On the Road meets Down Under in this really rough guide to the adventures of an enthusiastic hitchhiker and his reluctant girlfriend on their quest for the real Australia. Hitching lifts with the desert's dodgiest drivers and taking breaks in the roughest roadhouses, this is Tom Parry's witty, warts-and-all tale of hitchhiking 8,000 miles across - and around - the Australian outback with his thumb, his backpack and his French girlfriend, Katia. As the couple hitch their way around the near empty highways, they encounter as wide a cross-section of Aussie society as you could ever hope to meet. In cattle stations, Aboriginal communities, remote waterholes, caravan parks, hippy communes and roadhouses, they see a country that remains as extraordinary today as it was for the first nineteenth century settlers. Loosely following the routes carved out by the legendary explorers who first traversed the great continent, the couple get to grips with the country's fascinating history. Set against a backdrop of the real Australia - not 'as seen on TV'- "Thumbs Up Australia" is full of wonderful anecdotes and endearing tales of some of the country's most idiosyncratic characters, from the grizzled Aboriginal elder with his tales of dreamtime, to an amphetamine-swallowing road train driver. And at the end of their journey, it is ironically Katia who suggests thumbing a lift to the airport!