The month of May means we are moving towards the end of the Southern Hemisphere Autumn, which turns out to be a good time for travelling through the Australian Outback, avoiding the extreme heat and dust of Summer.
The outback is another world which brings me to the setting of book two of my racing series - Racing Time.
Once you leave the southern towns behind, the journey north is on unsealed roads. At the outback town of Marree, the road divides. Turn right and you join the Birdsville track taking you northeast to Birdsville or turn left onto the Oodnadatta track northwest to Oodnadatta.
Oodnadatta is a small remote outback town, with a population of around 200, some 870 kilometres (540 miles) north of Adelaide. The town is also home of famed The Pink Roadhouse. The word Oodnadatta is derived from the Aboriginal word utnadata, meaning mulga tree blossom.
So why did I choose Oodnadatta? Firstly, it's remote. Things go wrong for the unprepared in the outback. I like testing my hero and heroines. There is a lot to learn about survival, it can bring people together or tear them apart. There is no mobile reception. No nearby towns. Few passing vehicles. Cattle stations covering many hundreds of square miles, and you could wander through them for days without seeing a soul. People do not last long on foot with no water in the hot and dry conditions.
Secondly, it is a great place to bury a body. Who is going to find it apart from Dingoes? If you fall foul of someone, there is no local police to rescue you. No local hospital to aim for.
Thirdly, after placing my characters in this environment, testing their strength and endurance they naturally learn to grow, learn to trust and in turn learn to love. Without these basic elements, life has no meaning. So, if you enjoyed Racing Dream, be sure to read Racing Time and journey into the South Australian outback.
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