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The Outback Road
There’s a sign, just beyond Yalgoo, which lets you know ‘You are now in the Outback’. How they decided upon that exact point to erect that sign I don’t know. 
The landscape before and after it is no different. But it’s in the sort of font which if you typed in ‘outback font’ online it's sure to come up, something I can only describe as looking like American saloon-style. Except it's in Western Australia. 

The closest thing to a saloon in West Australia on the outback road is probably a roadhouse. The sort of place that sells diesel, hot pies, chocolate milks, and one dollar donation instant coffee for the driver. Despite the monotonous nature of all these roadhouses (they’re all pretty much the same), after a few hundred kms of nothing but flat country, straight roads and a few waves from trucks passing by, it becomes inevitable that you end up stopping in.
The West Australian road-trip, not on the coast but inland, is a reminder that while the world changes in many ways, some parts of the world simply refuse. During the time that China's cities transition into a new era of the economy, and undergo the radical transformation from a largely rural population to a largely urban population (as well as all the cultural shifts assosiacted with this), the towns out here might get a new paved road... if they're lucky. 

Doing a U-turn in a small town some 1500kms north-east of Perth, I marvelled at how wide the road was and how it’d be great as a kid for playing footy on the street. But you’d almost have to play using the width of the street rather than the length because it was that wide. My passenger who I just picked up explained that originally these streets had to be wide enough for cameleer teams to do a U-turn with 20 or so camels in the pack. They were the original outback road-trains - camel teams who could travel vast distances linking towns with much needed supplies. They were largely managed by specialist Afghan cameleers, who are sort of unsung heroes of the Australian outback in that they sustained what were, and still are, some very isolated communities.
Craig Allsop
 
Craig Allsop
Craig Allsop is an applied anthropologist. He’s interested in remote ways of life as well as the stuff found down the street. His photography work deals with ways of seeing, and being in the world, the sort of work that’s not for people in a hurry. After long periods of travel the past couple of years have seen Craig somewhat settled in West Australia. Working and exploring the remote West Australian Desert.
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