There is no one in sight on this isolated road and an unfolding landscape that continues to dwindle down to two dirt tire tracks through the dusty spinifex. I can see termite mounds dotting the tired landscape, the landscape that has been harshly treated by overstocked cattle – Brahman, the breed of choice for their high tolerance to heat. The original native plants have all been but pushed back from the livestock, and now all that is left is the red dust that settles at my feet. There’s no hotels and no towns, no one, except the township, if that’s what it can be called. Its only one building, and appears to be a pub. Its at the last vestige of sealed road and where the dirt track begins in earnest, the intersection of the Buchanan Highway (so called) with the Buntine Highway, Top Springs. There probably is a spring somewhere close by. We stop briefly for photos and stand in awe at our surroundings. We feel alone and far away. I submit to the outback, a rather different mindset. One that lets me pause in the silence and observe my surroundings. And for this one night, on this new terrain, the sights and smells were all new and beckoning me further still. After setting up camp in a grove of wildflowers, and after my first sip of wine, I blissfully watched the sun set down on the horizon. And as I relaxed into the night, a pair of Brolgas appear. Oh, so beautiful, and their dance, so graceful. I recently learnt that Brolgas mate for life and are renowned for their movements, revered by the Aboriginal people and may help to bring romance, love and renewal to relationships. I had never seen a Brolga before nor whispered its name on my lips. I was beginning to move deeper into this new territory. The Northern Territory. And with this new unfolding outback before me and the city far behind, I looked forward for this relationship to begin.
Day 5 & 6 “Hum of the Earth”
Off Grid 3,000km into the journey.