What a difference 2000 km makes
A couple of weeks ago I was on the Atherton Tableland
1000 metres high
A mild 14 degrees overnight
1000 metres high
The New England Tableland was -3
The frost white on the grass this morning.
It’s the last day of winter
And I’m heading south
It’s now sheep country not cattle
The Brahman studs replaced by merino studs
On a clear day the air is crisp and dry
The moist tropical air way north.
On the bike Im wearing 5 layers of clothes
Its now 2000 km south
The yellowy brown grassy plain
Stretching to the horizon
Dots of trees and scrub
It’s all big
Nearly 300k and only one town
Big coal mines
Big road trains
And me zipping along on my motorbike
A speck in time and space.
The land is its own canvas
Planted by nature
Sculpted by the huge volcanic forces of the earth
lava tubes, Undara, Queensland
A pallet so vast
The colours breathtaking
Streaking along the highway
Sometimes, it’s just a glimpse
Of a beautiful construct
Or a juxtaposition of colour
That stays in the mind.
Though it is in times of quiet contemplation
In a special place
In the quiet
We know that nature is the greatest artist.
On the banks of the Endeavour River, in Cooktown, there is an interpretive plaque that says the James Cook and the local aborigines reconciled in 1770.
Was it a reconciliation of convenience? Cook had a damaged ship that needed repair. Or was he open to a deeper understanding.
The rock art on Cape York is evidence of a complex culture many thousands of years old. Some of the carvings in the walls of the Split Rock are estimated to be 13000 years old.
I’m a great admirer of James Cook, – three circumnavigations of the world before his death at 51 in Hawaii.
And know I can learn much from our indigenous culture, it’s spirituality and understanding of place and the land.
In Cape York the two came together.
Rainforest and savanah
Separated by a thin strip of mountains not 1000 metres high.
The deep dark impenetrable rainforest dense green.
The other side of the mountains
The grass a greeny bronze
Higher than my head.
The savanah and the rainforest each have their own special beauty
Their own special meaning for being.