Friday, May 18, 2012
Driving Solo on the Surreal Highway to Nowhere
I am on the highway to nowhere on a lousy rental car but thank god, at least its big, the AC works and it doesn’t stutter. And the CD deck is belting out Thom Yorke’s 'Clocks' with pristine clarity!! Or maybe I am hearing it inside my head!!
The road is wide and seemingly nice but I can’t find any car or truck for company, I probably should have covered more than 250 miles! That has been my feeling for the whole 3 hours I have driven through it. It is not a place you want to break down after dark.
Small derelict houses and burnt trucks tucked in by the side of the road. The scenery seems like a scrawny sick patient that sticks up into the mountains and it's nothing but crumbling, old coal mines. Most of them are practically ghost relics and there's nothing in between them but this empty highway, twisting through the hills with only enough light to keep you on the road. Sinister and weirdly disheartening.
And the hills do look like a brown green wall from a distance, covered in some sort of pine or eucalyptus so dark-needled that it looks like the folds of land are sheathed in a dark gloomy mantle, it's an uninhabited plateau all around. But that's not all.
I have been driving across this sort of strange, empty plateau until I came closer to the brown wall. If you drive from the East you will cross the weird, alkalai, patchwork desert terrain first, it looks endless and awful and then there's this strange, dark line on the Western horizon, miles after you've left the last gas station. It grows and grows into this massive wall that stretches across the entire horizon. It looks like a curtain of brown impassable stone. I can see nothing ahead. Just this doom and gloom wall and me. If you were lost here, you would probably fall down and cry, sure that you would die here.
It’s really leaving an impression on me. I didn't have any idea there were place like this in real life, just in movies. Driving solo and long distance in a foreign country can be a surreal experience..this seems exactly like the one!! Like the truck accident I saw in the morning. Something really bizarre about watching the rising trail of burning oil and molten metal from the middle of the endless hills and a long, winding road.... It really did seem like a movie.
Considering the amount of sleep I got last night, is this a dream....I am really astonished at how extraordinary outback country is. I never thought I'd say this, but I think driving across tany cavernous highway is a dreamlike trip all of you should take sometime. Ok..let me get back on the road..again!! The Journey is not yet over!!!