In high school, I was given a book “Wandilili Princess.” It was the first book I read about outback Australia. The first book I read with Australian setting. I can’t remember the story line anymore but this much I remember: it was parched earth, cattle station, cattle dogs, jackeroos and the harshness of cattle station life.
I looked out the window from my seat aboard the SAAB 340. Enormous land, but empty. Patches of greens and trees, but largely brown earth. Wandalili Princess came to my mind. All those years ago.
I wish I’d taken photos as we descended, but my phone was in my backpack tucked away under the seat in front of me. Just this enormous brown land. And I was in complete and utter awe of it. Thankfully it was not a windy day, it would have been dusty otherwise.
While others probably think it’s a drag travelling to regional places, it was magical for me. I was glad my colleague took sometime to pick me up. It gave me an opportunity to look around and take photos: the old plane that was in service for 45 years, the smaller planes in the tarmac, two puppies who came to greet me excitedly. And a fellow passenger who queried if it was my first time in Parkes. And yes, it was.
Here’s to more adventures in regional New South Wales. Enormously grateful for the opportunity.
I can’t remember who gave me the book or what happened to the book. There’s a good chance I would have lent it to others to enjoy the same pleasure I had reading.
I wish whoever read the book enjoyed it as much as I did. I wish whoever had the book could see what I get to see and not just read about from that book.