was bittersweet. Lovely seeing them but so hard to drag myself away again.
Then I flew back and immediately did support for one of the walking tours, which I loved. I actually led some of the walks in preparation for the next trail walk, which I would be taking myself. I worked in seamlessly with the lead guide and we were an amazing team.
Back to town and immediately a two day renewal of my remote first aid certificate. this is necessary because it can often take eight hours to get somebody out if they are injured and you have to work with what you’ve got. It was through the local St John’s and we did so many scenarios in the vacant block of land next door, complete with full blood and bone makeup. It must have looked realistic because apparently a member of the public called the coppers!
It was nothing I wasn’t already doing (yes, I’ve had broken bones and blood and heat stroke) but I needed that official bit of paper.
Then it was back out for another driving tour before leading my very own Larapinta tour. This one was the very last of the season (it is getting so hot out there) and it was with a group of women, most of whom were around my own age. Such hard work (I had to set up camp by myself and we stay literally in the middle of the bush and carry everything in – it took two days to setup and my back hasn’t recovered). The day walking trips from this central base required driving out there and then I have to carry a pack that has all emergency equipment, first aid, extra water, morning tea and lunch. I would estimate that my pack weighed around 23kgs. It was really heavy for the hard track conditions.
I celebrated a birthday out there as well. One night I lay in my swag, below the diamond star sparkle of the desert night sky, and I watched the firefly effect of the Perseides meteor shower and I thought about my choices and where they had led me. When I awoke to an icy, dusty dawn I was 49 years old and I loved my life so much right then and there.