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Part 1. Risking life and limb on a reckless road trip.

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 26 May 2009 | Views [1266]

Loaded up and ready to roll. I have no excuse for those sunglasses other than they fitted the weekend perfectly.

Loaded up and ready to roll. I have no excuse for those sunglasses other than they fitted the weekend perfectly.

If Broome has a short coming, it's that it's not a road trip. It's a bit too stationary for that. It's not actually a lot of things, like a toaster, philosophical thesis or belly button lint to list but a few. Most things obey the laws of physics and content themselves with just being one thing at a time. In this case Broome was the beginning and end of a road trip, but the beautiful Kimberley's were the backdrop for the four days in between.

Destination; Kununurra. Reason; General objectives included power bonding, life endangering consumption of intoxicants, and the development of a secret handshake. More specific objectives included seeing the Hoodoo Gurus perform at the Kimberley Moon Experience, and spending close quarters time with three of Matso's finest to further enhance my high regard for the place.

There was your narrator, known to my audience largely for my drug fueled scribblings in this travel journal. Spratty and Trevor were best friends from Perth who share a sharp wit that was well worth exercising the laughing muscles for. Jimmy left his roots in some English Army based parts of Europe to tour Australia and humour us all with his cross cultural accent that was funny even when  what he's said was largely unintelligible.

Three of us had kind heartedly allowed Trev to do all the planning for the trip possibly realising our influence might have been counter productive. When a shiny newish 4WD Prado appeared to pick me up in the unknown hours of the first day, I nodded sagely in my most appreciative manner. Even more so when I was able to fit my bag in fearing I had over packed by bringing nearly everything I owned. Jimmy surpassed me when his swag looked large enough to enclose a midget in its rolls. Jokes to this end persisted throughout the weekend and Jimmy's Japanese midget lover became a symbol of the weekend's uniqueness before it had started in earnest.

Hostel hash browns had cured my potato cravings early, but the others required a McDonald's breakfast that set the unhealthy tone for the trip. I settled for a coffee thinking it's energising characteristics would be needed to get through the large amount of intoxicants that were planned for the day. The coffee tasted like sump oil and I decided that a beer would be a better accompaniment to an 8am joint anyway.

Blissed out before even leaving Broome, it wasn't long before the

Great Northern Highway
stretched out before us in open invitation. It paved the way to the good times that lay somewhere over a horizon  that shimmered mystically in the heat haze. Massive boab trees drifted past so often, I quickly overstimulated my 'surprised' look. Termite mounds outnumbered trees as a portent of an insect Armageddon when a wood famine will wreak havoc amongst our multi legged friends. There was enough variety in the road kill to ensure someone was being fed, mainly the feathered carrion feeders that constantly circled above. Clouds randomly spotted the blueness like lily pads in the pond waters of the sky. The sun quietly went about its business, parching the lands, adding UV to the cancerous soup of our atmosphere and acting like the biggest star in our solar system. Think about that one!

The scenery wasn't really drifting past. It was flying past at a ball shrinking speed. At one point Spratty was doing 180km while driving with his knees and opening his third beer. I started prepping my undies for DEFCON 1 as it was the fastest speed I've ever traveled outside an air plane. Every TAC advertisement I'd seen came flashing before my paranoid and blood red eyes. 2 fat joints and four beers to my name at 10am was not the best position to play conscientious objector to such a disputably survivable activity. Unsurprisingly I was met with three blank stares of incredulity.

Within 15 minutes Mr Policeman was taking $300 off us for doing 139km an hour when he had clocked us at 146km. Perhaps Spratty had been sculling his beer at that point and had unconsciously slowed. Lucky too seeing exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km would have cost $700 instead. The uniformed donut assassin was in a curiously jovial mood for someone so far away from a Krispy Kreme shop, but his better nature rose up when he saw we were just four outstanding members of society caught up in the potential of a weekend road trip. Ultimately, $75 was pretty cheap life insurance though.

As we approached Fosters Creek a sign warned us that police were targeting speeding drivers in the area. Where was that sign $300 ago? It was time for a change of driver as Spratty was craving his fifth beer too much to focus on anything else. Quite surprising really given how close to his third drink driving conviction and an extended stay in the local lock-up he had come. Jimmy seemed to be the best man for the job until he smashed his face against a closed side window while trying to reverse. I would have thought he was just stoned, or lusting after his midget if he hadn't have done exactly the same thing trying to talk to the police through a veritable sound proof barrier.

The rest of the day passed in relative normality for a road trip, subdued by our standards. Loud music and karaoke, frequent esky top ups and more frequent piss stops, tall tales and fits of laughter. Trev played DJ and laid down a mix so eclectic that cover bands would cower in fear. Jimmy drove for most of it and put in a Herculean effort turning down the constant call for another beer. Spratty slept and only woke to tell us he needed food, a piss or that he was drunk. I just wrote and marvelled at all the unbelievable scenery that filled in the tranquil parts of the weekend.

Tags: drugs, misadventures, on the road

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