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.

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