Men in red and white pyjamas, camels, cockees, fields of sweeping yellow, headwinds, rain, cold and to end it all a wine in front of a fire at the Salty Creek rest stop. Not bad for one day.
Fields of yellow
I lay in my tent in the dark at the lunch picnic area near Kings Canyon. The wind was flapping the entrance and the rain was splatting on the roof above me. When I heard a howl of the wind in the trees in the river-bed just metres away I knew that in a few seconds the tent would react. We kind-of weren’t meant to be there camping, and I had visions of the little square of dry ground under my tent being a give-away sign that we had camped there, even if we had moved the tent and were innocently eating breakfast at the lunch tables. This was a fantastic thing for me to worry about – I like worrying about anything – so it was to be – a night worrying and lying watching the tent shudder in the wind. We packed in a hurry in the rain and were off into the freezing cold morning.
The sulfur-crested cockatoo didn’t like me. He sat on the ranger’s arm. He sat on the tree – and then he sat on Clement’s arm – but not mine. He let me pat him though, and was very sweet. Our mascot at King’s Creek station – the last place with water for a very long way.
They they sat on the side of the road – three men dressed in red and white striped pyjamas, sitting on folding chairs, watching the world pass by. They had an old Holden Kingswood car with crazy decorations pulled up in front of them. We had passed a whole parade of such cars, and been cheered and tooted by most of them. They were raising money for under-privelaged children in Victoria, and this was their celebratory rally. While we were talking to them Batman and Robin pulled up. I helped Robin get out of his suit that was inside out. Its not every day that you can undress Robin. They men in striped pyjamas went on a short cycle on our bikes. Clement now has a slow puncture..
The red and white brigade
We were slowly climbing the hill against the strong headwind, and there they were – camels at the crest of the hill. As we approached they made their way off the road, but were close and watching us as they passed. Funny that – we have seen our first camel, but not our first wild kangaroo. Where are all the kangaroos that I was expecting? I remember coming here before and seeing one every 10 minutes. Times are changing.
As we headed south it got greener and greener. This doesn’t feel like the desert. We passed fields and fields of yellow, and, my, it smelt lovely. It has rained recently here, and the desert has come to life!
We rolled up to the parking area and were invited to join Des and Robin in front of their fire. It was a great evening talking with them, and then with Clement. Clement was very happy to have some good Australian wine. I must admit that I don’t get the whole wine thing. It tasted like wine – such a scandalous thing to say, thinks Clement..