JOHN Arthur Elliot was the CEO of a Financial Services firm in Perth but wanted more out of life.
“I wanted to go on a big adventure,” he said. “All my adventures had been about chasing money and I thought that there just had to be more to life than that.”
He had no idea what he wanted to do when he began exiting the company. He sold his car and gave the money to charity.
“I was sitting around with friends one night when one of them started talking about a camel adventure she had been on in Kenya and something just clicked,” John explained.
“The next day I googled ‘how to buy a camel’. I didn’t have a girlfriend at that time, so the approval process was much faster,” he laughs. “That was two years ago.”
John put his few remaining possessions into storage and went out for a year to learn how to train camels and build all the equipment.
He then drove from Perth to North Queensland to collect his camels and set off on April 11 last year down the east coast travelling over 3500 kms to where he plans to board a transport ship to Tasmania from Port Welshpool.
“I first thought the camels would be difficult to transport but it turns out I’m the hard one because of Covid-19,” he said.
The camels called Ted, Charlie, Jackson, Arthur and Bill The Bastard prefer to eat trees and shrubs and John often camps on the side of the road where there is plenty of feed for them.
Locals along the way have also provided carrots and lettuce for them as well as cold beer for John. His dog Rusty completes the team.
John said that when he left Jamieson back in the autumn, he had so much food and gifts he needed an extra camel! “I have been offered luxury accommodation along the way but can’t always take people up on their generous offers because of the camels’ need for a good feed,” he said.
The team have been around people for a while now but John posted on his website that he is sometimes over 150km from a track or road, over 400km from any Aboriginal communities and over 1,000km from any town, making him one of the most isolated humans on the planet. A far cry from a CEO of a financial services company.