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Published: October 2nd 2018
Lot of wind today up on the Lookout Cave Hotel. I grabbed an egg sandwich at the gas station restaurant. As I started out I had rain for the first time on the trip but just as I left town on the Stuart Highway both the rain and the wind faded away. It turned out to be a pleasant ride. The scenery went from absolutely nothingness - no trees, no bushes, just clumps of grass and sandstone to what I call the Serengeti Savannah lands with an occasional big tree and scattered smaller trees. My first opportunity to fuel up was 155 miles down the road. I met another rider named John at the gas stop. He was rigged for off road riding. He said on his last run of 300 Km (180 miles) he saw 4 vehicles total. He carries a satellite phone for JIC. He gave me some pointers on the Red Range Road between Alice Springs and Uluru for when Karen and I make the trip in a couple weeks (by 4 wheel vehicle).
After over 3,666 miles I finally saw some LIVE wild life. I saw 3 Ostrich size Emu’s cross the road. I tried to
stop and turn around and take some pics but they were “hell bent on election” away from the road.
When I arrived in Woomera which is an Australian Air Force base for testing missiles and such. I found out it is a holiday today (Labor day ) so nothing was open. The Eldo Hotel - Woomera) was one of the hotels that I couldn't book on line but sent them an email and they graciously said they would hold a room for me. Sharon (the one who responded to my email) was the one to check me in. I think the next decent hotels were in Port Augusta 200+ miles down the way. I gave Sharon a much coveted Jim's Rideabout Oz 18 shirt as a thank you. While small the room was clean and comfortable.
I had 3+ hours to kill before the bar and diner would open. I decided to take a tour of the town after which I had 2 3/4 hours to kill 😊 - safe to say the town isn’t very big. However, when I reached the edge of town there looking at me was my first big Kangaroo. We stared at each
other for a while then she hopped away. I think she had a Joey and when she hopped away another one scooted that I didn't see. If you saw the first Jurasic park her profile kind of looked like the dinosaur that killed Neumann in the beginning of the movie.
Obviously it is rare to see them in the mid day since I haven’t seen one in 3,666 miles of riding in Oz. All the Aussies said Don’t complain!! You don’t want to see them when on a bike!! Hell you don't want to see them in your car. They apparently are dumber then a box of rocks! They will sit right smack in the middle of the road and just look at you.
This blog won’t get published until tomorrow because the Eldo Hotel has no Wiifii. It's a little weird getting back to civilization tomorrow -Adelaide . I’ve been in the outback for 10 days and I think I’m a bit of a OB Guy now. The only thing that has surprised me is that most Aussies I know like to tip one back. I figured the outback would be a drink centric place but instead
I haven’t seen as many goofy alcohol laws since I spent a summer selling bibles in Oklahoma during college. (But that’s another story - for another time 🤨).
I think a lot of the alcohol laws are directed to minimize alcohol impact on the aboriginal tribes that mix into Aussie society. Likely similar to my Oklahoma experience visa vi the five civilized American Indian tribes located there after the trail of tears. It also could be some Good o'l put your hands on the radio Bible belt religious influences. Either way I'm just saying I expected the OB to be a little wilder. Lastly, I didn't exactly hang with the big boys either considering how tired I was from riding and knowing I'd be riding again the next day. So I'm just gonna leave my comment as an observation.
I do however have a sense that Australia is in transition and not every one is entirely thrilled with the transition. The one constant though-has been whether in the city or OB the Aussies are a very gracious lot and go out of their way to make a Yank feel welcome. This is a land almost the size of
the continental US but has only 25 Million people (in contrast to the US population sits at about 330 million). Australia's population trend is negative which means they can't maintain a growth rate without immigration influence. The Government is spending a lot of money trying to convince Aussies that they should accept a greater degree of (legal) immigration from troubled countries.
Different Country - same discussions!
G’ Day Mates,
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