Distance not a worry if there’s scenery

TWO and a half thousand miles in five days? Where did you go?" cried the owner of the rental car service in London.

"Where didn't we go?" I beamed as he gawped at his steaming car.

"Australians" he muttered eventually. "Distance means nothing to you lot."

Well, even by Aussie standards, punching out 800 kilometres a day for nearly a week is a decent drive, but as the Pommy sun didn't set 'til 9 o'clock each night we had loads of time to potter about admiring the scenery and getting lost at every second turn.

Plus the British scenery seemed to change every 10 minutes, eg: church, rain, castle, forest, storm, mountain, stone tower, fog, another church, lake, sun-shower, gorgeous village, heather, another bloody church, snow, ruins, statue, drizzle etc.

Each night we arrived at our destination feeling so invigorated that after tea we'd go for a stroll and check out the sights (usually a church).

By comparison, five days of driving in Australia can be summed up thus: scrub, nothing, amazing bit of scenery, nothing, dead animal, bush, service station, more scrub, breathtaking sight, nothing.

Each day we'd flop out of the car feeling, and smelling, like a pair of stale socks.

And that's on the scenic coastal route. A tour to the centre of Oz is a bit like driving across the surface of Mars, but with a lot more dead roos. I once spent two days travelling to Longreach, and to stop my brain melting from boredom I'd often slip on to the wrong side of the road and speak in an American accent.

So the Pom was wrong, we Australians think a lot about distances. We have to, because we're so far from everywhere and getting there is half the fun, and twice the dullness.

Greg Bray blogs at http://www.gregbraywriter.wordpress.com. Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.