Follow by Email

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wisdom From Books

Camped under an old gum tree in Kalbarri

        During our travels we always look for a book exchange. Almost every campground has one. In this manner we picked up some interesting reading.
1] Who Am I by Robert Bernard Taylor
This book was an eye opener to me. I don’t think I was aware of the fact that Britain sent thousands of young children from orphanages to live in Australia. Similar to the criminals that were sent earlier, they loaded ships with children to “get a better life” in the colony. Robert was about 6 years old and promised an education in Australia. However, many of these children ended up doing slave labor, like the author of the book who spent six years in a Catholic Boys Home where the children were terribly abused and used to built buildings and do farm work, trapping rabbits etc. rather than receive an education.
The book was very interesting to read, even more so because Robert Taylor ended up educating himself and becoming a pioneering park ranger, working in many of the national parks we became familiar with on this trip.

This book mentions another book called Empty Cradles, on the topic of child migrants.

2] Nomads At Large by Monty Dwyer, an Australia radio personality who traveled and interviwed seniors known as grey nomads. This book opened our eyes to the vast numbers of retirees who all buy campers and start traveling around the country, changing the economy of many places.
Not sure how I measure up to all these floodways...

3] The Salvado Memoirs, a historical account of Australia from a particular Catholic mission in the mid 1800’s with the emphasize on aboriginal information.  It is a biography of a Benedictine priest who ended up being a bishop and who established one of the first missions. The book gives amazing details on customs and language of the aboriginal people. We will probably bring this book back with us so you might want to borrow it!

4] LOVE a book I picked up called My Place by Sally Morgan. It's labeled as an Australian classic, her biography about being part aboriginal and what it meant to her and her family. Fascinating story, well written.

5] Tanami, by Kieran Kelly. A good read about two guys who walk across this Australian desert with 5 camels. A tough journey combined with interesting history and good storytelling. Kelly picks up where two historic explorers left off, and successfully completes an unfinished trek through Australia's hottest place.

Kees is speeding through several John Grishams and I just picked up a copy of The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl.
Pelican in Kalbarri

During the last few days we have spent time in towns like Denham and Kalbarri. We are blown away (literally) by the strong storm winds along the west coast. At first we thought it was just a windy day. And a stormy night. But it got worse and people said “Oh, the whole west coast is like this.” We can’t sit outside. Our chairs are blown away all the time. It’s tough to hike in this wind and the flies seem to have developed special techniques because they are NOT blown away by it.
Red Bluff, near Kalbarri

Seems like every town here has a memorial, some statute or memento about a historic Dutch ship that hit the coast and perished here, three or four hundred years ago. There’s a whole slew: the Batavia, the Zuytdorp, and more. One plague said, and I quote “It is not clear why the ship perished. Perhaps the captain miscalculate the turn toward Batavia in the Indies.” And I am thinking ‘No way! Those Dutch sailors were the best in the world at that time. They made it all the way around the world. It was the darn storms off this coast that blew them onto the rocks!”
Shell Beach, 15 meters deep of shells...

No comments:

Post a Comment