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Heading Up Country

January 2, 2012

I can’t recall the last time I was on a coach. Possibly the Greyhound from Philly to New York a few years ago. Now that was a zoo of a trip… This is far less tense and crowded. The traffic is light and we make it out to the flat northern suburbs quickly, rolling along to the sound of Bruce “the Boss” and Wild thing plus a few other classics.  The coach is pretty much full. An aboriginal family of six jink their way up and down the aisle in good spirits, pulling each others legs and clearly excited by the trip.   The chatter fades away pretty quickly and heads soon nod though a few of the elderly country matrons appear fit and well prepared. They  drag out their Mills and Boons and settle in for a read. We pull into Snowtown two hours later. This leg has gone quickly – I have read the paper, completed the crossword, discovered other words in an alphabet puzzle and dragged the laptop out. A few are desperate for a smoke but the bus stops for the briefest pause at Snowtown and we push on. Smokes are resignedly stuck behind ears in anticipation of the next break. By now we are in the rolling wheat country of South Australia. The wheat is well stripped by now, some on storage in the paddocks and the stubble left to back brown under a summer sky devoid of any clouds. The stubble stretches to a distant horizon which is blurred by the haze of heat. It slowly blends into salt bush and scrub.

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