From our room, the passing road trains sounded like swooping aircraft, not the earth-bound rush of mighty 18-wheelers bearing their goods eastward. The highway sustained life out here. It is a straight and lonely stretch of asphalt – or bitumen, the Aussies would say – stubbornly crossing the barren Nullarbor Plain. It’s the unpredictable suicide route of too many short-sighted wombats; the stark yet exotic touring line for patient road trippers; the demarcation zone between roadhouses, these isolated outposts of civilization. 150 kms from Nundroo Hotel Motel to Nullarbor Roadhouse. In the other direction, 150 kms to Ceduna. Instead of losing my mind to extreme loneliness, I was surprised by a sense of gumption. Like pioneers, we refused to let the environment wear us away.
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With over 29 million cows in the country, it is easy to see why certified Aussie Angus steak dominates the palate. Ranching is a massive and proud industry; yet, by current environmental standards, we should be eating more kangaroo. Roaming “The Centre” in uncountable numbers, ‘roos produce less methane, graze more sustainabily and cause less ground damage than their bovine neighbors. So Chef Ceaser skinned ours first, carefully removed the sinew and turned it into a sweet and sour soup. The result tasted like Australia itself: a solid broth with an infusion of ethnic spices, and a kick as strong as that from the feet of a giant Red ‘roo. Distinctive and powerful.