CAREFUL WHO YOU CHAT TO
No matter how unusual you think your travelling rig is, there is always someone out there doing it differently. When it comes to driving around Australia, most people are prepared to chat, although I was caught out at the caravan park last week, but more about that later. Viv and I were have a quiet morning on the Ord River when we heard what sounded like a tractor coming down the track. Fully expecting it to be a work vehicle, I was shocked to see a bloke, lady and a dog in a bright orange tractor, complete with a motor bike on the front bull bar and towing what can only be described as a wagon ( pictured ), complete with verandah, bed, kitchen and shower. Chris and Jenny Pye, along with their dog Pippa, were only too happy to tell their story, which was essentially about raising money for the Make a Wish Foundation, since they left Victoria. At a speed of only 40km/h, this is going to be a long trip. Tough gig really, as the noise of the engine is so loud they have to wear headphones to communicate on the CB radio with truckies, as well as each other. But talk about a positive attitude, these guys were happy, friendly and nothing was too much trouble, even though they had been refilling the radiator every 40km for the last day. Initially concerned about driving slow and being a hazard to other vehicles, they had received nothing but support from other road users, especially truckies. The motivation came from their now 19 year old foster child, Lachie, who they took on as a one year old when he required open heart surgery. So if you are inclined to support a charity, as we did, then visit makeawish.org.au
Not really wanting to have a whinge, but some chats are not quite so pleasant. A big bus with vehicle in tow pulls up alongside our camp last week and of course I say gooday. The burly bloke doesn’t reply with a hello, just immediately asks how much for a skipper’s ticket and when I tell him, he launches into a tirade about stupid rules, don’t need it in the NT and that he makes a habit of breaking the law. And this is all said in a REALLY LOUD voice, so the whole park can hear him. Basically, what my mum would have described as a ‘blowhard’. I am seeking an escape route, but Viv enters the fray, not been a party to round one and with her calm demeanour tries to evoke some pleasantries from blowhard. Sounds like he is living the dream to us, six months in Darwin, then six months in Perth, but he is not happy and makes the fatal mistake of talking politics. He is cranky about something that hasn’t even happened yet, that is, as a self managed retiree, Labor may take his franking credits off his share portfolio, if they are elected. I try to console him with the view that in politics, what is said today is usually reversed tomorrow, so don’t get uptight about it for now and meanwhile enjoy the good life. He looks at me like I am a moron, turns around and then spends the next hour complaining about how he can’t get a TV signal on his satellite dish. By the way, he is going on a barra fishing charter the next day, so must still be a little cashed up, but I am not game to tell him I caught 24 last week, it cost me nothing and that I might just vote for Labor.