Day 272 | so what’s in Meekatharra: answer: not a lot

54 km | Heading west total: 12,753 km

I had a chat with someone who cautioned me against going to Wiluna.

‘Wouldn’t do that mate’, motioning to his knee about how high the corrugations on the unsealed road were.

‘Not a good place,’ (as if Meekatharra was OK).

People, generally, seem quite fearful about places they haven’t been to but have heard rumours about.

I’m usually not too paranoid but are we finding just a few unnecessary constraints to our freedom in this safety conscious world of ours. (Can’t visit the Whaleback Mine in Newman because you have to walk from the bus to the lookout and for that you need runners, not closed toe sandals. That’s the rules.) We are breeding up a generation of namby pambies. Where are all the young adventurers?

Lucky I walked the Kokoda Track in the days before you needed to be in a commercially operated group. Back when I was 22 there weren’t many doing it: I only met one person, John from Sydney, during those tough 9 days. The major problem on that trek was just locating which was the right track from the multitude to head off on once you were leaving a village. (There’s issues here in Outback Western Australia with road signs as well: most of the small ones have been nicked.)

I didn’t tell the moustached fear monger about buying a half share in a 10 kina dugout to canoe down the Sepik River for a week later that trip in New Guinea.

Sometimes you just have to do something regardless of the cautionary advice.