- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1758 KB
- Print Length: 36 pages
- Publisher: Marco Polo Press (9 Dec. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004MDLSOI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #873,249 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Australia's Red Centre (Australian Series) Kindle Edition
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While the majority of Australians live on the coasts, the vast area around Alice Springs has small settlements, scattered ranches, and the remnants of the aboriginal people. Increasingly, it's a mecca for international tourists drawn to one of the few remaining places on earth where man's presence has had minimal impact.
I like Lawrenson's travel books because he's NOT a professional travel writer, but a guy who loves a road trip and has a great talent for making his readers feel like they are sharing his experiences. He's a transplanted Yorkshireman who loves his adopted country and is always interested to explore new parts of it and to learn about its past and present. And he's not a travel snob. If it makes sense to take a guided tour, he takes one. If there's an opportunity to ride a camel, he pays his money and climbs on. Just like you or I would.
I've never read a writer who is better at describing natural surroundings and he has a lot to work with in this barren area that's full of surprises. In the vastness of Australian, the railroad is still alive and well, although the steel rails must rest on concrete footers. Wooden ones fall victim to white ants and flooding. The Todd River Regatta is an eagerly-awaited annual event, but it once had to be cancelled because there was (wait for it!) water in the river bed. Normally the Todd River flows underground.
The author deals gently with the tricky questions of the Aborigines and their past and recent history. As late as the 1960's they were forbidden by law from voting, owning land, or possessing liquor. Today, the government is beginning to highlight this ancient culture, but decades of repression have left a fragmented and disenfranchised people. Is it too late to make amends?
I enjoyed this book and learned from it. It's impossible not to share Lawrenson's affection for Australians. Who else would have a steak sauce called "Wakka Pukha Dukha?" This guy makes you want to start packing your suitcase.
Nearly all of Australia's cities are on the coast, mainly in the south and east and inland is very flat and in many areas, it is quite unforgiving. Dry river beds run for miles, but can be a dangerous source of flash flooding if it rains several miles away. In one of the dry river beds, people have a Regatta Race, with their feet sticking out of the bottom of their "boats" and moving along, taking it all very seriously.
There are pictures of attractions around Alice Springs and one is of the telegraph station there. The telegraph came in 1872 and the workmen used camels to help with the heavy work.Some of the camels got loose and today Australia has a camel population of 700,000. They have become a nuisance because they compete for food with the other animals who were there long before the camel.
If you are interested in learning more about this area of Australia, I recommend this travel book. It doesn't take more than a few hours to read. Lawrenson has written a host of other travel books since he and his wife have traveled all over the world. He has a whole series on traveling the Old Silk Road. They make for great armchair traveling.
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