It was just an ordinary roadtrip over christmas to visit family. Something many people do at this time of year. A 7 1/2 drive, about the driving time from London to Edinburgh or Portland OR to Eureka CA. So 15 hours there and back, taken over three days in total on good roads in great weather. Straightforward, one would assume. Uneventful. Dull.
We blasted our way through hoards of locusts so thick on the ground and in the air that it was impossible not to step on them in the hourly stops to clean the windscreen and administer mercy killings to the partly splattered. A radiator screen would have been a good idea had we known what we were to encounter, but at least we weren't on motorbikes!
The landscapes were captivating. Slow down. See through an artist's eyes:
We followed the South Australian coast road down to the Victorian border, driving through an area known as the Coorong. A marshy, salty, swampy place filled with such subtley coloured grasses and low scrubby plants that it was an eerily enchanting landscape.
The pink salt lakes stopped us in our tracks. Have you ever walked on a one inch thick crust of salt? I walk out into the pink water until the salt gives beneath my weight and cracks. Underneath was silty jet black warm mud.
We stopped to gaze on in admiration, from every possible angle, at the turquoise blue lake of Mount Gambier. Yes the lake really is that blue.
We encountered Australian beaches so typically Aussie they could have been cut and pasted from a Tourism Australia brochure. What the glossies don't say is that many of these beaches have rips and undertows too strong to be safe to swim in. But the colours, oh my!
And all throughout the drive were the iconic Australian paddock trees. Stately overseers of broadacre farming, all twisted, deformed and majestic and very dry. Wonderful silhouettes.
What beauty have you been driving on past lately?
For all you fans of the simple tree, I have uploaded an entire collection of trees for you to use as reference material. I plan to sporadically add to this collection over time. Go create!