Sunday, April 05, 2009

Trip (Day 2)

As we head further north and further inland, the landscape gradually becomes more severe. The earth changes from a fresh salmon pink to a dark rusty red. The tall gum trees give way to stringy, desiccated shrubs. And the fat cattle and sheep are replaced by skinny feral goats and roadkill.

A lot of the landscape looks like an Albert Namatjira painting, which wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that I don't like Albert Namatjira paintings. It could be worse, of course - it could look like a painting by Hieronymus Bosch. Or worse still, Thomas Kincaid.

I've never really cared for the ocean, but now that I'm further from the coast than I've been in a decade, I feel its absence. I feel nervous. In Australia the coast equals life. Being hundreds of kilometres from it is unnatural and more than a little disconcerting. Even disquietening.

However we've now arrived at Karijini National Park, which at least means that we can get out of the car for a couple of days. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the car is not the luxury 4x4 we originally intended to use.

It is a Toyota Landcruiser. At one point, back in the days of Ronald Reagan and 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go', it had airconditioning. Now it does not. It has faded and corroded into the colours of the landscape: beige, rust red and the occasional burst of sage green, if it has been driven over a particularly large shrub. It also has a pronounced disinclination to do more than one hundred kilometres per hour, and a terrifying dead spot in the steering which makes driving it somewhat like wrestling a large and stubborn dugong.

Still, it got us here, and that's the main thing. The main, sweaty, noisy, butt-numbing thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home