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Outgoing – This is how a Swiss woman lives in a cave house in Australia – Radio SRF1


SRF Australia Correspondent Urs Waldin, Swiss Ambassador with Point Pedro Swahl, explored the light. To all who have wandered: Here are the highlights of his journey.

Only sand for hours, endless expansion, glowing heat – this is what you imagine the Australian light. But the journey of Australian correspondent Urs Waldin shows: Australia’s heart has more to offer than that. We have put together six wonderful facts about enlightenment for you.

Urs Walterlin

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SRF / Urs Wälterlin

Urs Waldin has been Oceania’s SRF correspondent in Australia since 2003. He has lived there since 1992 and is trying to see what this should be like for a professional viewer: reporting area. But he loves Australia, especially the unique and different nature.

1. Cave home life

In the stone desert Cooper Bedi, The link opens in a new window Here is a Swiss woman who immigrated here 20 years ago: Irene Spielman. He lives in a former Opel mine. But not in a normal house, but in a “duckout”, in a cave house she dug with her hands. The trained landscape gardener has now built a total of five diggers. He bought a tunnel boring machine specifically for construction.

2. Wind power for giant batteries

Australia has not only a lot of sun but also a lot of wind. Wind power is increasingly being used – even if the government sticks to fossil fuels and invests in coal and gas. For example, there is a large windmill Jamestown, The link opens in a new window. It supplies power to one of the largest batteries in the world.

3. Endless salt

It is 15 times larger than Lake Constance, 17 meters below sea level, the deepest point in Australia: The Iyer Lake, The link opens in a new window. What is special is that it is a salt lake. The last time it had water was in 2019. The lake is very important to the lake tribes because they hunt the animals that come to the lake to drink. You can still see the remnants of the lake’s arrows.

4. Tribal knowledge

During the four-week trip, Urs Wald was on the road with Point Pedro Swallow: he was the Swiss Ambassador to Australia. During his vacation, Swalen explored the light of the land for the first time. The journey led, among other things உலுரு, The link opens in a new window (Formerly known as Ayers Rock). The Native Sanctuary has been closed to tourists since 2019. Swahlen was inspired by tribal culture: “As we can see from climate change, our civilization is reaching its limits. We can learn from the Adi people to re-understand man as a part of nature. “

The lost history of Australia

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Much of the indigenous history has been lost. The reason for this is often the forced resettlement of people. Urs Walterlin says: “Many farmers are not interested in maintaining cultural sites, some of which are tens of thousands of years old. In contrast: The bulldozer is often more popular than its use to protect sites of cultural, religious and social significance. “

Unfortunately, the Australian government did not see it: four years ago Indigenous people asked the government to vote for them in Parliament. Urs Wuherlin says: They expected a policy very close to the needs of the tribes. But the historical document was rejected by the then conservative government. No part of the Australian population is eligible for special treatment, the argument goes. This room, which occurred in the face, threw out the reconciliation process between the black and white years. “

5. No fruit is allowed to cross the border

There is a so-called fruit border between the Australian states: no fruits or vegetables are allowed from one state to another. The reason: Australia wants to protect its agriculture and prevent the spread of fruit flies. What appears to be a joke is seriously indicated: a violation can result in a fine of several thousand dollars.

6. Biodiversity despite drought

At least as interesting as Uluru King’s Canyon, The link opens in a new window, An oasis in the middle of the desert. Despite the drought, there are over 600 different species of animals and plants here. Examples are eucalyptus trees, mountain kangaroos and more than 400 years of cycads. Definitely not to forget: the ubiquitous and perennial bush flies. Urs Walterlin says: “She sits wherever she feels damp. In the nose, eyes, ears – under glasses or even in the mouth. “

What equipment do you need to get out?

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First, you need a good car, all-wheel drive, a large petrol tank and a second spare wheel. And most importantly: enough water. In the light you need to know how to help yourself. Urs Wuherlin says: “Fracture relief is often so expensive that pulling it off is no longer worthwhile. For example, outbound cars often have wrecks, and their value is less than the towing charge. “