car condition
very good
team mood
very good
very good
country flag Australia

Newest Video (20.12.2008)

View more videos »


patronage unep

About Solartaxi

Welcome to the first world tour of a vehicle powered only by solar energy!

Upcoming events

Lichtbildarena Jena
OLMA St Gallen / GTH

Team Members

Grossenbacher Juerg


Grossenbacher Juerg
"Not every day it is possible to join such a tour, but every day it's possible do something to stop global warming"

Solartaxi Latest News


Energieminister Moritz Leuenberger hat in Freiburg ...

08.04.2009KURIER - AUSTRIA

Der Wettermann: Selbst fährt er ein ...


Solartaxi sets world record, reaches home ...


People (210), Passengers (93), Events (60), VIPs (55), Team (53), Media Events (71), Funny (76), Highlight (22), Landscape (63), Solutions (57), City (71), Animals (43), Taxis (6), Breakdowns (18), Global Warming (8), Police (37), Schools (42), Rainbow Warrior (32), Switzerland (1), Austria (1), Angélique Kijo (1), on Times Square (1), Gisèle Bündchen (1), (1), Angelique Kijo (1), Canada (1), United States (1)

SOLAR TAXI AMONG THE ABORIGINES In the Middle of Nowhere 28.02.2008

Tags: Australia       Comments: 0

They take from nature only what they can give back and are happy when the children are happy. A visit to an Australian Aboriginal community gives Solar Taxi driver Louis Palmer pause for thought.
Shortly after the Port Augusta turnoff, we are greeted by a sign, "Perth 2,200". That was the last turnoff for the next 2,000 kilometres. It's all straight ahead from here. It's an oppressive feeling.
The distances between towns increase the further we push on towards Western Australia. There's also less infrastructure as we go. At first I can buy a sandwich every 70 kilometres or so, but later there's only a solitary petrol station every 200 kilometres. The bushes, initially lush, become smaller and eventually disappear almost completely. People aren't important here. Nature and distance are overpowering.
A big sign on the roadside declares "No Entry". No, not an atom bomb test site, it's Yallata, an Aboriginal community. There are also large "No Cameras" and "No Alcohol" signs. The English tested atom bombs in Central Australia in the '60s, so the 300 or so Aborigines living there were moved here.
The End of Balance
The town's teacher Alistair, an Englishman, invites us in for tea. The local authorities should be here to meet us too, but there's no sign of them. The children stream out to greet us. Everyone wants to get into the Solar Taxi and try out all the buttons.
Richard joins us with his water bottle and broad grin. He salivates from the mouth. "That's a sad story", says Alistair. "Richard used to be a strong man, a hard worker. Then he went to Adelaide and was brutally beaten up for absolutely no reason. Since then he hasn't been able to speak and he can't do anything. He's mentally disabled."
It's clear that the people living here have been thrown off their natural balance. Attempts to put Aborigines into a system that we think must work are bound to fail. The cultural differences are complex. You can't just look at a community and understand the Aborigines in a few hours. For me, this community and the essence of its people remains a mystery.
What is really senseless?
Aborigines take from nature only what they need and only as much as they can give back. Aren't we the ones who are incomprehensible? We work hard, even if the work makes no sense, and take as much from nature as we can get. "When parents come up to school they don't want to know what marks their children are getting. They want to know if the kids are happy", says Alistair. One thing is clear to me: doing nothing or sleeping all day is what we call senseless. For the Aborigines, our hectic pace and our doings are just as senseless.

We rush on through hilly forest, just like the other visitors from distant countries in their caravans and rented cars. Nobody seems to glimpse the mysteries of the bush and its inhabitants. Everyone stops at a campsite between the road trains and the tourists, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Thomas checks the handbrakes. Laura and Erik cut their film far into the night. Then we watch a DVD that Chris Selwood, director of the famous World Solar Challenge solar-powered vehicle race, gave us in Adelaide. I'd like to return to the Aborigines to learn. An extraordinary day ends perfectly normally and I ask myself what we're really doing here.


Add comment: