So, how was Australia??
I do not believe I can really draw any conclusion: the country is huge, distances between highlights are considerable, and we visited only the coastline of the remotest and less-inhabited part of the country, we did not visit any of the major towns.
Mackay, the new frontier: coal mines and sugarcane, high wages and astronomical prices, nobody wants to be a bus-driver or a plumber when mines pay much better!
Cairns, the tourist hub: tourist shops, trips and tours, the historycal train to Kuranda (originally laid down to serve the gold mines in the interior), our first encounter with aboriginal handycraft (hand-painted boomerangs and didgeridoos, among all) but very few aboriginal people in sight (and the few, almost always drunk: a serious problem!)
Cooktown, the old-frontier outpost now departure point for the 4WD tracks going to Cape York, with the little museum, the “Endeavour” remainders (guns and anchors dropped at sea to free the ship from the coral), the monuments to Cook and to the Watson family (victims of a confrontation with the aboriginals).
Seisia, small village in the aboriginal territory at the other end of the Cape York track, where aboriginals drive SUV’s…
Darwin, the only major town in the north, where it plays the role of hub for tourist tours towards the great National Parks within the aboriginal lands, less luxuriour than Cairns and terribly HOT!!! (30 degrees at night in the first days of spring???).
And what about the ab originals? The official attitude of Australia towards what they now call “the traditional owners” seems sincere, but they seem to prefer to keep on their own, with the few exceptions of those who have integrated. Every now and then they may come to town in small family groups, but you do not see many and visiting their territories is not allowed without a permit.
We missed the middle of the Country, Alice Springs ed Ayers’ Rock: only the crew of “Misstix” has ventured there with a week-long, 6000 Km ride by car (!!!!…) hitting cangaroos along the way and coming back enchanted.
The only conclusion so far: me must come back!