On November 16th, loaded up, fuelled up, tuned up, warmed up and revved up – we began heading east.
Greeted on a fine Wednesday morning by a light easterly (head wind that was to steadily grow stronger the longer we were on that road otherwise known as the Nullarbor Highway), we ticked along at 80 being passed by everything that was not powered by a horse or a man. Finally – I thought – they’ve got it… don’t push the Old Girl. And what do you know we crossed the Nullarbor, along with an average of a dead kangaroo every kilometre (no exaggeration) a head wind and much fewer Grey Nomads than we experienced on the way over, all without incident!
Now we’ve been touring South Aussie for a little over a week; the Clare, the Barossa, Adelaide Hills – ok we’ve been touring the wine regions of South Australia more like it – the little alcoholics are snoring the house down at night, but at least they’re keeping the possums away.
It looks like we’re going to get back home in time for Christmas after all – this is great! As the temperature warms up I tend to get a bit flustered, so if we can avoid the heat I’ll be happy. Mind you I’m also a little sad, there’s been talk between N and M that this is my last trip around the block and after Tassie next year (which I’m excited about) it’s a makeover and cotton wool for me. No more adventures, no more podcasts on a road trip, no more sunsets, sunrises, winding dusty roads. And I feel… well a little relieved and at the same time I just want to keep exploring. I’m just full of mixed emotions – basically I’m tired but I want to keep on going.
It’s not all bad – N talks of weekends away with me and M speaks of ‘Inking Kombi’ workshops that will keep me busy I suppose, but trips to northern Australia… well I’ll see if I can’t convince them otherwise – they’ll miss the super comfy mattress that sits over the still-warm engine, the wonderful tick, tick, ticking of my tappets on the open highway and, well, there are the looks from other envious explores, road trippers and campers that they just won’t get in a Hilux…
So watch this space, fellow adventurers, the Old Girl isn’t retiring to her rocking chair and sherry just yet.