• Accueil
  • > Archives pour le Tuesday 11 September 2012

Daily Archive for September 11th, 2012

Day 6

Day 6

Wauchope to Daly Waters

Long (6 hr) drive north, up the Stuart Highway passing through Aboriginal lands, and some of their villages.

Day 6 P9100241-300x225Rather desperate sight, seeing badly nourished, badly clothed, unshod  listless Aboriginies  seemingly wandering around aimlessly. The local ‘white folk’ are clearly fed up with ‘them’. They are given huge government subsidies, their communities or tribes are paid fortunes in mining rights, since they were given back their lands, and leasing rights in 1972. But they don’t seem to have developed anything even self respect, the white folks say. Whilst the other view might be to look at a different culture, another way of seeing life, it seems to me that they are seen as the underdog, and drink themselves out of their misery.

Of course we only see those that venture into the villages we stop in. There is of course the great Aboriginie art culture, with wonderful ‘dot’ paintings that blend vivid colours on dark canvases, (the pictures are recounting their history) but it seems to my inexperienced eye a market controlled by the white population… Another facet of Aboriginal life is ‘natural living’ and  their  use of homeopathic / natural medicine. But as yet, I haven’t found this area exploited b y them. Ti (or Tee) Tree  extracts used in oils, creams, soaps, balms  etc, for example, is one of the better known natural remedies for many skin complaints  from Australia.

The national paper ‘The Australian’ just published a report showing the huge disparity of subsidies favoring the native population, the Aborigines. The gap is clear, and the working (white) folk we met are, to say the least – astounded, or more likely fed up.

Such is what we found so far, and in a way, it may be  a similar story of white/european  invasion of Africa, America, and anywhere else for that matter.

But we keep hurtling up Stuart Highway at 100 kilometers per hour, surrounded by this great expanse of nothing as far as we can see.

Huge areas of blackend scrubland, as result of ‘controlled’ fires look ominous, reminding us of fires in Provence, or Spain or further away, but intelligently , the Australia Forestry and Land Commission clear the ‘under – bush’ so avoiding a huge spread of fire. in the heat of the summer.


A controlled forest fire

Finally landed up at the legendary Daly Waters Pub and Caravan Park.


Daly Waters pub

Named after a governor of Australia by scottish explorer John McDouall Stuart (buried in Kensal Green cemetery, London)  who cut through the north / south route in the 1860′s. (serving the gold diggers) The pub is a travelers favorite, and there are hundreds of cards and foreign bank notes stapled to the walls, as well as bras and knickers all signed and dated !


Knickers, bras, bank notes and ID cards all stapled to the wall by passing backpackers...

A cold XXXX beer on the terrace, watching the sun setting with crackly country and western belting out of the juke box and dusty road trains filling up at the single pump ,make a fine end of a long journey.

Day 5

Day 5

Barkly to Wauchope (Wack-hope)

Great climbing for the girls at the Devils Marbles, amazing granite rocks

Day 5 P9090184-300x225

The Devils Marbles




followed by a short trip in a three wagon road train:


The Road Train



Stopped in small road house, near an aborigine settlement. Heard the sad story of their integration problems, and alcohol abuse…

Found out that all the staff at these homesteads (motorway service stations) are european backpackers, that find the jobs on the internet. They stay out here for 2 or 3 months, saving money, as there’s nothing to spend it on!

Day 4

Day 4

Cloncurry to Barkly (via Coomanweal)

We passed through a small mining town called Mt Isa, and apart from the usual wide avenues and single story homes, the only notable thing was a 24/7 adult supermarket for all those lonesome stockmen!

Day 4 P9070145-300x225

The road into mining industry town - Mount Isa

The Barkly homestead is a legendary refueling stop miles from anywhere. The route here was probably the bleakest so far, and the size of the country really is brought home. The vast emptiness wherever one looks is simply awesome. I was racking my brains for uses for this flat land with so much sunshine, huge underground water reservoirs,  other than millions of acres of (seemingly) absolutely nothing.


A petrol station in the outback !


Day 2 and day 3

Day 2 to Croydon Normanton wwas long and uneventful

Day 2 and day 3 P9070132-300x225

The long long road...


Day 3

Normanton to Cloncurry

On the road there are signs to cattle stations, where huge herds of cows and bulls are tended by teams of stockmen using horses, motorbikes, quad bikes, helicopters and small planes. It must be a tough life, as well as living hours from anywhere.

Hamburger at Burke and Wills Road House, (Burke and Wills were two famous explorers from 150 years ago) we saw huge road trains transporting cattle to ports for export, or fattening up in the south, or simply abattoirs for McDonalds.


Road train with cattle

The camping ground we chose for the night was a recent acquisition by a firm that owns 36 camping grounds around Australia. The manager explained their interesting business model with low yields, but  low overheads…



Pourlatrentainejemoffrelave... |
Monparadisenbretagne |
Carribean world Monastir |
Unblog.fr | Créer un blog | Annuaire | Signaler un abus | Leblogdesbistrots
| Momoinindia
| Famillebarde