The Outback to home???
Trip Start Jun 18, 2008
72Trip End Ongoing
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It's quite remarkable just how different the landscape can be within the space of a 7 hour car journey.
We started off on Coober Pedy, barren of almost all plant life. Out here they treat rocks as art, because there sure isn't anything else to look at.
We followed the Stuart Highway south, through the prohibited testing range of Woomera. The landscape already had changed - now there was low level scrub. The occasional tree. We even saw a few other vehicles.
We pull into Woomera, an old government town built for the test range
I'm a bit of a Military geek. That's not to say I want to go to war with everyone, but I do like the Equipment and Vehicles. Give me an Air Show and it's the happiest you will see me for a while. Especially if I'm given Ice Cream as well. So it was a welcome and enjoyable break in the journey.
Further south, and you start to drop down in altitude, down and down over long ranges and through vast salt lakes. Trees begin to appear, lots of scrub, and by the time you hit Port Augusta, there are just endless crop fields.
Up in the Southern Flinders Ranges, just out of Port Augusta, we venture up to Hancocks Lookout. From here we can see Mt Remarkable on one side and Spencer Gulf on the other. And the road to the lookout goes through green valleys, full of sheep and agricultural sheds
We decide to drive through more of the countryside, excited by all the greenness, the small farming towns, and the lack of sandstone rocks. It's almost like Eden to us, after so long in the Arid parts of Australia.
We cut through the Southern Flinders Ranges again, on our way back to the coast and our eventual stop at Port Pirie. The entire route is through some sort of gorge, cut through the range over millions of years. More sheep, more crops, and even lots and lots of bends. My left foot can't believe that it has to push the clutch down; my arms ache as they have to turn. It's the perfect drivers road - full of turns, twists and sharp corners; stunning views; and it's empty. I dream of having my own car back, going for one of our traditional Sunday morning burns through the Kent countryside (I can recommend the road from Headcorn to Pluckley). As it is, in a two ton, hi-top van, it's hard work and very slow (30km/h!), but ultimately very much fun.
It's like I've caught my second wind. Just as I was beginning to get bored with the trip (hell, I was even sorting out employment opportunities for when im back), I was reminded of why we are doing this, why this was the right choice, why we chose this country in the first place.
It's nice to be back "home".