One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Australia was for the Outback. I wanted to taste it, to live it. Those endless roads, the red dust, the infinite blue sky. I wanted to drive for hours without seeing anyone. Be lost in a lost world. I wanted the roadhouses on the side of the dirt track where old tough drivers were drinking old tough beers.
Having arrived in Perth and bought my car there, if I wanted to continue my circle I had to drive through the desert of the Nullarbor. At the time it didn’t seem special. I didn’t understand the surprised expressions and look of worries of people around me. I didn’t get why my last boss before the long drive got me all those tools and camping equipment. Telling me to call when I made it through.
I guess it’s only from the other side, when people responded to my crossing with things like “by YOURSELF ?! in THAT car ?! oh my GOD it’s a story you’re going to be able to tell to your grandchildren” that I realized that I might have been a little reckless about it all.
But it was one of the best experiences of my life. You can’t drive through the desert at night because of all the kangaroos. They are nocturnal animals and bound to jump in front of your car in the middle of the night. Which would be as lethal for the kangaroos as for my adorable car.
So you’ve got to drive the 700 k between the last city and the only motel in the desert in daylight hours. Which means you cannot stop. Ever. You just drive. I drove 8 hours straight for 3 days. 8 hours without pausing, just for gas (and you pause EVERY TIME you see a gas station, because who KNOWS when the next one is going to be). I got so many cramps in my foot that I used the other one to push on the gas pedal. I had stages of intense deep thinking. Then almost falling asleep, so blasting the music and singing at the top of my lungs, the windows rolled down, the desert smell in my hair. I saw dingoes and kangaroos. Giant lizards making a slow crossing. You meet so few people than when you do see a car coming from the other direction, you do this awesome little salute, two fingers from your temple and away.
Those three days were intense and exhausting. Exhilarating and delirious. It was the purest form of life on the infinite, open road. It was endless possibilities, the feeling of going somewhere and being nowhere at the same time. It was moving as fast as I could and standing still because the road would never end. It was dangerous and amazing. And I loved every second of it.
More travel pictures on my Instagram