Nepabunna, 12 March 2014


Is a recumbent a vehicle? It is a question with financial impact.

A permit for the Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area costs $30 per vehicle, including the first night camping.

But how much should I pay for a recumbent push bike?

Outback Australia has just one mode of transport: a car.

There is no public transport.

A push bike is for kids.

As soon as the driver licence arrives an Australian will happily push the bike to the shed to rest and rust.

Those who venture into the outback on a push bike must be very brave or insane, or both.

Recumbents are virtually unknown here. Years ago, a trike crossed my path. I have not seen any recumbent since.

The ACE Puma draws quite a crowd here. A Dutch recumbent? That suits our rugged outback? Really?

Push bike parking, restaurant
and dormitory in Nantawarrina
I do need a permit, push bike or no push bike. The Adnyamathanda community in Nepabunna is serious about the word 'protected'.

Enter Nantawarrina without a permit and get a hefty $8000 fine.

No permit? $8000 fine!
An so it should be. Nantawarrina is a special country. For many years sheep have eaten it bare.

The devastated land was returned tot the Adnyamathanda, the 'rock people'.

Now, Aboriginal law defines how to take care of the land, as it has been for thousands of years. Take care of the land. The land takes care of you.

Men and nature are no longer in battle. They cooperate. The land recovers.

Native vegetation seizes opportunity. Every drop of rain results into new green.

Nepabunna has a plant nursery.

The Adnyamathanda grow native plants that find a place in nature.

Native animals feel at home again.

Kangaroos, yellow-footed rock wallabies, emus have plenty of food.

The sheep have disappeared.

Feral goats are still a plague.

The care takers round up the goats and sell them overseas, away from Australia!

A find road on good country,
deflate fat Big Ben tyres to 3 bar
and go!
An uncle in Iga Warta, the cultural centre near Nepabanna told me You will travel on good country

That recommendation alone is sufficient reason to go.

I look forward to the tranquility, the absolute silence, pristine nature, drink rain water from water tanks bush tucker, cook on a campfire, the milky way as my chandelier of stars.
So yes, I love to have a permit.

But what about my recumbent and the $30 permit for a vehicle?

The sister in the Nepabunna information centre makes firm decision.

She just puts a stroke at "No of vehicles" and writes 'push bike'.

Good, that is taken care of. And it nicely remains poly interpretable.

So, how about the rate?

That is too easy for her.

A recumbent is half a vehicle.

So, no $30 but $15.

permit for a recumbent, half a vehicle
And yes, I like this line of thought.

A car has 4 wheels, my recumbent 2.

Hurray, the next couple of days I'll travel in Nantawarrina, fully legal on my half vehicle!

Till next nut,