We’re on our way …

… from misery to happiness – we HOPE (with apologies to the Proclaimers)!!

We’ve FINALLY set off on a 2010 trip after weeks of many and varied delays, then on the day itself by more dental drama queen (yes, that’s me) mishaps, and mechanical faults!  I awoke after a night of discomfort on D-day (possibly need to re-think using freezing water to clean my teeth) so had to implement a complex little pre-emptive strike plan to ensure a tooth drugs prescription was faxed to our intended destination to be filled before everything closed for the day!  Well, so much for leaving on time.  In the last stages of hooking up the camper trailer, we discovered a flat tyre!  AAARRRRRGGGGHHH!!  We finally got going about 2 hours later than planned …

But you know what?  Once we hit the road, we didn’t give a damn!!  Despite temperatures between 10-13 degrees (that’s Centigrade if you’ve dropped in from the northern hemisphere) our little car cocoon took us through lush greenery well beyond the Goyder line and into the arid lands.

We saluted the fruit fly inspection point outpost of Oodla Wirra in the traditional Aussie way as we passed – the least we could do given our previous experience there.  In November 09, South Australia experienced an unseasonal heat wave that we hit us while driving from the east coast to Adelaide.  So hot we couldn’t countenance a stopover in Broken Hill, most of the 13 hour drive from Nyngan to Adelaide was through temperatures above 40 (C).  We arrived at Oodla Wirra mid afternoon, just as the thermometer hit 44.  I opened the window, breathed in the fiery air and advised the inspector that we’d rid ourselves of all fruit/veg matter when we entered the fruit fly exclusion zone at Broken Hill.  No dice.

‘I’m going to have to look inside the trailer,’ he insisted, helping us out by snapping the catches.  Unbelieveable!  In this heat!!  SO … we wound up the trailer top and opened the fridge – and even found a torch so he could see there really wasn’t anything in there except some milk fast turning sour.  But, it seems our efforts were for nothing!

‘Thanks mate, that’s fine,’ he said, before either of us had a chance to get out of the way and let him even look into the trailer, let alone the fridge.  Then he turned tail and retreated to the airconditioning.  Leaving us, of course, to pack everything back up and head off!  Bastard!!  Don’t you just love bureaucracy!!!  I guess he showed us …

BUT … our biggest drama on the road this day was a truckie playing silly buggers and doing the ‘I’m going to pass you, whoops changed my mind, oh maybe I’ll try again just for fun’ thing for a short while (no matter, it doesn’t happen that often), and we drove into Broken Hill, the ‘Silver City’ just before dark.  Just as well too – in memory of childhood holidays setting up camp in the middle of the night, my partner has advised me to shoot him if we ever willingly have to set up after dark!!

The next day, I genuflected at the shrine of Perilya.  Shrine, you ask?  Isn’t Perilya just a mining company??  Yes, indeed, but if not for that same mining company, I wouldn’t be here today.  Well, that’s a bit melodramatic – I’d be alive – but I sure wouldn’t be taking this long break, seeing these great things and telling you all about them!

Bell’s milkbar, a renovated 50’s relic with traditional milkshakes, sodas and spiders served in lavish sizes and flavours rounded out the morning nicely.  I didn’t think it possible that a hot custard milkshake with nutmeg could give so much pleasure, but there you go.  Isn’t travel about having new experiences?  I’m not sure a HCMWN fits into the category of mind-broadening as such, but I bet you’re thinking about how that would taste right now, aren’t you?!?!?!

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