Catch up With the Sun is the unusual account of a remarkable achievement as ex RAAF pilot and veterinarian Heidi Douglas writes about her solo journey through the outback of Australia with a team of horses and two camels.
When asked about the motivation for undertaking this adventure, Heidi says: ‘I remember one day, when I was thirty-eight, doing a few maths calculations in my head (I love doing maths calculations in my head … very therapeutic), and I realised I would turn forty in less than two years! That couldn’t be right. I haven’t completed the bucket list yet and I had that ‘back up’ bucket list to work on too! I had worked in agriculture on all sorts of properties, I lived and travelled all over Australia, I was a commercial pilot and a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force, I was a veterinary surgeon and a veterinary chiropractic and acupuncture practitioner and I had ridden horses through the Victorian Alps. But there was one main thing on the primary list I hadn’t done and that was riding a horse around Australia. That shouldn’t take much to sort, surely!’
Heidi’s journey, in which she raised funds for the Youth off the Streets Charity, is fascinating and redefines what we think we know about our country – but the biggest surprise is that the animals steal the show! Who would have thought that a short fat horse with the name of Gumby and two haughty camels could win over the hearts of readers and convince us that this story is really all about them … and Heidi just tagged along for the ride!
This compelling and surprisingly funny account details Heidi’s own motivations and self doubts during her solo days of riding, and the insights she gains into her own character, as well as revealing her laconic and wry sense of humour and a wonderful natural gift for storytelling. Her stoic nature in the face of possible catastrophe (when she and the camels become lost in the NT and Pam grows seriously ill from lack of water and food) is admirable and and truly represents the great Australian spirit.