This blog and website is the means to construct a project about my journeys to, within and from, northern Australia. The assumption was that I would be making more than one long drive to the north–to the Northern Territory and northern South Australia.
Initially ‘journeys’ meant roadtrips — to and from a location. Journey’s now means walking the country in northern South Australia. Walking refers to walking within the country, and doing so with camels.
The Long Road to the North refers to the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, who went on a journey in 1689 that would form the basis of his most famous work: Oku no Hosomichi or The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
This haibun – a combination of prose and haiku – is one of the greats of classical Japanese literature. The text tells the story of Basho’s wandering from Edo (now Tokyo) into the country’s interior and the hardships he faced there.
The project’s title, The Long Road to the North, is also a reference to Richard Flanagan’s 2014 novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which takes its title from Basho’s The Long Road to the North.