[In 2013, the T-Team, next generation embarked on their pilgrimage to Central Australia. Purpose: to scatter Dad’s ashes in his beloved Central Australia, in Ormiston Gorge.
Over the past year, I have taken you on a virtual trip to the Centre and memories of that unforgettable holiday in 2013, with my brother and his family; the T-Team Next Generation.
This time, with the trip coming to a close, the T-K Team continue their return to Adelaide after camping at Marla for the night.]
The Trucks of Terror
Morning and the dawning realisation why this campsite may not have been popular. Anthony stomped around the tent grumbling.
‘I got no sleep last night,’ he snapped. ‘Kept getting woken up by those trucks rumbling all night. And their lights. Just as I drifted off to sleep. Those lights kept shining into our tent.’
‘Will you be alright to drive?’ I asked.
‘Why wouldn’t I be?’ he sniffed. Anthony was a man after all and infallible.
We moved like snails packing up. I loaded the Ford’s rear with stuff. Next minute, Anthony was there unloading and repacking. Must do it right, even on the last leg of our journey.
While he played his version of luggage-tetris, I wandered off to the BBQ hut to check for any forgotten items that might lurk there. And behold, sitting rather smugly in a rather obvious position on the bench next to the BBQ facilities, Anthony’s water bottle. You just have to wonder whether the water bottle had legs and hid when we were searching for it the previous night. Then, when it realised that it might be left behind, it positioned itself in the fail-safe position to be found. The water bottle is not the first item to “hide” from me and then “reappear” in a place where I have looked a dozen times before…
There was much rejoicing over the lost water bottle that was found.
Owing to Anthony’s meticulous care in packing, we were the last to leave the campsite.
As we travelled the long monotonous stretch, I slept a bit, wrote in my diary a bit, and then stared out the window at the red earth, gibber plains and twisted corkwood trees. I even filmed the landscape flitting past a bit.
Anthony took my hand. ‘I’m sorry I was grumpy.’
‘That’s okay, blame it on the trucks that kept us awake all night.’
‘I swear that there was a truck that shone its lights straight into our tent.’
‘Yeah, it seemed that way,’ I replied. ‘Perhaps we can stay at Woomera in a cabin tonight and get a decent night’s sleep.’
‘Yeah, why not!’
Around two o’clock and the landscape evolved from flat, and stone scattered to low-lying hills pockmarked with what appeared to be giant rabbit holes. Signs warned visitors to beware of mine-shafts.
‘Lunch at Coober Pedy?’ Anthony said.
‘Yes, but…first a toilet-stop.’
‘And where do you suggest?’ Anthony glanced at me and then gazed at the mineshaft littered hill face.
‘A service-station? Or a pub?’
‘And where’s the service-station?’
A tour of Coober Pedy yielded no service-stations that we could find. And He who wanted to save money and eat a picnic lunch was not willing to enter a pub for the loo in case it entrapped us into eating in there.
‘What about the playground and BBQ area where we had tea with the T-Team on the way up to Central Australia?’ Anthony suggested.
But, at the time I agreed. Lunch and loo visit in one hit.
[to be continued…next time I contend with a psycho dunny…]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021
Feature photo (below): Road Train at dawn near Marla ©L.M. Kling 2013