Sue Williams has delivered us Women of the Outback and Outback Spirit, stories she gathered from the people of the bush. Ever curious, this time Sue puts herself in the firing line, seeking to find the essence of the outback experience - perfect for all us armchair travellers.
She travelled the width and length of Australia by bus, train, car, campervan, Troopy, horse, goat, foot, and plane. She helped pregnancy-test cattle at a remote property in the far north of South Australia, swallowed countless flies, and ran through muddy dams carrying a pretend-sheep on her shoulders in an outback Ironwoman challenge. She saw the country in drought, in flood, between swarms of locusts and a mice plague, mixing with old drovers, new backpackers, overseas tourists, new settlers and old-timers.Sue knows how to tell a good story - and confirms once and for all that it’s a weird place out there.
The narrator had a heavy Aussie accent and spoke a bit quickly and used some strange Aussie slang in the beginning,but after some time I adapted to this.There were some great introductions to things like the drovers,who were the cowboys of Australia and led very austere lives while being free in the vast emptiness of the desert.The opal miners in Coober Pedy that were in search of get rich quick schemes that didn't always pan out.The Grey Nomads,who are basically pensioners that wander Australia after retirement.My favorite part was where Sue takes some boxing training for a mere two weeks and then competes in a Tough Man contest,where she doesn't fare so badly.She takes on a lot of challenging,adventurous things in this book and at an advanced age.Things that many men would hesitate to try.She does this with a self-deprecating humor that gives the book a kind of charm.Having been to Australia for a short time two years back I was introduced to things I hadn't even considered doing.It is hard to really experience a place in a short time,yet that is the promise of short term travel everywhere.
Enjoyed the adventures and observations of the author as she traveled throughout the Outback, meeting various persons along the way and experiencing a host of careers or jobs as she went.