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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

The Human Spirit

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 24 May 2016 | Views [452]


BWS "church" not indicative of the human spirit :). Lone photo of the day!

As I’ve done many times before, I’d take my lessons learned whilst travelling and put them to great use on the road. This morning I woke up early as Geoff and Dee were getting ready to go visit their son in Port Macquaire (known as “Port” by locals). Dee made me some pancakes and she later said “they’re the worst pancakes I ever made” but I assured her it’s difficult to mess up making pancakes. As we drove north we stopped for a quick photo of the church that's now a BWS. Geoff said he used to worship there as a youth. Though I had a good head start with Geoff and Dee dropping me at Port Macquarie I was making rather poor timing for getting to Stanthorpe. A BP worker would pick me up and drop me in Macksville and shout me a pie and coffee before I was on the road again. The whole journey from Melbourne has been nearly all short lifts but I've met some really good people along the way! A really cute hippie French girl would pick me up as she was driving to Nimbin. She has a bicycle and live plants in the back of her van. As I helped with directions we had some good chats; she was intrigued as my route is a bit of an oddity for a young traveller. She wondered by I was heading for Stanthorpe and not Nimbin or Byron Bay. Nimbin is a small village but is billed as Australia's "drug capital." Whilst I like the hippie culture I'm not up for having a pipe, but instead a glass of red by the fire. That's exactly what I got, a bottle of cabernet, when she dropped me in the town of Casino (no casinos here). Some Indigenous locals would pick me up as they were driving to Tabulum. There’s a solid-sized Indigenous population in these parts. They were turning off but gave me the name of a friend and pointed out a home in case I was stranded but I was certain (and determined) to get further ahead. In a little less than two weeks I’m going back to Norfolk Island and then NZ so my time is rather short. One person stopped and asked what I was up to, and he said "listen mate, if you go further ahead and decide to camp, it gets pretty damn cold out there." It was cold and I was freezing already, so I understood that. A man named Stewart picked me up as he was driving to Tenterfield. I knew from the get-go that getting to Stanthorpe would be a mission. After waiting for a good solid hour or so and having to put on some extra layers I was picked up by a nice couple returning from playing bridge (the card game). They were headed back to Stanthorpe. Once we crossed over into Queensland I would have never guessed…I was freezing my ass off when I was dropped at Belladean, even with extra layers. It was still a good 20 km or so to Eukey where Bron, my CS host, lives. With all my gear I walked, using the full Moon and my sheer will as my guide. From there I was tired, and undetermined to walk all the way. If I didn't have so much gear it'd be a different story. It was 11 PM and I saw smoke coming from a chimney from a local home and I thought “to knock or not to knock” but in the end I just carried on. Finally I spotted some cottages and walked up to the office. It was closed but there was a phone. Years ago, Carey praised me for knocking on the door of a home so I had no choice again this time. Aaron, the manager was helpful when he got on the phone and said “let me put the kids to bed and I’ll come and get you.” There’s really something very deep about the human spirit in these situations. Sometimes you just have to slide that door open and hope for the best, and I’d later remark “I can either be greeted with a gun or a cuppa” but it’s usually the latter. When I guessed that Aaron has probably never received a phone call like mine he said "you'd be surprised." He told me most of the time it’s guests complaining they can’t get the fire going or that they broke something, so my request isn’t nearly as bad as some of the others. Even with guests calling him late at night for silly things he says it's better than getting up and going to work every day. Aaron explained how winter is approaching and how that's the busy time. Many Kiwis and Victorians head to Cairns or the Gold Coast to escape the cold, but many Queenslanders come to Stanthorpe to escape the sweltering humidity of the coast. Finally after 12 hours, eight lifts, and using an important travel lesson, at 11PM I was at Bron’s home. Her full name is Bron Wynn and she’s originally from Papua New Guinea. She’s a rather interesting lady of about 60 with a passion for artwork. Chilled to the bone I was she welcomed me with a warm fire and a pot of tea. After having a bit to eat and some good chats with Bron, I feel something really amazing about the human spirit. With all the great people I met yesterday and today it helps me continue to realize there are millions of great people out there! Cracking open a bottle of red and warming up, I have a another great story to share after today.

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