Several weeks ago Amanda from Something To Ponder About posted a photo challenge with the topic being, ‘Remote.’ Read Amanda’s post here: https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/friendly-friday-photo-challenge-remote/ I gather our current trip through the outback to Katherine and beyond was Amanda’s inspiration for this week’s topic.
I’ve been pre-occupied with our current journey, so put the challenge on hold until I had some time to relax and put together some photos from the most remote place I’ve ever lived, albeit only for three weeks.
In 2016 Paul and I lived and worked on a cattle station in the Gulf of Carpentaria for a few weeks. What an experience that was, a 300 km round trip into the closest town of Normanton to be able to send an email, read someone’s blog, or post my own blog post. There was internet on the station but it was very limited and sketchy. It would take around 20 minutes to download an email, longer than that to send one, and that was only possible around 3am. During the daylight hours – forget it. There was no phone cover apart from the managers satellite phone. The children were schooled by a employed tutor using School of the Air. As far as remote goes, life on this station made our current road trip to Katherine and beyond feel like we’ve been driving through a thriving metropolis.
Here are some photos from that time:
On one of our days off Paul took me for a drive to see the Flinders River which runs through the property. We went in our own vehicle which had limited two way, so any contact with anyone, should it have been necessary, was absolutely impossible. We did inform people where we were going though, and made sure we had plenty of water (the rules of the outback). If we had run into vehicle problems no doubt after a day or so, our absence would have been noticed, and a search party despatched.
We’d been going to leave for good on a Friday, but an hour or so of rain meant three days for the road to dry out sufficiently for driving. Those roads are like driving on an ice field when they’re wet – it just can’t be done. When the guys are out on the station, any sign of rain developing and they drive at full speed back to the homestead. Any delay could mean they get trapped miles from anywhere, and it could be days before they can get out, or before help can get to them. That’s the way of life on a remote cattle station.
It was the lack of technology that was the hardest. Although I was pleased to catch a short glimpse of what true remote living is all about, three weeks was enough. It was a unique experience and one I’m pleased to have had, but not one I’d care to repeat.
Thank you Amanda for this challenge, and apologies for taking so long to take it up. Sometimes life just gets in the way…….