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September 17, 2006 11:49 PM

Outback Australia

Nothing To See HereDARWIN, AUSTRALIA - There was a general feeling of dread, in the car, as we realized we may have been out of our league and in the middle of nowhere. With not enough fuel to turn back and an inky, black, croc-infested river flowing in front of us, the only way for us was forward, through the river and back onto the road on the other side.

This scene repeated itself 9 or 10 times as rivers flowed across our path despite it still being the dry season up here. If it wasn't a river causing stress it was the fine, loose quicksand threatening our vehicle, that passed for a road.

From Cairns, armed with a brand new campervan, we decided to take a more Northerly route across the country than most travellers choose. The 'dotted-line' on the map as opposed to the major highways to the South. The road less travelled. The road least travelled. Ever.

In navigating this route, officially called 'The Savannah Way', I'm happy to say that we managed to get an authentic outback experience. We saw everything one would expect to see in the Australian outback and more. The van made it through every river with no more than one flat tire and an inch of red dust covering everything inside and out.

When we finally did emerge from the bush and back onto a sealed highway, we found ourselves enjoying a rodeo (pictured above), seemingly miles from everywhere. Every year at the historic outback roadhouse, Daly Waters, cowboys come out the woodwork for a few dust filled days of bull riding and cow chasing. A good time was had by all.

Now I'm in Darwin; it's time to start looking forward to what's next for me.

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