Well we are now stumbling into May and June is just around the corner. Ratting around the bush this last weeks has been a great adventure but it is time to prepare for something mammoth. You might have noticed that my posts have spread out a bit and this is because preparations have been underway for something of a hiatus.
This spacing of posts is mainly because connection links have been spotty and it is about to get much worse. These last weeks we have actually been testing equipment and tuning for a period of something very different on the horizon.
We are headed into an adventure, the like of which I adore and it does mean that communication links will be deeply affected for all of June. So bear with me, I will still be writing but likely won’t be able to post. It should all get much better towards the end of June and I will be able to tell you all that has happenings then as we emerge back into the world of all possible and practical communications.
We like to think that we are at all times linked, progressive and living with our fingers on the pulse of things but it really only takes a few steps before we are floundering around in the same world our Grandparents knew and loved. Sometimes that is the best of the adventures in life.
Struggling with communication limitations is a large part of my world and I do have a number of resources as I travel about. Ranging from phone hotspot links, internet dongles even a good awareness of free Wi-Fi stations. The most unpleasant being sitting up on breezy heights of the nearest hill holding a phone aloft to the heavens, but there are times when even these resources fail us for whatever reason… this is about to happen in June.
Consider it my hiatus for the year though it won’t be the only one of that I am certain. I will try to stay in touch at least once a week though I really can’t promise anything, as the possibility has yet to be tested.
It reminds me of when we ventured into China a few years ago and as we were cruising down the Yangtze River. I would get all prepared when we approached a major city, one perched high on the banks of the mighty river. You would find me sitting up on the open deck, high above the water with my old and trusty travel phone linked to my ‘puter struggling for an phone link via an dial-up Aussie server, one that bounced back though China. What fun that was and I loved every minute of the excitement of just achieving a short internet link where I could upload, given a few sparse minutes of success.
Then there were times that it was simply impossible, such as high on the plateau of Kakadu where phone links were just a laughable concept. Sat’ phones in those days were unheard of outside the higher echelons of the military and our little safari didn’t really qualify at the time. We actually had a military ‘Bush tucker’ man with us who was on a research foray and he, given the resources of the entire country, was dependant on a large battery operated radio.
That the team member who was given the task of carrying the heavy battery managed to pack the thing upside down and empty the acid all through his pack, leaving us high and quiet for the better part of ten days was a real inconvenience. It nearly saw the Black Hawkes doing a reconnaissance mission trying to find us when we went into silence. The only thing that stopped them was that there had been no flares set off in the night sky and when we finally trailed into Ranger Station, then in caretaker mode, we were able to let everyone know what had happened. Yep…! Communications can be a biggie.
Every time I hear the ad’s about how Australia is 90% something… connected it makes me smile. I know full well that they mean 9?% connected where the people are or where our population centres. There are literally tens of thousands of kilometres of area across our great continent that relies totally on bouncing signals of satellites at such an extortive cost to the public sector that it is completely impractical. I loved the old CDMA system, which at least kept you linked in a more reliable manner until the powers that be realized that they could make more money in withdrawing this access from the general pubic. There are of course arguments for and against but I do miss the diversity of access as patchy as that was at times.
I remember well when my own parents would be ‘out on the wallaby’ for extended periods and communications was reliant purely on packing a parcel and sending it via post to be collected at the next P.O. on their tour route. Then with the advent of the mobile phone, those bricks that were carried from pillar to post in the days when you would only turn them on during Sunday. If you could find a link, you would sit up on the highest ground close by, between the hours of 6pm and 8pm, bottle of wine or stubbie at hand while you enjoyed the night skies and waited for family to ring. Agghhh yes… we really have come a long way.
It is always interesting to hear how fellow travellers manage to stay linked to their worlds and families when they are touring around the far-and-away places and I have to admit, once upon a time the first thing I did when I parked up somewhere was check for open Wi-Fi links. Now I never buy into the roaming access as it is often also only at an extortive cost but more and more public facilities are offering free Wi-Fi as a public commodity and you have to commend the organizations that offer this.
May this generosity live on and prosper… God bless their little cotton socks.
Happy reading everyone.