Monday, December 8, 2008

Australia Number 1!

The Downunders are competitive people. Now they have managed to become the number one polluting nation in the world (as in both hemispheres) per capita! Thanks to long distances that needs to be covered to move people and goods around, many a large town that is run not on power plants but on diesel aggregates, numerous heavily polluting mines and lots and lots of farting sheep, they're really running the planet down!

It seems they intend to keep this position. There's not much more they can do to become worse, but they sure try hard. Between Perth and the rest of the country there's both a road and a railroad. On the road there is no scheduled bus service. If you want to go by road, you'll have to buy a car and drive it across the Nullarbor plains. If you want to go by train, which presumably would hurt the environmental badness of Australia, you'll have to book your ticket well in advance. There's only ONE weekly train between Perth and Adelaide/Sydney, and on that train there are only about 124 sleeper seats!

The result? There are LOTS of flights, both cheap and expensive ones, to and from Perth, and people get on them. It seems that will have to be my option as well, although I really wanted to cross the Nullarbor by land. I've already seen the second longest straight stretch of land, near Coral Bay, so I don't think I'm missing out on much, but still...

What's more, Australia has managed the impressive feat of becoming the most obesive nation in the world! The US is really losing all their hegemonies these days. Food is not even particularly cheap here, they still eat and eat and eat, and leave most of the exercise to be done in Australia to their Olympic swimming team. Sustain-a-belly dwell-up-ment, they call it, I believe.

To make sure that nobody performs any slimming activities, the Australians have introduced tight limits on how many people are allowed to go on the most beautiful walks available in the country. On The Overland Track in Tasmania, for instance, only about 60 people are allowed onto the track per day. And a large portion of those who walk it are actually foreigners. Like me! I'll be going on December 24, yay! I still have to make my way to Tasmania in time for it, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

Right now I'm warming up for the Overland Track by walking sections on the Bibbulmun Track in the south of Western Australia. It's also a beautiful walk, with amazing, tall Karri trees. In a couple of months I'll show you the photos.
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