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Posted on May 24, 2012 by
on the road at
Allora in Queensland


Tommie and I are in Allora not too far over the Queensland border as my Italian Penthouse is being fitted. We drove up from the Blue Mountains at an obscene rate and we will drive back at a similarly obscene one.

For the next few weeks at least we are still in the world of compelling deadlines. It is unlikely you can ever leave them completely and stay alive. Life, even at its simplest, will demand that things be done and by a certain time. In fact, I am writing this blog aware that it has to be sent out tonight. Oh my God! The pressure.

On our drive each passing river, mountain and forest beckoned as a place to linger. I note places with wistful infatuation, like the vision of a lovely woman on a passing train. My instincts are still those of a walker where the country is metabolized at walking pace. I'll be back to put these places into focus at a later time.

Definitely to the country of the Wollemi National Park where pagoda-shaped sandstone extends for thousands upon thousands of kilometres. This is the country I wrote about last week and includes the mesmerizing Gardens of Stone.

From Lithgow we traversed the park's western escarpment. Only the buffer zone between farms and wilderness is visible from the road. I know that beyond lies another universe of rock engravings, impenetrable valleys and nocturnal animals oblivious to all but themselves. Walker friends of mine have described finding footprints in sheltered caves that have lain undisturbed for who knows how long.

The New England Plateau commenced as we approached Tamworth. I hadn't been to this country since my rock and roll days where the sensibilities were for anything but boulders and beauty. I traveled with a number of rock bands; The Angels, Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil amongst others. We would roll into a place like Armidale or Tamworth; Hobart or Davenport; or for a hundred days into a hundred different American cities and towns, and everything was the same. The gig, the dope, the pre-show set up followed by the after-show madness.

Revisiting towns like Armidale now as the self-appointed Electronic Swagman is like arriving on a different planet. I have almost seen nothing before. Reinvention allows for fresh eyes.

There is a vestige of fear crossing into Queensland left over from the rock days. When I toured here it was in the dying light of the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era. If the local cops hated anything more than a traveling rock and roll circus that had come to destroy their values and molest their women it was a traveling rock and roll circus that had come to destroy their values and molest their women from New South Wales. You had to be very careful in those days. We weren't of course.

My Italian penthouse is almost fitted. I am buying new sheets and pillows and a doona to go in it. The job has taken most of the day and I will probably leave in the dark, pull up somewhere by the side of the road and crawl into my new bedroom for the first time.

It is bizarre how exciting this is for me. I am beside myself with joy as my traveling home takes shape. By next week all the bits and pieces will be assembled into my moving home. I will proudly take photos for you with everything set up.

All the while remembering the advice from John, the Sadhu of the Outback -  'when you've got nothing, you can go anywhere.'


PS. I recommend the latest NOSKOPAR VIDEO with the secrets of EXTREME EXFOLIATION not to mention Tom's take on our drive to Queensland.



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Jill Taylor
Keep it up Raymond!
Keep what up Jill
How was it? Jxx
It was pissing down and dark so I have stayed in a hotel until I can set it up with all the linen. Stay tuned S I do a pictorial of the whole setup this week.
lol, I remember a night when I stood next to my swag and it was p.... down and I wondered how on earth I would get in without the bedding getting wet. By the time I had thought long enough I was drenched as well. You won't take your fancy penthouse to Ipolera, will you?!
Yes. I will. The camper is designed to service walkers and then to be the Electronic Swagman nerve centre. I'll take some photos this week.

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