The Broken Hill tour and the Terra Nullius book have got me thinking a lot about stories - about the kind of stories that get told about a place, particularly to its tourists and visitors (and in a way, therefore to the inhabitants themselves) something I will be returning to.
So here is my anecdote: that says something about that weird intersection between what feels like an unbelievably ancient land and the way the most recent settlers cruise across its surface. At one moment on the train, as I was watching out of the window idly staring at mile after mile of scrub and orange-brown soil, I saw 3 emus appear from nowhere and cross the long straight road running parallel to the train tracks. This in the middle of an empty plain. And at that precise moment an ute drove past (the first vehicle I had seen for 20 minutes). The first and second emus got by, but the third, thrown into a panic, turned back and was hit a glancing blow, such that it flew up into the air. I saw feathers explode and the emu hit the ground - and then the train had gone by.
And then nothing for ages.