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Full Circle

Day 126: Darwin, Australia

Michael Palin - Full CircleDarwin, Australia, is twelve hundred miles from Surabaya. I don't recommend going via London unless you really have to as it adds sixteen thousand miles to the journey. For Steve and myself the long loop around the world, and the short, sharp shock of exposure to a northern winter, have been worth all the effort. Steve's daughters, old and new, are fine and Helen is well enough to request me not to go interviewing head-hunters for a while.

Jet travel can so compress one's sensations of time and space that last night, as we crossed the Australian coast, descending into Darwin to rejoin the crew, the grey estuary of the Thames and the blood-red effluent of the Daly River below seemed only a few miles apart. Though we have been away four days it's almost as though we had never left the tropics.

This morning, as we roll south on the long straight road out of Darwin there is a great sense of change. We are out of the crowded Asian Pacific seaboard and into the great empty spaces of Australasia. In Java there are eight hundred and fifty people for every square kilometre of land, in Australia, just over two.
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  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 126
  • Country/sea: Australia
  • Place: Darwin
  • Book page no: 178

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