After days of riding across an interminable flatness, it loomed up on the horizon: a pile of large weathered boulders 180 meters high.
Our eyes, adjusted to immense spaces devoid of the slightest rise, the slightest dip, caught sight of that pile of rocks and magnified it out of all proportion, so that the molehill looked almost like a mountain.
In 1836, Major Mitchell, leading a British expedition of ‘discovery’ fell prey to the same distortion, the same mirage. With horse drawn carts and a retinue of retainers in tow, he must have been moving far slower than Anya and I were on our bikes, enduring the flatness for weeks, if not months. All the while no doubt dreaming of the sweet green hills of England.
Then one day, peering through his telescope, he saw it, that same pile of rocks and struck by its shape gave it a name – as if it didn’t already have a name – ‘Pyramid Hill’.
Over the following decades, after the original inhabitants were driven off or shot, a town was established nearby and imaginatively called Pyramid Hill and as for the original name given to the pile of rocks by Mitchell, that became known simply as ‘The Hill’.
So that was our landmark and we rode towards it, only to discover that the closer we got, the further away it seemed …..