The Outback…blood, sweat & shooting stars.


When thinking about my next travel destination, Australia really was never a true contender. I usually gravitate towards third world countries and expand my sense of priorities with the western world. To see beyond spreadsheets & deadlines and focus my mind & body into something worth while.

All these things I assumed I could never achieve in a first world, ‘hot version’ of the UK. Or so I thought…

Paying homage to the quintessential backpackers mode of transport, a lively bunch of fellow travellers and I piled into what can only be described as a tin can on wheels heading for the outback.

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For the next few hours I genuinely felt like my brain was going to pop out of my skull, bump after bump, ditch after ditch, rattling around in the mini bus which seemed to have left its suspension in Japan where I suspect it originated. Suddenly we came to a juddering halt. One by one we unstuck our sweaty bodies from the faux leather seats, and rolled off the bus. It was lovely finally to stretch our legs and although the breeze wasn’t cool, it still felt refreshing on our skin.

The Outback...blood, sweat & shooting stars.
The next leg of the journey was certainly a challenging one. Back packs on, water in hand, beating sun on our faces and we were off. Hours and hours went by of gruelling heat. The local flies were notorious for congregating around any form of moisture which included beads of sweat, saliva, nasal mucus and eye moisture, making the majority of the hike rather irritating.
Although it was not all doom and gloom, not by any stretch, it’s funny how you get to a point of such exhaustion, such dehydration and such acceptance that you develop a sense of meditation. Pure, clear, serene acceptance. With the sweat dripping into your eyes, all you can really focus on is the skeletal shadows of dead trees dotting the landscape throughout the vast open space of sun-drenched desert.As the night drew in we found an appropriate camp-site and began setting up the fire that was to be our barbecue for a feast of camel sausages and buffalo burgers.
Rolling out each of our swags, it really dawned on me the rurality of the situation we were in. Actually sleeping under the stars, straight on to the desert sand.
The Outback...blood, sweat & shooting stars.

After dinner we all made the most of the warm open fire as the desert’s temperature dropped almost instantaneously with the setting of the sun.
Laying there all tucked up under the heavy leather of the sleeping bag swag encapsulating me, I looked up at the enormity of the dark sky.

My breath so clear in the night’s chill, my eyes so wide with wonder at the darkness and just as I was about to nod off I see a huge flash of light. There flying over my head was a shooting star. The clearest, brightest vision I have ever seen. Burning fearfully purple against the deep dark night sky. That night I went to sleep one very relaxed and thoughtful Brit, feeling so insignificant yet wonderfully content.

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