Red Earth
+ Comments(0) Red Earth - 2005-10-20 14:19:10

Australia is mostly red. Deep earthy red like this photo of the North West of Australia; a red-hot coal red in the desert regions and more of a browny red in the gravel country.

Now driving on gravel is an interesting experience for the uninitiated; gravel makes for good wearing secondary roads but there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, pea gravel is like millions of little marbles. If you brake a little too hard on it you'll continue to go skidding in the same direction. Bad when there are bends in the road. So, don't brake hard and slow down when there is a bend up ahead.

Another feature of Australian driving is kangaroos. They tend to hop out at the worst possible moment and they can sure do some damage to your car. In no circumstance however should you ever swerve to avoid a kangaroo. More people have been killed swerving to avoid a 'roo, losing control and hitting a tree than people simply colliding with them. So, brake hard to avoid a collision but don't swerve.

Well you can see the contradiction. Let's set up a scenario: your mate has just injured himself and you are driving, fast, to the nearest hospital along a gravel road. A 'roo has just jumped out in front of you. What do you do? Given that you have no time to think about it - it will be a "trained response."

Let me tell you what I did: I very lightly braked and did not swerve in the slightest. Clunk! Take that 'roo! So 10/10 for not swerving, 10/10 for not over-braking and skidding down the gravel, but, er, maybe I should start considering that cars these days are all fitted with Anti-Brake Skid. Ah well, the fibreglass front spoiler was cracked anyway...

Canon EOS 10D
1/200 sec f 5.6 28 mm Flash: Not Fired ISO: 100