So, here we are in the Land Down-under… second breakfast consumed in the style of wandering Hobbits far from The Shire and back on the road. Oh my word! What a road!
The freeways in rural Australia it seems are broad and both flanked and divided by greenery. That is to say what we might cheerfully refer to as a central reservation in Europe is more like a Central Park in Oz. The first thing that struck me was how quickly we had left the urban sprawl and reached the rural pastures of up-state Victoria. I would later learn that these are in fact neither pastures nor fields, but rather locally known as paddocks. There were to be more confusing linguistic differences to be encountered later on. For now my mind was on the road and sensible to the infamous keenness of the Australian constabulary’s traffic division, I wisely set the cruise control to something safely below the limit and relaxed, the roads being quiet, to enjoy both the drive and the scenery.
What interested me most was the familiar landscape – it might have been anywhere in rural middle England – and the very much unfamiliar trees. I took them to be Eucalyptus but it turns out there is an almost endless variety of Gum trees and not necessarily of the cough sweet flavouring persuasion. Read More
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