From Alice to Ocean: Alone Across the Outback by Rick SmolanRobyn Davidson is a modern-day heir to the adventuring heroines Amelia Earhart, Karen Blixen and Beryl Markham. Her 1,700-mile solo journey across the Australian outback was a cover story in National Geographic, and her account of her trek has become a worldwide bestseller. Now the photographer who originally took the pictures for the NG story combines Davidsons text with his award winning photos, most never before published.
Tracks: The true story behind the film
Some string somewhere inside me is starting to unravel. It is an important string, the one that holds down panic. In the solitude of the desert night I feel the patter of rain on my sleeping bag — too light to lay the dust, too heavy for normal sleep. Sometime before midnight I come fully awake, and I do not know where, or who, I am. Inside me I hear three different voices. Be calm, lie down and fall asleep.
Rick SmolanAboriginal children greet Robyn Davidson as she passes Smolan shared a sampling of the photos with Business Insider.
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Robyn Davidson Tracks Exclusive Interview
All rights reserved. In photographer Rick Smolan was traveling in Australia on assignment for Time magazine when he encountered an angry woman in the small town of Alice Springs. Little did he know that 37 years later their story would be dramatized by movie stars. But she also needed money, so Smolan helped introduce her to editors at National Geographic who offered funding in exchange for her story. In turn, year-old Smolan was assigned to photograph her trip for the magazine. Davidson just wished he would go away. The problem was, although Davidson had been training her camels and preparing for the trip for years, Smolan had no experience in the outback.
Updated December 09, It has been four decades since Robyn Davidson embarked on her trek across the harsh Australian desert with her dog Diggity and four camels in tow — a 2,kilometre journey that spawned her bestselling memoir Tracks. The first night she arrived in Alice Springs in , an Aboriginal man was found in a gutter painted white. The Ku Klux Klan was making its presence felt, and — against the backdrop of the battle for land rights — the town was seething with racial tensions and resentments that were never far from the surface. Davidson got a job as a barmaid at the local pub, where she was labelled the town's "next rape case". And that was absolutely necessary if I was going to succeed in what I was doing.
When Robyn Davidson was 26 years old, she decided to walk 1, miles across the harsh terrain of wild Australia. It was , and Davidson spent nine months traveling from Alice Springs in central Australia to the Indian Ocean off the western coast. She wanted to find meaning outside of the noise of modern society, and reached out to National Geographic to fund the trip. The National Geographic story was published in May , and Davidson published her memoir, " Tracks ," two years later. It made Davidson a celebrity in Australia, and over 30 years later was adapted into a dramatic film starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver. Smolan shared a sampling of the photos with Business Insider.