The rusty desert goes on for miles. Four hours in a plane over mostly barely populated nothingness, makes you realise how big this country is. And how, in the words of Apu, dangerously underpopulated it is.
The problem is, new arrivales don't want to come and live in the desert, or the farmland, they nearly always go to the densely populated metropoli, which crowd around the edges.
Between rocky ranges, a blue river is courted by green rectangles of cultivation. But immediately after there is miles and miles of Martian bleakness.
Slowly, things begin to get more verdant. Colonies start to appear. Strange perpendicular lines appear in the flat varicose-veined desert floor. Roads. But for what was not clear.