Indian Pacific: Plain Talking

The country outside Adelaide is initially greener than I imagined (no drifting sand dunes or camel trains yet.) However the ubiqitous red soil is there; and after some time you realize the landscape is impercetibly changing. The last distant low uplands slide away and the perspective is of a vast surrounding tabletop.

Small scubby plants cover the expanse and trees gradually thin to ten, five, and eventually none in sight. Two kangaroos make an appearance. Even a lone bird silhouetted in a tree is welcomed as a sign of life. The three Japanese guys opposite stare out between sharing around their English copy of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. They must be getting a strange feel for Western culture.

Over the horizon pass by some familiar names. After coming out here you feel a sense of stronger sympathy for anyone held at Woomera. Further down the line Maralinga sits to the north. It seems all the things the Australians want to hide from view are kept out here, out of mind, out of sight.

The plain continues.

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