In late nineteenth-century Far North Queensland, unless you had a horse you had to walk. Or run. Or skip or hop. Or swim, just as long as you weren’t worried about crocodiles or sharks or deadly jellyfish and the like.
I’ve had to imagine what this is like in order to write about it, trying to judge how long it might take someone to ride from here to there, and also trying to imagine what it might have been like to do so upon roads that weren’t really roads, or, at least, not how we know them to be.
I’m a long way from Far North Queensland and it’s been a long time since horses were the preferred (only?) method of transport. But, still, we don’t have a car. Call us crazy (and I’m sure there are those who do) but it’s a decision we made a while ago and we’ve managed to stick by it (sometimes with a little help from our friends).
But how do we usually get around, I hear you ask!
Well, apart from our own two feet, we use bikes, scooters (the kick kind), buses, trains, trams, a car share service, and ferries. And lately my daughter has been heading off to school every morning on her bright orange skateboard (the one with the purple wheels and the jagged multi-coloured geometric pattern on the underside….jealous?).
Of course, the fact that we live in Switzerland makes this an awful lot easier than it might otherwise be, because this is a country that is set up beautifully for people like us because the notion of not owning a car isn’t as ridiculous as it is elsewhere. That and the trains run on time.
But what also makes it easier is most ably demonstrated by the photo below. This, ladies and gentlemen, was my journey home last night. Yes, really.