Today was a pretty long travel day, through mostly flat and increasingly dry land. The longer the day goes on the harsher the landscape appears. The green gradually gives way to a grey, brown and red stoney land until finally it seems like we may be driving on the red planet itself, Mars. A stoney, red, moonscape laid out before us a far as the eye can see, appropriately named the Sturt Stoney Desert.
Earlier in the day we’d past through Windorah stoping for fuel and ice cream of course. Coming into town your greeted by an interesting array of solar collectors, a configuration we’ve not yet seen on our travels.
From Windorah we travelled west on the Diamantina Development Road for 115 km before taking the Birdsville Development Road for another 85 km to our overnight stop at Deon’s Lookout. The roads were in good condition a mix of dirt and bitumen. Deon’s Lookout is on top of a little jump up, the road up was good, they views wonderful and the wind blowing a gale.
We had the place to ourselves, so we parked the van using it as a wind break and enjoyed a peaceful night, toasting marshmellows by the fire under the stars.
The kids love these free camps, out in the middle of nowhere. They always find something to entertain themselves with, and only occasionally need encouragement (code for after getting kicked out of the van and booted off iPads). Charlotte always loves to dance and really lets the dance moves rip when there’s no one around to watch. Except us ……… and you.
The information boards at the lookout are brilliant and a just reward for traveling here. The history of this particularly harsh part of Australia is fascinating and with the help of these boards we are just starting to get a sense and feel for its uniqueness. It always amazes me, what was the mindset and experience of those first pioneering pastoralists. Who would decide it was a good idea to come and make a go of it. Try to establish a home, a life a town out here?
Well, some tried, some died and they all fried in the baking sun but a marvelous history has unfolded. Unlike other places in Australia the relationship and history between the black and whites appears harmonious. A mutual respect and reliance upon each other for survival out here seems to have fostered a caring and peaceful view of each others culture. An unusual lack of racism, exists amongst the people of the Diamantina. Hooray for humankind, it seems it possible.
I truely hope the picture portrayed and told here is true and I do believe we have to capacity to be this good and kind but the skeptic in me always wonders if this is the whole story. Either way, with the news and so much negative media around it’s nice to be reminded it can be done. Humans with differences (be it physical, spiritual, or other) are capable of choosing to get along if they wish or simply must for survival.