Not following the advice of one of my email friends, I headed
west today, seeking the Outback. I just wanted to see the red sand and the vast space. I
should get what I wanted. In the morning I had my first sightings of Kangaroos and even of
an Emu. However, both are rather quick species - before I had my telephoto mounted, the
Emu was gone, and it sure runs faster than I do. Later that day I definitely decided that
I am not heading towards Uluru, although I would have loved sending my mother a postcard
from Mt Olga. Instead I turned around and headed north-east, on unpaved roads.
As my above friend put it, the word "bad road" gets a new meaning here. This car was not built for this, and it's like driving slalom avoiding the worst of all potholes. The sign at the road refreshingly says "180km" till the end of the torture. That's like from home to Zurich, and that feels like eternity on a first quality Swiss interstate.
In the town of Cobar they have a very interesting local FM radio station. Given the size of the town it was surprising enough that they had a station at all; but the cute thing was that it was staffed by a maybe 15yr old girl, or so it sounded. The phone rang in the middle of a commercial which she was reading, and other spontaneous things. She was certainly anything but a professional radio announcer, very refreshing to me after years of SF Bay Area radio announcers who are superstars, or at least behave as such.
When taking pictures of the local flora a dingo approached me at a distance of maybe 5m. With my luck of course I had the 17mm superwide mounted at that point, and until I could retrieve and mount my 1.4*200, the dingo was long gone to a safe distance. Learning from this mistake, I kept one camera body with the long setup mounted all the time, and so I could capture a couple of Emus minutes later. It almost seemed like there was a farm specializing in Emus, as some places at home have chickens; they both probably have the same IQ, or so it seemed. And I had to learn that slamming the brakes on a dirt road in order to get a shot is not the best idea, as by the time the dust sets the subject is long gone.
With the firm decision to reduce my daily mileage as soon as this desert ordeal is over I took a refreshing 2-gallon shower and crashed, enjoying the full moon night.