I don’t know how many blogs I can start with: “I know I haven’t blogged much lately” before it becomes obvious that I’m seriously bad at keeping up to date as a blogger. But, here’s another one for the collection.
I know I haven’t blogged much lately, but its definitely not because I’ve been lacking for things to write about. The last month has been an amazing adventure of Australia, taking Dean and I from the Northern Territory to New South Wales and back again in just 32 days.
All up, we broke our car in by covering over 10,000km of landscapes from empty pastures, to curving mountain roads. We lived in a tent, slept under the stars, and (or at least I like to think so) discovered Australia.
For most people, and even for Dean at the beginning, the sheer size of Australia dwarfs all mental estimates. The road that starts at home heads straight out towards the horizon, and just keeps on going. Driving out of the Northern Territory is a feat that takes more than three days as we adjust to the rocket-like speeds and our new-found freedom. On our first day alone we traverse more than 1,000 kilometres, to end up at the Devil’s Marbles, one of the many unknown wonders of Australia.
After 10 hours on the road, with petrol stations being (in many places) small beacons of civilisation amongst the dry wilds, the Marbles appears to us like a mirage our of a science fiction dream. Enormous red and orange boulders catch the sun as we kick up neon red grit drifting through the sand. Our camp for the night is attended by these gargantuan sentinels, and one very hungry dingo that eyes us from a distance. After night falls, stunningly sliding down the surface of the rocks, and the stars wind their way around to daylight, I hear him sniffing around our campfire for scraps, and yipping at the dinner-plate of a moon.
The car becomes something of a sanctuary for us, the one constant in our changing landscape. We live, eat, breathe and exist most of the time within a few hundred metres of its tyres. They pick up their own memories, holding little pieces of red dirt, yellow stone, and white sand in their teeth. But every morning is the same: extract our tall bodies from the cramped confines of our small tent, and begin to pack our life down. Compressing what you own is easier than it looks, but every now and again the seams split on our organisation.
What isn’t the same are the afternoons. New locations, new sights and sounds, new places to explore. We’re not big planners really, so usually we aren’t sure where we’ll end up. When we end up somewhere bad, we look forward to tomorrow, but when we pull in, smell the fresh scent of possibility and unpack, we’re always thinking about staying longer. Maybe we’ll never go home at all.
But the open road still softly calls, and even though we stall and drag our feet, we’re ready to be on the move again. We stop in with old friends, see relatives and share stories with strangers. My Oma proves herself to be ready for an adventure, and over four days we criss-cross from pastoral fields to stunning shores on NSW’s south coast. We come across unexpected rivers, swim in frigid autumn seas, trust in our paper maps and our trusty car and head on down roads, even if we aren’t sure what might be coming at the end. Always in my head I repeat: Adventure is out there.
Then the day comes when we seem to have reached the very edge of Australia, when the sea stretches out in front of us for an eternity. Dolphins frolic in the water, and we think we might just stand there forever to watch them. But, for us we have gone as far as we can go, and the road calls us again. Only this time, it’s calling us home.
This post originally appeared on BarefootBeachBlonde.com, the pre-evolved version of Maps And Mandalas. I’ve republished it here with its original date because I love it that much.