Tales from the outback

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November 17th 2013
Published: November 17th 2013
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We realised how large Australia is when it took us 3 hours to fly from Brisbane to Adelaide.

Adelaide - wide streets; lovely parks; free bikes; and a covered market that is really just a giant deli. Overall, a very fine place to start part two of our travels in Australia. But after a couple of days we are off, heading north to the Flinders range of mountains and our cabin in the outback on an old sheep station.

And wild it is. The power was cut off before we even made it to our cabin. Three types of parrot were flying, and squawking, past our windows and an emu wandered past! We watched the sun set, the parrots roosted and then we cooked dinner, on gas, by torch light.

We then spent two days walking the many trails. And being amazed. Some trails led to hill top lookouts from where we started to grasp the scale of this landscape -- stark, rocky mountain ranges; eucalyptus forests and dry canyons. The river bed trees have debris, 6 feet up, caught in them during last year's rainy season - hard to believe in this parched landscape.

We are also amazed at the history of the place. The aboriginies lived here for thousands of years with almost no impact, but they were very few. We found some interesting aboriginal cave paintings showing the location of water, shelter and food.

White settlers came here again and again to try to farm this barren land. We visited some abandoned settlers' homesteads, sad testaments to a tough life. Almost invariably, the farms failed but, in the process, they changed the eco-system forever. Today people are again few and far between - and the nearest supermarket is a 2 hour drive away.

But even now we try to tame nature. A little way west there is a fence to keep dingos and wild dogs out. The fence is 6 feet high and 3000 miles long!

And, of course, we are amazed by the wildlife. Emus cross the road in front of us; little wallabies and big kangeroos bounce off into the distance; parrots, honeyeaters and eagles fly everywhere.

Tomorrow we head south, on our way to Kangaroo Island

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