Published: September 4th 2011September 3rd 2011
Omanama General Store QLD
The only building in the town
Days 1 to 5 - Bethania QLD to Iron Knob SA
Why would you trust the a GPS?
It only knows the main roads
Not those scenic alternatives
Which enhance our driving day.
And using selected way points
when navigating East to west,
Only creates circuitous routes
That frustrate passenger and driver alike.
And then as roads become remote
It says it has no connecting roads,
So you're left to drive by the stars,
Or some other navigation mode.
Despite our GPS frustrations, we have really enjoyed the drive thus far.
In the space of a few hours driving one passes an amazing variety of landscapes ranging from lush green crops to grey barren tussock land, extensive plains with roads as straight as a die, to twisty roads more remininisent of driving through inland New Zealand.
There are ghost towns - long since abandoned as modern transport made the small hamlets redundant. Crumbling lime stone homes, churches, shops. Yet other centres still blossum as new industry and crops create opportunities for many people.
There is so much history in these regions - both pre and post European. A visit to the Back Of Bourke Centre
tells of those early struggles and gives a profound sense of the early settlers fight just to survive.
While we have covered a couple of thousand kilometers in 5 days, the earliy settlers with horse and cart, or later with Cobb and Co braved rutted tracks that progressed relatively few kilometers a day. And we think of the explorers who searched for the rumoured inland see - what pain and suffering, both physical and mental they suffered as they explored and mapped the inland rivers and lakes etc.
Best memories though are the people we have met along the way - the aboriginal couple who told us about the fish traps their ancestors used to feed their families, the laughs over a coffee in the late afternoon as we discussed each days adventure - strangers whose lives bonded for a brief space in time.
There are more photos below