Big Question Marks

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fighting Ageism Across The Outback... and other adventures


Hello all! We're in the pleasantly-named town of Emerald, writing to you from the Tropic of Capricorn. We thought we were in the Outback again but it might still be too "urban" here. Later today we're off to Carnarvon Gorge National Park, to go try out our new hiking boots and see some cool Aboriginal rock art. Hopefully there will be lots of lizards and no dingoes (we've managed to hit school holidays by accident, so we also hope it won't be overrun by rugrats).

It's been a while... since we last wrote we've made some progress south. The scenery has gotten much drier and hotter, but we're still enjoying the camping life. The accomodation has been okay (anything from beachside caravan parks to roadside rest stops) Lately we've come across a few cranky caravanning seniors, who come storming out of their trailers if we've parked "too close" to their shade tree. There was one especially awesome dude in a place called Carmila Beach who came out at this FREE rest stop by a beach, hands on hips, and was like "are you going to pitch a tent there?" and we're like "no, we have a van" (duh). and he's like "well, what time are you leaving in the morning? because I need to get my caravan out that side right threr" (points to the big open free sand patch we have parked in, that somehow he has laid claim to). we kindly move back a bit while the old cranky dude watches us the whole time, since we're sleeping definitely in the next day and are not moving for his big gas guzzler. Without a thanks or anything, him and his wife drive off to town later that night, and he says "Well, I suppose that will work." and from then on he became the "mayor of Carmila Beach" (and we've encountered a few more mayors of free rest stops since then too). We've found that going off the main backpacker trail on the coast means fighting with these caravan lifers sometimes... but it's also good for laughs when they eat our dust and we blare whatever hiphop we can find to play on our crappy stereo! (gotta keep up stereotypes, yo!) The funny part is, we met a great couple in Ravenshoe, wheat farmers from Western Australia who were in their 50s, tops, and they even said they've gotten attitude from the really old folks-- like 'you aren't old enough to be living this kind of life' attitude. Strange!

Things we've noticed/love lately:
-Big things- We're starting to see some goodies... the big cassowary, the big cane toad (ugly!), the big mango (so big, Dayle tripped down some stairs looking at it. Her knee is still healing)
-We love Utes! They're like cars mixed with pick-up trucks, and "Ute" is short for "utility vehicle" or something. There are old clunky ones everywhere, and then some people have sparkly shiny bright coloured ones, like sportscars. We're currently compiling a ute photo album, for all the hoons to check out (see next)
-Our current favourite Aussie term is "hoon"... which we've read means delinquent, but it also has to do with street racing (ie. "hooning around"). Maybe Daisy can be our hoonmobile...
-People (maybe hoons!) like to hang big gutted fish from the roadsigns marking creeks and rivers. ew!
-Sugar cane is king (never thought of Oz as a cane farming country but it's everywhere!)
-Either the wood here is really hard to burn or we're really out of practice with our campfires. We sit shivering and jealous of all of our neighbours whenever there's a firepit.
-Kookaburras are really cute... until they swoop onto your table and steal a chunk of pancake (they did this to Adrian not long ago!) Yarrrrr!
-The Chaser-- A guy on ABC TV (like CBC back home) made big news here when him and his TV show team crashed the APEC meetings in Sydney saying they were the Canadian motorcade (who weren't even in the country yet)... and they got through tons of security as a prank and basically just stirred things up. Check out his show if you can... he rocks!
-Our favourite thing of all is our little tiny radio that we bought for $20. We're in touch with the world again-- country stations, top 40, and really bad comedy shows. Yippee!
Catch you soon... xoxxo, D&A
PS. We just put up lots of new pictures on Flickr (ok, the scuba ones are old now but we found them in the van finally!)

1 comment:

Sean said...

hey guys just watched a bunch of your vids. great stuff. love the snake going under the van.
stay safe!
sean