Travel Theme: Tradition…

Heading for the final straight

I’m so pleased that Ailsa of “Where is my backpack” chose tradition for the theme of this week as it slots in nicely with what we are doing at the moment…

We arrived in Winton a small outback town of approx 1000 people 6 days ago, in our faithful old pop-top van, Matilda, on the Matilda Highway, in Matilda country, and birthplace of that iconic Aussie anthem “Waltzing Matilda”. But more of that later.

We stayed 6 days to coincide with the traditional Winton camel races which were held today. Camel racing is a great tradition in the Aussie outback. These amazing ships of the desert have been instrumental in the exploring, opening up and settling of the great Australian desert areas since they were brought over here by the Afghan traders in the 1800’s. In the past they escaped into the desert and are now numbered in the thousands and are regularly rounded up and sold back to the middle eastern countries.

It was a typical winter outback day. The sky was a clear azure blue (check it out in the photos) with not a cloud in sight. Way over on the horizon rose a thick column of black smoke, a bushfire burning in the spinifex country. The wind had a sharp edge to it. The crowd of race-goers were the typical Aussie outback types, Akubra hats,grubby jeans and R.M. Williams boots, driving large Utes or 4WD’s, many of them parked alongside the dusty track. Noisy kids and dogs mingling with the crowd. The atmosphere was cheerful. The beer tent was doing good business.

I was amazed to notice that the small jockeys, perched on the back of the hump, had no means of steering but just hung on yelling and whipping their mounts to go faster. It was all very exciting. A couple of the camels decided they were not going to take part and went in the opposite direction to the others. Only one jockey fell off…

We loved it, the atmosphere, the excitement, the people watching, the hot chips. It was a great day…

Go girl..

The crowd cheers them on

Categories: australian travel, camel races, out back, outback, photos, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Tradition…

  1. Great post. I could see everything through your descriptions. Winton is on my bucket list for when we travel around this beautiful country of ours.

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  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge : (Extra)ordinary… | Memories are made of this

  3. Wonderful post on Travel Theme. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  4. Fascinating! I remember seeing feral camels on a hike near Uluru some years ago.

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  5. Wow – I had no idea camel racing existed, let alone in Australia, or as a tradition! Thanks for this interesting post!

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  6. Joan Watson

    well that was interesting, love camels Joan and Terry

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  7. Camels in Australia, that’s a new one on me. I just learned something new. Fantastic shot of the camels full stride, they’re such impressive animals, aren’t they? xxx

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  8. Well, you learn something new every day, I didn’t know about the camel connection in Australia. I’ve only rode on a camel once and thankfully not at that speed!

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    • I spent 4 days on a camel in India, it was a great experience. I think they are quite majestic in spite of the spitting….

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  9. Oh I can smell the dust and the dung the hot chips and cold beer. What excitement!

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