From Ithaki Greece to Victoria Australia - An ithacagreece.com trip
November and December 2006


Up and Away

Ithaca Society

IPS Lunch

City Central

The Shop Drop




Country Victoria




The most haunting of landscapes in Australia is the outback. It's arid, vast and mostly uninhabited. The Victorian countryside has no real resemblance to the outback, but there are still some areas in this southern state of Australia which are so sparsely populated and so dry and isolated, that the impact on the spirit is identical. Flatlands, carpeted with thistled mats of grass, dominate the landscape. Cowsheds and farmhouses are sparsely dotted across this arid expanse. Rare signs of civilization. Signposts of country Victoria are the noticeable lack of people, the silence, the endless paddocks etched with wire fencing, Gum trees and magpies, watering holes and thistle weed.
Around Penshurst in the Western District of Victoria, volcanic evidence is strewn around the paddocks. Tumbleweed danced around the mouton black rocks which protruded out of the ground. The shrunken bump in the middle of this flat never, never land, Mount Rouse, was once a volcano. Hard to believe this small protrusion was ever mighty and powerful, capable of eruption and destruction. It seemed to me that the real threat of this area was disillusionment. What kind of life could be sustained in this seemingly forsaken part of the world. I couldn't imagine it. Emptiness and isolation as far as the eye could see, not a soul in sight, yet this area has a rich reputation and a wealthy history. With a hot northerly wind sweeping over the thistle weed and grass around my feet and a lonely Magpie swooping from sky to stump, I stood in this eerie silence wondering what my life would have been, had my family not moved to the city.
You can drive for many, many kilometers without much change in the scenery. One town resembles the next, one paddock, the other. A road can run on before you without as much as a bend to break the monotony. Coastal and mountain areas are more interesting of course, but inland, the same scene spreads across from region to region and one State into the next with only an occasional twist of interest. A prehistoric landscape with insects and wildlife to match, mark this distant land with a unique stroke. There is something very alluring about the open spaces that go on forever under a wide open sky.
Occasionally the flat landscapes are broken up with a small town, a mountain range or a stretch of bush.

From blue sky St. Kilda to to the neverlands of country Victoria

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