It was a bit weird. We were on the outskirts of Laverton in Western Australia and had just finished the last stretch of gravel road on The Outback Way, Australia’s Longest Shortcut. With the bitumen now ahead of us, there was a sense of disappointment our adventure had come to an end.
It’s probably better described as a slow adventure. This section of the shortcut from Yulara, just east of Alice Springs to well into Western Australia, The Great Central Highway offers quite the unique experience.
I remember once when we were living in Saudi Arabia. We were having a family picnic with friends under the only tree on this vast hot desolate rocky landscape. There was nothing else in sight. My late wife made the comment, “How nice is this”. One of those family comments that are never forgotten.
But while we nearly choked on our non alcoholic glass of sparkling grape juice, we all agreed. There’s beauty in the eye of the beholder.
And that’s what we loved about this stretch of out in the middle of nowhere shortcut across Australia adventure back home to Perth.
There’s an eerieness observing on average one car wreck on the side of the road every three kilometres. The constant reminder how unforgiving and harsh this country can be. The sense of isolation, seeing just one other car once in a half day.
But then there’s the desert with all the trees, bushes and plants that adapts to decades of drought, then springs to life after recent rains, that makes you question if it really is a desert. Where you are suddenly treated to a sprawling natural garden of amazing wildflowers.
It seems though that time is running out to experience this same unique adventure… that is if you crave the red dust. Word up and down the track is plans are well advanced to seal the road over the next several years. Now that would be disappointing!
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