Life In The Slow, Bloody Hot Lane

Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, January 15, 2007

"Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling".
"Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes..."
"The dead rising from the grave."
"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria."
"All Because of Dickless here"
"Is this true?"
"Yes, it's true. This man has no dick".

-- Ghostbusters

On Saturday night we decided to go for a night out in Albany. We hadn't had an alcoholic drink in seven days (for the first time since drinking became cool) and thought we deserved a treat. And what a treat it was!

I've just typed out two paragraphs describing Albany, and deleted them both. It's hard to describe without running the risk of insulting just about everyone. As time is money, all I'll say is..... rednecks. After closing time we adjourned to a club, as Vinny made us, where all that
was missing was sawdust on the floor and a few teeth from the doorman. We had befriended a nice Swiss couple and dragged them with us - but with their black clothes, Ramones and QOTSA T-Shirts, they felt a little awkward in a room full of Ozzies dancing to Vanilla Ice.

Didn't we all....

The next day we had to clean out Lola, to make her fit and ready for the long journey ahead. So, without any ado whatsoever, we went out for the day visiting the nearby beaches and cliffs.

Bouncing around on rocks at the edge of cliffs is fun no matter how old you are - perhaps
more so as a grown up because you get that lovely sense of mortality every time a gust of wind nearly blows you to your death - I recommend the experience highly.

After that we went to visit the nearby blowholes, and were slightly put out to find that they weren't bothering to blow today, so all they really were was holes. Still, as holes go... not bad.

Then back to the work proper. In the carpark of the YHA we (well, Vinny and Tom mostly) stripped Lola out, cleaned her up a treat, checked her levels and her heart rate, and then
put her back together. It was going to be a long way from Albany to Esperence, about 500km without the roads being closed, and we intended to do it in a day (as we are being constantly reminded by people of how little progress we've been making).

Esperence, you may know, has been in international news recently for not one but two reasons. The other week it had the worst storm in recorded history, killing livestock by the thousand and destroying homes left right and centre. It has been declared an area of natural disaster, although that's more to get funding of the government than because it actually is still a
disaster zone.

Secondly, they've been in the news because birds are dropping out of the sky. This is quite ... er... trying to think of a word that isn't 'funny'... interesting, as 5000 birds have dropped
dead in the last few weeks, and nobody knows why. The Americans have something similar happening in Texas, and blame terrorists (as they do). The Ozzies also blamed terrorists at first, but now they are stating to accept that if it is a terrorist attack, it's a pretty lame one.

So it was to Esperence we set off. Partly because we like to visit these interesting places, and partly because we simply didn't have a choice. It's in the way.

The whole thing has been getting a little biblical - consider, if you will, the evidence. Plagues of
locusts, storms unheard of in history, birds mysteriously dropping in their thousands.... and only yesterday I saw a cow with six legs... although this did turn out to be two black cows stood next to each other.... Then moments later Vinny saw a cow with seventeen legs... . I don't want to sound like a negative Norman, but the Apocalypse could be round
the next corner....

But I Digress.

The day started hot and got hotter - 42 degrees hot. Hotter than I've ever been. So hot, in
fact, that if you were to cut yourself open your blood would be cold to the touch..... now THAT'S hot. We passed a maniac Tom had met in the YHA that was CYCLING to Melbourne... hat's off to the mad bastard.

Lola, bless her, behaved admirably. True, the engine was in constant danger of overheating, and we had to do a lot of the 600km (with the diversion) journey going at 60km/h, but it was all good. Opening the window as we drove didn't cool us down, it would be like sticking your
head under a hand drier.

Anyway, the road was very much closed about 180km from Esperence, and we had to take a rather hairy diversion, involving water hazards and scorched earth and floods that smelt more than a little of thousands of dead sheep - it was all great.

Now we're getting ready to head out across the Nullarbor, which is the epic plain between here and Adelaide. It's going to be hot with a capital bloody. We've got lots of water, food and fuel, the biggest jar of gherkins in the world and Lola.... And you know what, my faithful
Travelpod few? Everything is fantastic.

Until next time.....
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