In Kununurra No One Can Hear You Scream
Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
85Trip End Jan 08, 2012
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So, maybe it’s time to make a few observations about Australia(ns). The first thing you come to realise is that, despite all the preparation and all the map reading you do beforehand, once you start travelling you really had no idea how huge the country is. If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll have already read the time it takes to travel from one place to another. Fortunately the biggest trips will be done by plane, but even the 'short’ trips have taken a minimum of 9-10 hours so far.
Which then leads on to another point: there are no motorways in Australia except in major cities. The only places I’ve seen motorways are in Melbourne and Adelaide. However, if you want to travel between Melbourne and Adelaide, for example, you have to take the highway, which is a single lane road in each direction, with a speed limit of 80 – 110kph. I understand why motorways are not used outside the city, as you can drive for an entire day and see at most 10 other cars! The highways are deserted. What I don’t understand is the speed limit. When you’re travelling distances of hundreds of kilometres at a time, why should you be confined to such a low speed? No wonder, it takes forever to get anywhere. Oddly enough, up until a couple of years ago, there was no speed limit on the roads in the Northern Territory (they were the Australian version of Germany’s Autobahns), but I suppose years of irresponsible driving has put paid to that idea (you merely need to look at a copy of NT News to see that every day somebody does something stupid with their car).
I’ve just been talking to some of the guys (Eastern Europeans) at the hostel and they’re working on a farm, picking mangoes. From what they’re saying to me, mango picking is a hazardous job. When they cut the branches sap leaks out of it and if it touches your skin, it causes you to come out in a rash and later blisters. One poor soul actually had to be taken to hospital because he’s passed out from the contact. Apparently Asians are more susceptible to this and are often sick because of it. So, basically, here mangoes have ‘acid for blood’! Sound familiar? My God! If the crocs, sharks, spiders, snakes and grass don’t get you, then the mangoes will!
Time to go. More reflections another day.