Where I am
Nauraushaun last edited by Nauraushaun
I've made some disparate posts about where I am at the moment, some of which were on that old blog that no longer exists. Here's the full story - not because I'm interesting but because I'm in an interesting place.
In October while my city was busy being the only place in the Australia to be in tortuous lockdown, I took a chance to escape to the top end. My girlfriend got offered a temporary contract in the Northern Territory, one of the few legal reasons to leave Melbourne and a good idea since COVID took her previous job, and on tenuous legality I went with her. Two weeks in government mandated quarantine, a couple of days living it up in the bars of Darwin (bars have long been illegal in Melbourne), and here we are.
I am in Gapuwiyak, a small and very remote town in East Arnhem land - part of Australia that's owned by our native Aborigines. The town is 1000 people, 96% Aborigine. It has 1 very overpriced shop, 1 airstrip, 1 lake that you can't swim in due to crocs, 1 cow, 1 rooster that never shuts up, 1 dingo and 1 donkey. And not much else. The "camp dogs" that live in town, becalmed by the scorching 38 degree heat of every single day, turn feral at night so you walk around in pairs and with a big stick. People have been attacked. Buffalo emerge from the bush at night as well, they're best avoided. There's danger here and it's about as different to Melbourne as it gets
It's not actually quite where the map above says I am, I'm slightly South and West of that pointer. Not on the coast. Getting here means flying 500km East of Darwin on a small plane, or driving for 10 hours on mostly unsealed roads that may be impassable in the wet season.
I'm about as close as Gapuwiyak ever gets to a tourist. I'm lucky enough to be able to work remotely as a software developer, so I'm just up here for the experience. Of course, virtually the day after I left Melbourne it started reporting endless days of 0 cases and easing restrictions with unprecedented speed. I picked the worst time to leave, I wish I was down there finally visiting family and friends, but I'm trying to get the most I can out of this experience.
And it is an experience. Due to the bad things settlers have done to them, Aborigines live a weird life that's a mix of Western society and their own traditional ways. Things here work very differently to how they do back home. There's good and bad - the wild dogs are a pain and the town isn't always peaceful, but the community is very friendly and the Yolngu people are able to maintain their culture. Understanding the "why" behind things is key, and there's an understanding you can only get from being immersed in it for a time.
I've also gone hunting and watched some men field-butcher a buffalo and two cows (white men mind you, this was not a traditional thing). I've tagged long on a trip up to the coast where there's Nhulunbuy, a proper town with a proper supermarket that's pretty much run by a mining coroporation. Getting there was 6 hours return along a dirt road in a troopy.
That's the other thing. The cars here - they're almost all LandCruisers of some description, or Hiluxes. I've seen everything from 70 series, 80 series, Prados - but the most common car is the 70 series Troopcarriers given to those working here. Despite their reputation as a legendary vehicle that's been produced for more than 30 years, and despite their huge purchase price, they're little more than hardy unrefined trucks. They're tools out here, chosen because they work well and they'll keep working over thousands of kays of treacherous roads. There is 1 VE Commodore in town, a Falcon ute and a handful of other actual cars - god knows how they got here given the condition of the only road leading in.
I'll be back home by Christmas I expect. This is a completely dry area so it will be good to get back and have a beer or 5, as well as all the other things that have been illegal in Melbourne all year long that are finally allowed. It's pretty lonely up here, and a bit dull when there's not much happening, but I'm trying to get the most out of it.
Not many pictures of town, because it's not that pretty. Here are some of the lake and the airstrip (where I go to run) with storms rolling in. This time of year it's very dry, sunny and hot, but there are some killer storms, and they'll get worse as the wet season comes on in the next month.
How do you get an image to show on in the summary on the main page?
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CB last edited by
@nauraushaun Sounds like a cool spot. Fly in communities are something. Glad to hear they're about the same in Australia as they are in Canada.
Nauraushaun last edited by
@cb the fly in thing was new to me. All the towns out here have airstrips. I'm used to proper roads going anywhere important.
CB last edited by
@nauraushaun There are a few of those in the province here (many more of them in the Territories [Yukon, NWT, Nunavut]). At least they're almost all season roads? Some remote communities here you can only drive to in the winter.
Jb boin last edited by
What you want is to define a thumbnail on the post.
Chariotoflove last edited by
Very cool! I hope someday to visit Australia. So many interesting differences across the continent.