Here is a brief list of the things I learned while reading Tracks:
- camels are not native to Australia.. They were brought over from the Middle East before more modern transportation. They were left to fend for themselves once railways were built but instead of dying they “flourished”
- camels need nose pegs because their necks are so strong that could never be controlled with reins set up without one
- that dehydrating to death would be so awful it’s probably best to not even look at the warning pamphlets people will plague you with
- no matter how many miles you walk in the desert most people think the most interesting thing about it is how you handled your period
Tracks is 272 pages long. In the middle of the book are some of the photographs taken by Rick Smolan from National Geographic (the trip was sponsored in part by the magazine). As for the postscript, I always hesitate reading them because I find it’s usually just the author defending themselves after years of having their book criticized. Davidson definitely takes a defensive tone and even expresses some annoyance at how the book, and eventual film adaption, has destroyed her own memories of her voyage.
Overall, this book was incredibly interesting to read. You learn a lot about Australian deserts and camels, and just writing this review makes me want to re-read it. Davidson is a fascinating person and the incredible journey she took when she was only 22 years old will make you wish you had half the guts she did.