At the Port Wakefield Roadhouse,
a white Ford pulls over.

The blond youth is turning off shortly,
but stops to pass the time of day.


Magun's Compass
Learn from the Travel Experiences of Others

"Essex..... isn't that Goochie's county?"


A woman stops... but she is turning off too. At last there is a lift to Port Augusta: The operations manager of an industrial cleaning company has been in Australia for eight years. He says that he is from Rhodesia originally, has spent four years in Crewe, and some time in Singapore and Indonesia.

He employs many casuals during the summer shutdowns, and gives you his card; should you be in the area, and need some casual work to boost your funds.

"There's often trouble with the boongs here," he sneers. "Know what a boong is?" Your face is blank.... "You see the 'roo-bars on the front of that truck?"

He points to a solid metal, tubular frame that protects the radiator grill from damage when a kangaroo is accidentally struck at night.

"That's the noise it makes when you hit a struggling Abo."

Port Augusta is South Australia's most northerly port.

Once you join the Stuart Highway, it is your last glimpse of the coast for 3,000 kilometres.

Another driver, who takes you from Port Augusta to the Roxby Downs uranium mines' turnoff, also adds his comments about the plight of today's Aborigine.

"There's quite a problem in Port Augusta," he says. "They're often lying outside the park, unconscious from drink, or even petrol- sniffing."

He has worked in the heat of the desert sun, and admires how the early Aborigines had walked and lived on the land, but he sees little to admire about them today.

"I suppose it's our fault," he continues, "for introducing them to the stuff in the first place! They just don't have have the same metabolism that we do, and they don't break down the alcohol. They're totally wasted."

You pass two large salt lakes: Lake Torrens, and Lake MacFarlane.

When Mark turns off, the road is quiet, and traffic is as scarce as an Aborigine in Iceland. There are no clouds, and if it was not for the wind, it would still be unbearably hot at six o'clock.

The turn-off; that you spend an hour looking at, leads to Woomera, Australia's rocket and research base.

You start to read a book.....

Eventually, two Danish men in a large Australian car pull up beside you. They are going to Coober Pedy.

[North of Adelaide]

[To Coober Pedy]

Australia Index.

Nomadic Gatherings - Travels in Asia and Australia

Travel on trains and buses in Asia, then jump into cars with complete strangers in Australia and New Zealand as Michel introduces you to a collection of characters that bring Nomadic Gatherings to life.

If you can't afford to buy a copy of Nomadic Gatherings, the chapters are slowly being made available online - for free.

You may even decide that it really is worth having a hard copy in your hands; a useful read for those long bus journeys being written about, and for endless waits at ferry ports.

Nomadic Gatherings - Online Chapters.

Find out more about Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, The Middle East, and The Americas.
Magun's Compass

Originally Hosted on Geocities - in 1996

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