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2001 August 14, Tuesday. 45 kilometers North of Julia Creek.

The Great Dividing Range borders the east coast of Australia and shelters the infinite plains which stretch virtually unbroken to the west coast. From the vast Nullabor across the Great Australian Bight in the south, through the Great Sandy desert in the Red Centre, to the Gulf Savannah Grasslands where we have made camp this evening, the land is extraordinarily, uniformly, flat.


Today, the insignificant undulations we had cycled across, and which provide drainage for rainwater, petered away gradually, and fell into a floodplain. The trivial alteration in ground level was not enough to discern with the naked eye, and the land is parched at this time of year. However, it could be seen from the vegetation, and the signs of cattle hooves having sunk into the earth at some stage, that tremendous amounts of water once drained into the area. The utter absence of trees of any significant height within eyeshot, suggest that it also spent a lot of time draining into the clay subsoil to join underground reservoirs.

Throughout the trip we have crossed a great many rivers and flood ways – dry and otherwise – but none so interminable as today’s, which stretched for over thirty kilometres, leaving us yearning for shade. The view was unimaginable – reaching endlessly to a mirage scattered horizon.

How far into the distance are you able to see from your bedroom window? How far can you see from your yard? What eventually blocks your view – hills, trees, or buildings?



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