Australia starts right at my doorstep.
It’s a huge place with many facets. The parts that most interest me are the natural ones, the more remote, less tamed places. To see these places you need a reliable vehicle and portable accommodation. So you buy your 4WD and ensure that it has a long range fuel tank, you mount a bull bar at the front to fend off the kangaroos. On goes the winch that will pull you out of the mud surrounding your axles. The suspension is improved and the body raised. The best camping equipment is purchased, tested, refined and ready to go.
Then you realise that you’ve only got two weeks holiday so you fly to your destination, rent a stock standard 4WD and stay in motels.
Here’s a picture of our stock standard vehicle stuck in a creek in the Kimberley …
No winch, but fortunately a wench that could cook, food for a fortnight and, as you can see, plenty of water. We were there for a little more than a day.
It happened back in 2002 that a young friend of mine had just finished his PhD and had not started work, therefore time rich, income poor. He drove my car from Melbourne to Cairns. I flew up and put my two weeks to good use with all the equipment my heart could desire. We even got to use the winch.
He is now a professional biologist and I am recently retired. My turn to drive from Victoria to far north Queensland. He flew up to Townsville.
Over the next few days I shall relate the adventures of the winch, the wench, the biologist and the senior citizen as they travelled to the rainforest and the desert in search of the wildlife of good old Oz.