After 14 days and 7,644 kilometres I have managed to visit 20 of the 93 ‘I’ve been everywhere’ destinations. Thankfully some of these 20 locations were in some of the more remote parts of Australia with many of the remaining 73 locations being huddled in the south east of the Australian continent. There are still however many challenges out there though – not least a place called Darwin.
As I sit writing this at home, I’m now planning on taking it a bit easy over the Christmas period just visiting a few of the more local destinations before venturing further afield again in the new year.
As for some reflections of the last 14 days, well, Australia and it’s people have amazed me. Because of the vast size of this continent, until now my driving has typically been limited to around the Sydney Basin, Canberra and up the Pacific Highway to Byron and the like. However, going beyond this ‘local area’ has opened my eyes to the even greater diversity both this country and it’s people posses.
The drought stricken outback and the determination and friendliness of those that live here is simply fantastic. Going into the true outback, beyond one of a number of black stumps, the scale is both incomprehensible and mind blowing. As is the vivid colours, weather and the wildlife – my jaw is still dropped open after having a family of emu cross the road before me.
Then there is the simple logistics of operating a country of this scale. Walking into a shop 300km from anywhere and being able to buy fresh fruit is an achievement, as is travelling along any of the excellent hard road surfaces, buying petrol, using EFTPOS or using Internet all in the middle of nowhere. And of course, lets not forget the people that farm this land regardless of all the challenges that are thrown at them.
Yes, Australia you have amazed me. I am so grateful for having this opportunity to visit places I can not think I would have had reason to visit before and am already looking forward to the adventure continuing.