Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Feb 10 Ten till 5 p.m.

I find a melancholic joy in submitting to the bush. We are roughly 100 km out of Norseman and are just about to get back on the road for another 30 or so km. We chose a well-shaded spot; something I expect to become more rare as we head east and the trees become shrubbier towards the plain. It is just off the road perhaps 20 yards. It is peaceful, as the traffic is light and does not disturb the birds. Bugs hum, and the gum leaves blow; we also hear an occasional squeak of bark on bark as the sinewy trees rub one another in the wind. The ground is either red dirt or twigs (dry eucalypti leaves still retain that distinct smell, albeit with some dust).

I lunched on canned white beans and Greek dolmathes, a heavy treat at nearly 1 lb. of weight between them. I was happy to carry it 100 km but no further. The highlight was the Damper bread Anthony cooked up on our stove - self-rising flour and water mixed into a dough and cooked till dark and hard on the outside and white and warm in the center. This was topped with honey.

I took a nap; Anthony read. The temperature is luxurious in the shade. The sun is still uncomfortably strong for any real action until 5:30 p.m. The ground is covered with tiny black ants delighted with the feast of crumbs we leave them. They are too small to be of any concern, and I feel like a Gulliver of some sort when I flick them off my feet. I boil up cowboy coffee instead of tea to wake me up. It tastes, as you might expect, great.

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