The Final Leg Then Homeward Bound
Trip Start Jul 06, 2009
8Trip End Dec 23, 2009
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About 120kms east of Esperance (Western Australia) one reaches an arid, coastal National Park with the very descriptive name of 'Cape Arid'. This area is characterised by low scrubland as well as a proliferation of magnificently enormous Banksia trees and large, juicy looking lizards.
After gaining some local knowledge, we chose to ignore a ‘road closed’ sign and drive 200kms on unsealed, damned rutted and bull dusty cut through to the Eyre Highway (the long road that crosses the Nullarbor Plain). The Eyre Highway is the road running across the bottom of Australia past the Great Australian Bight. We think Aussies tend to refer to the entire road as the ‘Nullarbor Plain’, which is incorrect.
Passing through Ceduna, which marks the border between Western Australia and Southern Australia, we slammed on the brakes and stopped at a border crossing oyster bar.
Time began to run low, and consequently we were unable to explore much of South Australia and had to skip Victoria. The Flinders Ranges National Park is semi-arid mountain country with lofty, craggy peaks made from the Earth’s crust thrust upwards up to 630 million years ago.
We drove to Broken Hill, which marked our entry into NSW, and were pleasantly surprised at the presence of well known Aussie artists and their galleries, as well as the very interesting mining background this town has. Why the name ‘Broken Hill’? Once upon a time there was a happy, large hill that contained an even larger and happier silver lode that was discovered in the 1800s. The silver lode was enormous, and the miners were very hungry for money, so they mined the hill away and left a pile of rubble in its place. Did you know that BHP began in Broken Hill and stands for ‘Broken Hill Propriety’.
Suddenly it was time to drive the remaining 1,200kms home. How did we feel? Ready for it. Looking forward to a flushing toilet, unlimited water and electricity. Life’s givens have become a luxury for us. Having done 23,000kms around this great country, we have gained a better understanding of what makes Australia what it is. A very ancient land with diverse, harsh environments. Long distances of nothingness. Varied terrain (mostly dry and hot). People battling drought and seasonal changes. Buggared land from hooved animals. Grey nomads and their caravans. Small pockets of lush beauty (flora and fauna). Flies, mining and hard yakka. Our perspective of many Australian issues has changed, whether for good or bad, because we have opened our eyes and been curious. By leaving the Big Smoke behind and taking the plunge to quit/ take extended leave from jobs during an economic downturn, we have become better and more acknowledgeable people. One can’t help but feel sorry for those who are too busy leading their lives in a time poor, unnatural and superficial bubble because it is not real living.
We venture to South Africa for a month now. We really hope you’ve enjoyed exploring Australia with us, and if anything we hope it’s been inspiration for you to get outdoors and experience some nature.
Dusty Downloads "Over And Out"
Amanda & Roelof