08 November 2008

it's a long way there

It's a long way to Longreach all right. It's also the same return distance although having the sun at your back as you do so is preferable to it beating through an untinted windscreen on your tummy.

There were plenty of dead roos by and on the road but on only one occasion did I have to take violent evasive action to avoid clobbering a couple of live road-crossing roos, a tactic which fortunately was successful. The rest of the time is mainly spent on cruise control to avoid collecting any (more) points.

A couple of kind of off-beat road signs caught my eye but they're on the next roll of film so you'll need to wait. Memo to self: next time take the digital camera as well.

Some highlights: listening to
Redgum's Red Raggin' on the way in to Barcaldine.

Raggin' raggin' red red raggin'
Commos to a man.

You couldn't have timed it better if it had been a set-up, but this was pure serendipity. The Tree of Knowledge she is no more in original guise, but several truckloads of taxpayer moolah is going towards its reincarnation.

On the other hand, listening to one of my 1970s favourites, Hawkwind's In Search of Space on a 40 degree plus day as I cruised through the outback was a bit too surreal, although some of the lines could be transposed to our modern day:

we took the wrong step years ago

Probably the real highlight of the trip out was catching ABC local news every hour to get the latest on the US election. Far too much has been written elsewhere for to me add to, but without getting too mawkish or some similar emotion, suffice to say that the sliver of hope that President-elect Obama represents is enough of itself. Time will tell if he's just another pollie, or he gets caught in the military-industrial complex despite his best intentions. The papers are hailing his arrival, even those commentators who normally inhabit the right bank. A quick skim through Oz Politics feeds shows that those who opposed his election are going keep on being...well, what they usually are. I bought the Opposition Organ for James Halliday's annual 100 best Aussie wines, but a flick through their opinion pages didn't reveal too much of interest apart from a puff piece on Malcolm Turnbull as a counterpoint, or at least a different slant, to their usual Rudd-baiting.

Anyway, this Obama. If people respond to a vague sliver of hope, more accurately perhaps a promise of hope, surely that tells us something?

Anyway, here are some photos of the trip.

All roads out of Longreach look similar.

But sundown and the sunset on the Thomson is spectacular.

There's a quite comprehensive little antique machinery museum open to the passing public in Ilfracombe.
Finally, a couple of other snippets. There was one interview on the radio as I drove, can't remember who it was but he used 'subset' as a verb. We need to bring back the public stocks for people like that, I reckon.
And the TV news tonight showed, sadly but inevitably, some Christmas parades. It's only the 8th of November for crying out loud. But that usual whinge aside, I found it pretty weird that in Brisbane, Santa Claus was in the Batmobile with Batman beside him. There's going to be a whole heap of explaining that Mum and Dad will have to do, I'd love to be a fly on the wall.


BwcaBrownie said...

Batman is "a haunted creature of the night" so he has that in common with poor Santa ...

Laurie said...

Sounds interesting, Phil. Ilfracombe - now that's a place I've always wanted to go, if only to take a photo of the name of the place. You've survived the deep north, son - I raise me glass!

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