Mopokes and Mirages – both part of the great Australian Folklore, but neither having much substance. No such bird as a mopoke (see the Introduction to Mopokes & Mirages) and a bit hard to get your hand or mind around a mirage. Mopokes and Mirages is Rex Ellis' eighth book, but unlike the title it is full of substance. Once started it is like taking the lid off a Pandora's box – the stories (all true) and accounts that spill out are as varied as he rich landscapes and wildlife of the Australian continent itself.
No subject is sacred to this South Australian Bushie – from how he acquired the iconic Birdsville Pub, to how he acquired' or yarded up his wife Patti. More of his company's great desert camel expeditions, his legendary inland boat safaris to Lake Eyre and other places, and a long chapter on four wheel drive vehicles he has owned over his forty five years as an outback guide. There are his regular chapters Bureaucracy and the Shinybum Brigade, and Along the rocky road of life!
Throughout, his love and knowledge of this country, flora and fauna, particularly birds, is evident, as is his obvious concern for the health of the Australian environment. Last but not least is his great passion for his paddle wheeler, the sixty foot sternwheeler Dromedary. Of particular interest is his ongoing journey up the Darling River, getting the Dromedary to places where no large vessel has been for nearly a hundred years. A great read for lovers of the Land of Oz.
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