My Australian Outback Experience - Timelessness
by Brigitte Seum
In 1994, I spent about 10 days on Aboriginal land. A group of about 20 of us flew from Sydney into Alice Springs. There we spent the night, stocked up on food, hired 4WDs and headed north. We had a break at the Devils Marbles, a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Further on, we turned off the main road towards the northeast and continued our journey on small sandy tracks.
I can't remember how long that journey took – it's almost like as soon as you leave Alice you are in a different space - timelessness. All I know we got to our camp before dark.
We had access to Aboriginal land, which is not normally open to white people, but someone in our group had contacts and had negotiated for us to stay on it. The land was uninhabited and we were there all by ourselves.
As it was winter, nights were crisp, necessitating woolen jumpers and hats, bonfires with stories and music - and hot days, swimming, exploring. Our camp was right next to a large waterhole and the area quite rocky and somewhat hilly - otherwise there was nothing, only sky...
It is the sense of timelessness that I most remember about this trip. We really got to experience the spirit of the land. I could sense its rhythm, the breathing of the land - slow, ancient and steady. It gave us space to just be without distractions.
It was safe – I had even brought my 6 month old son - we developed a beautiful sense of community. (The only problem was that we had to take 10 days of dirty nappies back out.)
This sort of experience is something still to be had in the Australian outback (no, I'm not talking about the nappies).
Photo by Bill Hails
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