The Great Ozzie Road Trip – Part 1, Rules of the Road

19 Apr

The Great Ozzie Road trip had begun.

It was time to learn the rules of the road.

Rule 1 – accept that the distances are huge.  It might seem that Alice Springs is just next to Uluru and in Australia terms it is…after all it is only 445 km away or about 5 hours, drive at máximum Wicked van speed of 90 kmh.

Rule 2 – accept that you might not see a lot en route but what you do see will be different from anything you’ve ever experienced.  Australia is huge but a lot of it is vast, open, empty bush, the so-called outback.  It’s magical.  The sense of space is awesome. Being so far away from lights means that on a clear night the stars are wonderful. The contrast of the red dirt and the stark white of the “ghost” gums is amazing and every so often you see one of the iconic watermills.

Rule 3 – believe the words insribed inside your Wicked van “Where is the fuckin wildlife?”. You don’t see kangaroos, snakes, emus or even the over 1 million wild camels (now considered a pest)  at every turn in the road.  Animals don’t come out on demand. Kangaroos come out at dusk but more so in Winter for the heat of the tarmac, snakes don’t come out much at all and are usually scared off by noise and as for the emus and camels I’m still not sure where they were hiding.  And although it looks like there should be there are no giraffes here.

Rule 4 – get petrol at every opportunity. There can be hundreds of kilometres between gas stations.

Rule 5 – accept that driving until midnight can make sense when the heat inside the van is intolerable and the mosquitos buzzing around drive you crazy.

Rule 6 – accept that having the windows down and blaring out road trip songs is much, much better fun that having a cool, air conditioned “Jucy” van without the character, charm or rattling of the Wicked van.

Rule7 – accept that the Wicked van will not always be accepted into campsites. In Byron Bay two campsites wouldn’t accept Wicked vans because “sometimes they have slogans which can upset children”.  What? Surely children are far too busy reading from their i-pads or other electronic device to read the back of a campervan?

Rule 8 – accept that it’s cool to wave to other campers.  Yeah I too have spent a life in a car where I don’t wave to every car I pass just because it’s a car but this is Oz and taking into account Rules 1 and 3 above it might be a long time before you see another van or any other civilisation.

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