Social distancing in these strange times? There’s possibly no better way than doing so in the Australian Outback. With lockdowns now just a bad memory in Australia (for the moment at least) and just a few isolated covid incidents apparently being well controlled, it has been time to consider travel.
So, where better to go for some peace and solitude than a couple of weeks camping in the Outback? I’ve just returned from a great fortnight, and have begun processing images captured out there, a long way from anywhere.
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An unexpected barn find
The fun of isolated outback locations harks back to Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. He didn’t say it in reference to Australia, but it is quite applicable.
It was along one of the unmapped tracks that we happened upon an open shed. Not much inside, just a few old discarded vehicle batteries along with a sewing machine that had seen better days—and a classic waiting to be restored.
Protected from the elements by the shade and shelter of a shed, the old warrior was blemished only by the red dust. Kept in such a dry climate, it is a vehicle which awaits restoration. But certainly there’s no hurry on that front. Even the original tool kit is still open and untouched on the rear of the vehicle—a credit to the honesty and responsibility other travellers who have also found it, and respected it enough to leave it in peace.
Even more unexpected
Outside the shed, there was another classic. A double-decker bus, once one of Britain’s finest. Simply too big to fit in the shed. The story has it that it was owned by two fence builders as their mobile home many decades ago, travelling with them as they worked the never-ending miles of fence lines. On weekends they would drive it into a local town, generally many tens of miles away, and take the children for rides. Unfortunately, they didn’t always do their calculations, as on one occasion they tried to drive it under a railway bridge. It still bears the transformation of the top deck from that exercise.
A camera appropriate for the day
All images that day captured on a Leica X1. While it is now over a decade old, I thought it to be an appropriate bit of kit to use in an old landscape. And I think the camera enjoyed the outing.