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My Travel Writing Scholarship 2011 entry - My Big Adventure

WORLDWIDE | Monday, 14 February 2011 | Views [488] | Scholarship Entry

It's June and almost three months into our journey through the outback of Australia. The heat glistens on our bronzed skin, beads of sweat roll down our cheeks like tear drops. We stare at the sea lapping at our feet, questioning whether the object in the distance is in fact just a stick, or a crocodile in disguise waiting for unsuspecting tourists to let the sun defeat them and cloud their better judgement. We way up our options, the sea calling to us, the waves whispering sweet nothings, an enticing mirage.

We are in Darwin. Our money has dwindled and we have not found work to continue our travels. My partner, Federico, a cocky Italian from Rome decides to take the plunge. He is a very happy go lucky person and was used to jumping before thinking.I was definitely the more conservative of us, I watched apprehensively.

Suddenly, at the last minute, i see movement!, I shriek and grab him. The thought of him becoming a crocodile's lunch. A front page article of the Darwin Sun and having to notify his parents to inform them most apologetically that their baby had been devoured by a man eating croc, was not so enticing.

My mind was definitely wandering and exaggerating certain outcomes, but I felt a wave of relief when he agreed to hold back on his dip.I decided it was about time to focus on our current dilemma; that being lack of dinero! we needed to figure out our next move.We had just been to the bank to put two dollars on my card so the van insurance wouldn't bounce.We had 65 dollars in cash and 21.60 in change all collected in a Marmite jar which we hid under the seat of our van, our home.

Fed's face fell and for the first time I saw fear in his eyes. "What do we do now?" he asked anxiously. It was my turn to act like everything was ok,.I knew if we both panicked we would be in real trouble.

Two days earlier we had been visited a place in the middle of nowhere called Mataranka, famous for its hot springs, but not so famous for its hospitality.We had stopped to stay for the night as there was nothing else in either direction for at least 1000kms. I remembered a sign saying "Chef wanted, full time, live in available". Fed was a chef, fantastic!Why didn't we think of this like 1000km earlier! I called them and managed to get the boss to hire both of us.We put petrol in the tank and with the spare change filled our spare can.

1000km later we rolled into town on the remains of our petrol fumes, i felt a great sigh of relief....That was until we realised what exactly we had gotten ourselves into!..

Tags: #2011writing, travel writing scholarship 2011

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