Saturday, August 1, 2009


As I sit to start my Blog, I am unsure where to begin. There is so much to cover! Perhaps a good place is distance. Maybe I should be more specific and say distance and driving.
For 10 years I used to dread my 12-minute commute to work, which for the most part was on the freeway, and was counter traffic. The rest of my life was contained within about a 10-mile radius. If and when we had to leave that space, there was a battle over who (me or my partner) was going to drive. Neither of us really enjoyed driving. On weekends, when we would head out for the trails, driving more than an hour and a half was considered over the top.
5 years ago when we moved to
Spain, where we lived in a fairly small town. No more need for a car in town--everything was walking distance. However, when it was time to get out and hit the trails, there was nothing closer than a couple hours drive. So at least twice a month we suddenly found ourselves driving several hours both to and from trailheads. Granted, we would stay overnight and not drive home until the next day, but still we were driving more than we ever had, and it was strange--we never seemed to even think about it!
Then last year we moved to
Australia. Now we were really looking at some significant distances to cover. First, we had to deal with living in (what we consider) a large city. If we want to leave town in any direction other than south it takes at least 30 minutes just to get out of town. Then the state we live in, Southern Australia, is huge! Just to cross it, either north to south or east to west, would take nearly a day. Some areas of SA become so remote that you can go for hours on end without seeing a thing, not a house, sheep, fence or even a petrol station. Well, I guess the occasional Kangaroo does pop up. Especially when you least expect it. But there are some very large open spaces here in Australia.
How has all of this changed our driving habits? Well we continue not to drive in town. Fortunately there is an effective
public transportation system in Adelaide. We are even able to use it to reach several trailheads. However, when looking at getting out of town, the word road trip comes to mind. We no longer bat an eye at driving hours on end to reach our destination. Just last weekend we drove over 2,000 km (with more than half that being on dirt track) in 5 days. For the most part, the time in the car passed quickly. Perhaps it was the amazing landscape, the 12-disk book on tape, the numerous cuppas or the ABBA cd.
For some reason we no longer dread long drives. In fact, we have done more than our fair share in the past year, and have several more planned. I guess you could say it is all part of our great Australian adventure.
I should note that it is my husband who does all of the driving. After all, I can’t drive on the left-hand side of the road!

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