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Big bucks blown between Broome and Bowen.

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 18 September 2009 | Views [1167]

The essential toys for a gadget geek.

The essential toys for a gadget geek.

4,500 kms is a long way to travel and I knew it was not going to be easy. Given that someone else flew the plane for me most of the way, the biggest strain was on my wallet. The 620 km driving stint I did was my most challenging task, but I still managed to catch a few ZZZ's while behind the wheel. 32 hours in total would have seemed like a long trip had JJ's brother not shared the story of his 44 hour odyssey coming from the UK to Broome just before I left.

Before I did, a farewell party was thrown at the playboy mansion for the people who'll have left Broome by the time I return. The remnants of that was left to litter the house as my hangover dictated I pack my backpack with a lot of berocca, but not much else. A $186 flight with SkyWest to Darwin passed with little to mention except for a roast beef roll being my vegetarian snack. I was probably lucky to get on the flight when I literally threw a mull cookie at the security officer while removing my laptop for scanning. Apart from the illegality of crossing state borders with food, its obvious green garnish would have alarmed anyone had my ninja relaxes failed to remove the offending article from full view straight away.

3pm arrival and I had 10 hours to fill in until my next flight. I wandered along Mitchell Street looking for cheap forms of entertainment. A sex shop loomed up and an hour spent browsing there fulfilled numerous rolls. I was an hour closer to flying out, I only spent a small amount of money on something racy for Rachel and I found out how large a cavity some people were willing to make of their own backside.

With the humid air turning any ingested liquid into a sweaty sheen on my skin, I headed into the cinemas where the air conditioning turned damp clothing into a cure for NOT having hypothermia. I scoured my bag for a jumper, curious about the whiskey odour emanating from inside. In my drunken wisdom, I had taken my forgotten last can of whiskey out of the freezer and put it in my carry on luggage showing an alcoholics disregard for common sense. Sure enough the can had cracked and emptied its contents all through my bag. Books had pages glued together, letters from Broome to Rachel and her friends had a brown tinge and mangled appearance, and my laptop miraculously survived a partial submersion.

The movie I watched, The Taking of Pelham 123, was hardly worth a mention, but it bored me enough to get some broken sleep on the floor of the airport. 5am I staggered onto a plane, and after 3 hours of sleeping, drooling and farting, I woke up in Cairns next to some rather concerned looking neighbours. Being the domestic leg of an international flight, I was forced to go through customs. Customs dogs are amazing and I have always wanted to work with beagles in that capacity. They are so adorable they way they sniff around for bombs, food or drugs knowing that finding some will result in a scooby snack or two. They were not so adorable when they took particular interest in the contents of my bag knowing enough traces remained to trigger off their super sensitive snout. I had eaten the cookie before the movie so the dog moved on knowing his meal ticket was a tease rather than a promise of reward.

I paid some possibly illegal immigrant with a dubious grip on the English language $16 to taxi me to the road out the front of the Cairns airport. The remaining $1,200 was syphoned out of my account in exchange for a home on wheels for 3 weeks. My delux hippie camper came with an L-shaped seat that folds out to a double bed, a fridge, sink, stove, kettle, toaster and various camping necessities. Given the cost of hire removed the option of paying for camping, it was to side of the road free sites for the time being. That was fine except that the toaster, kettle and power point I was going to use to charge all my toys needed a 240 outlet. The fridge and lights run off a second battery but the gas stove doesn't burn, the sink handle only pumps water when you're angry enough to mash it like a madman and the CD player arbitraryly skips whatever songs fail to please it.

None of these bothered me as I roared through the 620kms that laid between Cairns and Rachel. I stopped in Townsville for a quick catch up with an old friend. A shower and recharge were necessary as I stank and had been fighting against heavy eyelids at various stages. By 7pm it felt like Christmas morning and I was finally back in the arms of my lover. Any more said on that topic would give this journal a XXX rating.

Tags: drugs, friends, on the road

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