Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Last Stop

Monday was Labor Day here in Southern Australia.  It was not a National Holiday, and it occurs on different dates throughout the different States.  We decided to take advantage of the long weekend, and visit the Northern Flinders Ranges.
I have to laugh when I think back to a year ago, when I would never have imagined making the 1,200+ kilometer round trip journey: many dirt roads--into the remote wilderness mountains of Southern Australia.   Stories of the demise of ill-fated travelers, to the thought of the vast and harsh interior of the country, filled me with fear.  Over time I realized this fear was irrational.  Even though the land around me was wild and untamed, it was a threat only to those who do not respect it and who are not prepared.
We have made several different trips into the isolated bush.  Each trek has taken extensive planning and preparation.   For the most part our adventures have run smoothly.  However, on this last trip we were reminded that it is not enough to plan and prepare well; you have to expect the unexpected.
We planned to camp two nights at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, which includes a village with varied accommodations: a restaurant, a store, and a garage.  We were completely self-sufficient and only needed to buy petrol and ice at the store.  We figured that by buying ice at the final destination, it would last longer.  We never even considered that the ice-machine at Arkaroola would be broken.  The next closest town was 167 kilometers away.  Fortunately, we only had a couple of items that needed to be on ice and all we had to do was change the order in which we ate pre-planned meals.  I will admit that bratwurst for breakfast with hot mustard is probably not my favorite, and that after 6 hours of hiking Mark was a little disappointed by the breakfast burrito (we had planned on a thick steak).  We survived the warm beer, and only had to throw away a few items.
Overall, we felt we were lucky.  It could have been worse. I could have had a week's worth of food that required refrigeration or the petrol pump could have been broken.  We also learned an important lesson-- in a land of extremes, and vast distances, don't wait for the last stop.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maya, that is such a great photo! It really gives a wonderful sampling of the vastness and beauty of that part of Australia. What an adventure you both had. Great adjustments!

    I enjoyed this post a lot. Thank you for sharing your experiences.