Saturday, March 7, 2009
After a few thousand miles of solitary Outback driving, popping out of the tunnel and into Sydney rush hour traffic was a shock I was ill prepared for. The last of the sweet sunset light was already fading, and I struggled to navigate across the Harbour Bridge to photograph the city skyline before dusk faded into night.
Facing an airport deadline, I covered more than 1000 km of country roads today while maintaining autobahn speeds and a serious iced coffee/meat pie buzz. Rushing over Circular Quay in the middle of eight seething lanes of rush hour traffic was just a little too much stimulation.
The vast distances here have frustrated me again and again. The notion of driving from Sydney along the Tasman and up to the Top End and thence to Queensland was always ridiculous. Imagine driving from Atlanta to Houston and then up to Banff for the day before setting off in the general direction of Quebec, checking out the Chesapeake and then dropping off the rental car by noon in Georgia.
To my eye, this is a vast, wondrous country with some seriously pissed-off weather. Half the country is in flames, the other half under flood water. Shark attacks on the coast, Dengue fever in the tropics, dust storms and locusts in the middle. If I see four guys on horses asking directions to the apocalypse, I’m heading the other way.
I call the final score Large Antipodean Continent - 1, Overambitious, underfunded Photographer - 0.
I’m looking forward to the rematch.