25 May Task: drive. Aussie is one long haul
Ok, terribly disappointing without pictures (well, one), but I will add those in another post–sometimes a girl just has to write.
Driving over 900 kms today, I experienced a fiesta of maladies: fatigue, boredom and twitchy bum, but to name a few afflictions. (This is author Bill Bryson’s phrase from A Walk in the Woods). For two weeks, driving from Brisbane to Melbourne, I logged about 2,000 kms–about the same driving time from Toronto to Halifax.
Imagine: radio on scan. Oh goodie, it’s Katy Perry, yet again. To amuse myself, every hour I eat one piece of black liquorice as a present. Then, if I was feeling particularly congratulatory, or crazy, I stopped at MacDonald’s to use free WIFI and revel in my childless life.
It’s 8:30 pm Sunday night and I’m eating lamb pakoras for supper at an Indian restaurant in Seymour, about 100 kms north of Melborne. After driving since 10:30 am, I needed a rest stop before going to Melbourne tomorrow. Here’s the scenario at the restaurant, the Hotel Diner and casino that smells like cigs is the only other option.
Me “Do you have wine?”
No, you can buy a bottle from next door and then bring here…”
Me Ok. Toilets?
“No, across the street at the train station.”
No wine? No toilets? Que?
Lamb pakora rocks though.
Since we last talked, I have met a slew of Aussies, a batch of new friends: two single 40 something ladies who are searching for love, a young buck who works in stocks and is experiencing an existential crisis, and a construction worker who wants to meet the love of his life.
I’ve also been staying with a ‘friend of friends’ family. One lady, Sara and I, went to the Vivid festival of lights last week. Imagine an electric light show on the sails of the giant iconic opera house… Sara and I sipped hot mulled wine from an outside bar as she told me how she met her husband of many decades and two children. Meeting in Mexico, where she’s from, he proposed after two weeks! From there they discussed how many children, names, where they’d live etc… easy peasy. Right? I’m fascinated by people’s stories.
I can’t believe I’m almost in Melbourne. Three weeks seems like a lifetime. And my start in Brisbane, wow, another planet.
Since last writing, I have also been going on longer than normal runs– like 10 kms or more. Twenty something temperatures. Heaven. For some reason, when I travel, I feel invincible. My lungs fill up bigger than normal and my legs feel stronger. Even with little sleep I could go forever.
In Sydney I stayed at a camper park just 20 minutes by subway from the city. Lane Cove National Park. One morning I screamed at regular intervals as giant iguanas jumped out onto the path. Loser. And today, in a park near Basin View (three hours south of Sydney), I saw THREE kangaroos. Amazing legs those critters. Huge thighs. Hmm, maybe I am part kangaroo?
Ok, back to the exotic camper van for the night.