Inspired by Australia
When I started this trip, I was so nervous about even going on this trip. I didn’t know what I’d find? Peace of mind is what this is about. Peace on the road, and home again. That’s the van here parked at the wall climbing place prior to the trip. My daughter Renee was with me in choosing the van.
And the road keeps on coming with more. On my first day I went into a rest area shortly after Sydney, and I met a nice woman there who told me that there was a car abandoned there left with police tape. She said it was probably drug related. Shortly after a gentlemen drove up and began to takeout the ropes and other things out from the car and puts it into his truck, and told me that the guy had been doing ice. The stranger said he terrified some home owners and ransacked a house tore it apart, and ran off in the bushes. Sooner or later the police found him and he was arrested for stealing a car and terrorizing the homeowners. I knew about drugs because other people I loved did them, and although I was scared, I didn’t allow that to stop me from moving on. The women told me how she decided to take a nap despite the abandoned car, and preceded to put carpets on her car to keep the daylight out. She told me “no worries” and climbed into her car saying good night. So I drove on.I think about nature nurture? I look to the birds in the sky, and on land are the animals wild Kangaroo’s and emu’s and they are free! Even the ones who are caged, they are free. Because they escape from the fenced area, and do a walk about OUTSIDES the fenced area they were SUPOSE to be locked in from the highway? Oh well not my emu’s. I look to the trees so tall? Than short, They make me feel safe when things aren’t so safe. Even with no tree’s around, I can be safe. So what’s safe about all of this stuff about worrying about a women traveling alone? Many had traveled before me? Many called me brave for traveling alone. It took months to sell my condo. I wanted to feel free; I felt that was the only way to end this relationship with some people,( or the one with myself) and see the desert for what it is and was. I felt the miles ticking away under my feet and under my Juicy tires were going round and round and not letting up! Long hours spent simply driving scared at the prospects at what I’d find? Would I drive into some drug addicts homage dwellings? Would I get myself into troubles I couldn’t get out of? When it became clear I had a choice where to stay, and where not to stay, and learn to trust my own instincts where ever I may be? Even still, the Fear drove me into the vast highway system I let the miles roll off down the road as I left Sydney. I hadn’t paid much attention to the details of where I was going, until I got to Augusta, I mean I met people, but this is where it started where I’d meet up with associates of the Flying Doctors who were camping by the fire when I arrived there. I decided to get up and go visit them. I spent the evening getting to know a family who was traveling towards some work. He told me their lives story how he met his wife, how he got work, and finally about their Daughter Willow who was born about being a blessing in disguise when his wife couldn’t have more children, she’d loose them in stillbirth. He also talked with love about his old dog who needed hip surgery, but that would have to wait till they can come up with the money for the dog’s surgery. I stayed at the Trangle Caravan Park and Narrarah caravan where they complained about lack of internet connection, but it seemed quite there, and so I got caught up onto sleep. Some other campers said the about the same in Winton that internet connections weren’t too good. When I was driving six hours a day I’d get tired and want to go to bed early like at 7:30 or at 8:30 after it got dark, I’d stay inside the campervan staring at the stars and the moon through the window roof, I’d read for a while or try to draw a picture, try and make up time, but I wouldn’t be really into it, my eyes would get watery and sleepy. I would be feeling rather peaceful I think about nature nurture? I look to the birds in the sky, and on land are the animals wild Kangaroo’s and emu’s and they are free! Even the ones who are caged, they are free. Because they escape from the fenced area, and do a walk about OUTSIDES the fenced area they were SUPOSE to be locked in from the highway? Oh well not my emu’s. I look to the trees so tall? Than short, They make me feel safe when things aren’t so safe. Even with no tree’s around, I can be safe. So what’s safe about all of this stuff about worrying about a women traveling alone? Many had traveled before me? Many called me brave for traveling alone. It took months to sell my condo. I wanted to feel free; I felt that was the only way to end this relationship with some people,( or the one with myself) and see the desert for what it is and was. I felt the miles ticking away under my feet and under my Juicy tires were going round and round and not letting up! Long hours spent simply driving scared at the prospects at what I’d find? Would I drive into some drug addicts homage dwellings? Would I get myself into troubles I couldn’t get out of? When it became clear I had a choice where to stay, and where not to stay, and learn to trust my own instincts where ever I may be? Even still, the Fear drove me into the vast highway system I let the miles roll off down the road as I left Sydney. I hadn’t paid much attention to the details of where I was going, until I got to Augusta, I mean I met people, but this is where it started where I’d meet up with associates of the Flying Doctors who were camping by the fire when I arrived there. I decided to get up and go visit them. I spent the evening getting to know a family who was traveling towards some work. He told me their lives story how he met his wife, how he got work, and finally about their Daughter Willow who was born about being a blessing in disguise when his wife couldn’t have more children, she’d loose them in stillbirth. He also talked with love about his old dog who needed hip surgery, but that would have to wait till they can come up with the money for the dog’s surgery. I stayed at the Trangle Caravan Park and Narrarah caravan where they complained about lack of internet connection, but it seemed quite there, and so I got caught up onto sleep. Some other campers said the about the same in Winton that internet connections weren’t too good. When I was driving six hours a day I’d get tired and want to go to bed early like at 7:30 or at 8:30 after it got dark, I’d stay inside the campervan staring at the stars and the moon through the window roof, I’d read for a while or try to draw a picture, try and make up time, but I wouldn’t be really into it, my eyes would get watery and sleepy. I would be feeling rather peaceful
I met a photographer in Alice Springs who was selling his book. Outback exposure” by Chris Ismail. And maybe one day I too will sell my book? And someone will ask for me to sign it as well? He charged thirty dollars for his, nothing wrong with that. Another artist Jill McDougall Jenny Taylor for Anna the Goanna and other poems, they charged under 14.00 for their book. Nothing wrong with that. Along this road, people charged for their work, and deserved an opportunity.
The grand nature of nurture? The grand entrance oh it’s time to go, Go and be among people,
So I Go and be among people. On the news from Canberra is Jenna from a housing department person stating the long rent and ownership problems. On the one side, she talks about low income housing is being priced out of the market, and how low income people can’t buy a home. Yet she didn’t bring up people are selling their homes and taking out into the outback living in their caravans and motor homes because they can’t afford the stress of their jobs, and is taking a toll on their health and have to deal with health issues on the road. I met many who tell me that they aren’t being respected for their honestly. . Out on the road. I was driving at least between 4 to 6 hours a day 7 days a week to get to Ayers Rock, and what started out as dangerous prospective, turned out into meeting husbands and wives who are simply traveling the road and some have been traveling for years out on the open road. I met associates from the Flying Doctors who have used their extensive experience who had fundraised for the Flying doctors in Augusta they had a bidding war on items and I bought a water holder container and some maps from the doctors, and donated 50.00 towards the flying doctors, which didn’t seem enough to the gentlemen, but it’s what I had at the time. I met wives who encouraged husbands to get to know people so they can relate with some other males, and other people, but when it came to talking with a single female? They’d pop in telling me their name was so and so, introduce themselves, and allow them to keep on talking. I think it’s to let go of their ego let go of some of the pain they’ve experienced so they aren’t staying behind in a rocking chair rocking away the time. And take pictures of parrots and Kangaroo’s instead.
There were a few couples who stuck out in my mind. The little girl’s father was drinking, trying to keep a fire going, he said a fire is the one thing he can stare at and give him some focus. I knew that feeling, and wanted the fire to stare into too. To find Focus, to focus on the dreams with his daughter willow and his wife in mind, I think he was referring to as well. He spoke highly about the flying Doctors, and He also spoke about his job and his wife and his love for his little girl. He talked about how his wife had lost her babies, and that Willow their daughter, was the blessing they’ve lived for. The dog they had with them needed hip surgery as well, and needed money for that, but put that on hold till they could afford it. They were traveling to get work and decided to make a go of it. Lots travel the open road. I met Pilots for the transport companies, who spoke about her work although I couldn’t hear very well with what she said; the gust of it was about the pilot’s job and the political ways through the job I guess. I met some old timers who travel the road all the time; One gentleman had on an old hat, wore short shorts, and old t-shirt, and a shirt over the t shirt, with his work boots on, he looked really tired out old guy. He gave me the impression to watch what I was doing, or else type of deal, but overall I felt pretty safe. They politely listened to what I was talking about with the aboriginals and figures Canada being far ahead than they are with the aboriginals and although it’s taken 29 years to get status for aboriginals, I told them about Georgette an aboriginal young girl I met 29 years ago who got pregnant and left her babies behind because her husband wasn’t being supportive of getting her status, Renee my daughter lied with her daughter in her crib, to me was a special moment, Her husband didn’t understand what she was doing either, as far as obtaining a status rights and freedoms, and how she left her babies behind because he wasn’t understanding her needs weren’t being met, and needed to be educated and to have her own status in British Columbia as well as in Ontario. And British Columbia’s aboriginals can acquire status now. An old timer said” well than Canada is far ahead of us than”. The next place I went to wasn’t as memorable people wise, I didn’t feel as confident with them. Although most camps I went to had full kitchens in them when you pay for it. Some even had TV where kids could watch their cartoons if they wanted too. Being a TV addicted to TV I watched cartoons for a change, with the one family, and we didn’t talk much at all. I just wanted to sit by a family. They had Full BBQ’s with a grill and families cook on them out in the open air. That seemed less memorable than the free camps where you’d cook for yourself with what you had for yourself and no TV. And you know what? I don’t miss what’s on TV anymore, there isn’t much on it. Had I missed out on American news? No honestly, although status does very much matter and very much this American debate seems more about status than anything about rights, and they are fighting for their rights to be. It’s taken Canada 29 years for status of a culture, perhaps I hope it won’t take America that long in fighting for their status? To say that there wasn’t violence wouldn’t be right, as tore down barricades and wore masks to protect their identity; Australia has done the same route; Only in different form. I was part of a Mori ceremony where I was a part of them and still feel part of that. I wanted to meet some aboriginals here, the only one I met was outside of Alice Springs deciding to head onto Darwin, and when I pulled over a gal walked up and said that she needed to go to the hospital with a sore knee. I asked how that had happened. She said she got drunk and fell. She asked me for smokes, as I get past this old information I had been warned that aboriginals bum smokes and tell tall stories, but I drove her to the hospital anyways and dropped her off. It seemed that she knew people there and so I decided to drive onto Darwin which was a 1400 km ride! As I drove like a manic to get to Darwin, my vision had changed. Along this road alone uninterrupted time alone, I drove like a zombie sometimes just staring at the road, I didn’t see Kangaroo’s just some emu’s, but then I’d refocus on back onto the road again, back to what else was there to see except miles or Km’s of desert? The desert changed ranges and over some mountainous stretches, than back onto flatland, that went for miles until I happened upon the devils rocks area, which I absolutely loved, I took some pictures of that and drove on a bridge and stopped and took a picture of the canyon below, but someone snuck up onto me and passed me. I hadn’t seen cars for miles when he snuck up? I kept driving till nearly sundown, as I went to a rest area to go to the bathroom; I talked with some campers who were staying there for the night. They decided to bunk down there. I had stopped in a village, but it was getting dark and buildings looked abandoned, I saw no one around, so I kept driving. I met a single women traveling alone at a rest and revive area; that was divorced, she was trying to hang with a family near her. As I attempted to do the same, she confronted me with it, saying this is mine you stay away from them. Not so much in words, as in actions. She basically just walked off from me. I felt alone again, alone from my daughters, alone in the road in an remote area with no one to talk with I felt depressed that this women was treating me with disregard, and maybe she didn’t mean it? But it was clear she didn’t want to share. I’d drive to rest and revive areas where real women wanted to talk about their lives, show their campers, show their set up as far as trailers were concerned, Pride would show up and it was good to see. The next morning the rush was on to get going again. People were packing up to leave the rest area. Again another sunrise that was gorgeous against the red clouds stretched for miles in the sky was the sun drenched against the clouds and it was a perfectly cold morning. I was cold still from the night before. I shivered myself to sleep It was so cold I didn’t want to walk to the outhouse, too cold, so I peed by my caravan. So cold I was using two sleeping bags to keep warm, I warmed up some coffee against the cold chill, watching campers packing wearing a hoodie and a scarf to keep warm. It takes me a good ½ hour to heat up the water for coffee, I had a burner and propane but the instant coffee tastes good! So I pushed on. At the next place, although I had a hot bean bag on this trip to keep from getting so cold at night, the desert does get very cold at night, drops to 1 degree some nights, I took a bean bag inside the heated kitchen and decided to heat it in the microwave and somehow over cooked the bean bag, and shorted out the power to the system they had. I don’t know how I managed to do that? But the result was a couple who was cooking, had to “switch stovetops” in order to cook their meals. I didn’t plan on being part of this story? But I became a part of the story.. And this was about meeting people? Meeting people on real terms, not about broken down elevators and little old ladies getting stuck in an elevator, and politics of running an apartment building? This was real life out by Devils Marbles I could hear the wind and birds singing, I thought I heard a dog calling? But it must have been my ears playing tricks on me? The road was narrow and scurry so I kept on moving crossing the bridge after taking some pictures. Meanwhile back in Ayers Rock, where I had camped for two days, I was separated from a family there who was there for the evening and leaving for the morning .We talked for hours the night before the morning. Just seemed like an old friend who I could talk with complete understanding? But they left the next morning and so had the other women who stopped by to chit chat. I was alone again in the camping spot with no neighbors to talk with. A gentlemen who was taking care of his motor home stopped by without his beer in his hands in order to talk with me. I guess he had overheard me talk about not drinking the night before? And decided to talk with me without a beer in his hands, even though he was walking around with one in his hands the whole time he was fixing his motorhome? Had I been selfish wanting people around me without booze in their hands? Given the worlds status? The way things have been going on? Given ISIS? Given that rebels were in the middle- east? No I had to give more than that. Amid the horrible tragic cities people were living in deplorable conditions, and here we are camping? Guilt won’t help them, just seems more about status? Given the status of the world? And isn’t that what this is about? Status?
I drove for miles alone to get to Darwin. I was so tired from the driving that I had decided to stay in the airport hotel out in Darwin, in case I decided to flee back onto a plane back to Sydney? I didn’t see much in Darwin; I was hot and tired and needed to sleep. I had one main meal at the bar next to the airport hotel, and it was nothing there. It was too hot to even walk to the park! Meaning uneventful My daughter Renee had texted me I had until 9th of May to get to the Juicy van back into their parking lot, Juicy didn’t have an office in Darwin, So, I didn’t stay in Darwin that long. Behind me was Darwin, sight unseen, and I had to drive back through the 1400 km’s back through to Alice Springs to get back to the Stuart highway. I depressed myself because I didn’t see Darwin, but I did it! I drove though twice through. There was more to the story though. At the last rest and revive stop, there was an elderly women there with a very small camper. She talked about being in WW2 as a baby and while her mother was holding her quite, she’d giggle sounds as Hitler’s bombs were flying and landing. As I listened to her, I could hear her descriptions she seemed far more stuck than I was; she was lucid enough to know where she was, she was a former nurse who’s last patient she had held her neck in an iron grip, and damaged the nerves in her neck which put her out of work. She had a motor home at first, and was compensated with a payment and her pension. She decided to live on the open road, and has done so since the 90’s. She said that people don’t gather together as they had use to, they gather in little groups and get drunk or whatever she said. She was lonely and played her old opera music alone in her camper, so I went by and said I appreciate your music in the times that we’re in, in the times I had been alone in the road, I hadn’t listened to music, I hadn’t listened because I wanted to hear my own thoughts and dreams and poems. Even though I couldn’t write a word during that time, I felt writing after would be better after being on the open road. I met a police man and his wife, he told me he heard about what’s happening in the states, (the police incidents involving children being incarcerated and killed for their non-action) he said they needed to learn how to talk with kids without shooting first, and asking questions later. In all the years he was a police officer in Australia, given his Australian training, he never had to use his firearm. He talked about his health problems, the stress of his job, and these are the families who live upon the open road? And why isn’t it talked about? I met daughters of mom’s who thought her mom was proud and brave for traveling the open road, who can’t quite get their minds rapped into it? Because of the stigma behind open road traveling year after year. She more than likely missed her mom, and didn’t want to burden her children like she did to her. But what recourse did she have? Living in a box with politics isn’t for the faint of heart either. Being there does matter, so why not have best of both worlds? Travel and work and have a home? David would gladly tell me, Cheryl you sold your home? Right, yet the heart is where the home is, and no-where is like the home of one’s heart unbroken. As I was driving through Charlesville and all the other little towns, I was getting low on gas, and drove into what I thought was a gas station, they had a pump for petrol but not for unleaded gas. The women who must have been in her thirties didn’t know what unleaded gas was, and had to ask her mother what unleaded gas was? Her mother explained the next gas station was about 70 km’s away which sometimes felt a lot longer than 70 km’s? But I made it through! Three townships later I got gas. When I was staying in Adeline the desk clerk told me to fill up often because I wouldn’t know how far the next station would be, and that I didn’t want to find out what running out of gas in the middle of a desert was like, which probably added up my gas bill in these small towns, but gas prices wasn’t all that bad, between 1.41 to 1.50 outsides of the 11.00 for the two bottles of bottled water, gas wasn’t too bad. But going from Winston to charlesville wasn’t an easy task, as I drove through the long highway there was at least a thousand dead kangaroos along the highway I was darting round the dead carcass people were passing me going 130 Km’s an hour, as I said” poor kangaroo’s” feeling for each one I had passed, depressing really, and people were passing me along I guess so many had gotten used to seeing them laying there? But the hocks and eagles were happy with the instant food along the highway. And as I thought about these creatures, I was only doing about 80 along one stretch, and out popped a family of huge grey Kangaroos about five of them hopping along the highway and made it across safely. I tried to take their picture and could hear them cry out something, than kept on driving. A speed limit around these parts is like 130 KM in these parts, so maybe it’s about speed? I don’t know? But I learned that’s how these creatures get killed jumping along the highway like they own them? So I asked myself a question, are we invading their space? Or are they invading ours? I saw in Alice Springs lots of ore and opal being dug up and wondered how it’s affected the nature around them? How it affects is harming the wildlife around the area. Seems speculative on my part? But I wouldn’t be the only one thinking about these things.
As I weaned down from this trip, I stayed at my last campsite which was a new one I happened to find by accident. I took a wrong turn and followed the truck into the parking lot where the camp was, it was a run- down camp when he started the camp, and he just opened it up just the month before. Some of these camps are old vacant lots that use to be camper stop places in a little town for the night or two, just before heading up to the upper states. The owner installed new lighting system new cookout area, and invited people to sit around a camp fire during the evening. People talked about the gold rush that was going on, and how they worked as a couple getting onto the gold. It was interesting to listen to others talk. I slept well, and headed into Sydney, dropped off my gear at the hotel room and dropped off the campervan without much yahoo? I took a cab back to the hotel I was staying at, because I was pooped! I was walking to the store one early morning, (about 8:30) when I heard a long bang behind me, and a car owner decided to have her feet where they shouldn’t have been, and steered right into the pole. The car part was about three feet from where I had been walking. It was a shock to not be killed! The girl offered me a bus pass because I didn’t have a bus pass I said no thank you, and took some pictures of the car it looked totaled to me and left. I didn’t want a police report, I was merely a by stander and keep on walking. I thought about not going on for the rest of the day and heading back to the apartment I had rented for the week? But changed my mind and went back to the Sydney Opera house where mad max cars were being set up for viewing for the media and decided to shrug off nearly being killed that day. They let me play “media” as I had a big camera taking tons of pictures. So Thank you to the crew at Mad Max. Hopefully sell them later on when I get back to Canada. Although it’s been a terrific time in Australia it’s time to head home and I have a full month and a half to go! Rent isn’t cheap here, from 250 to 1000 a week depending on your preferences, seems like no wonder money gets tight for young people? Between eating out and going out life isn’t cheap in Sydney. I looked at going out on a catamaran but it’s 1200 for two days only Next trip I want to visit the Green school in Bali, there was a couple online through the ted talk series, that talked about starting a school built with bamboo restore themselves back into learning and teaching does do that. What would be the conquences of teaching something good? Well why would they want to hear from a North American point of view? He’d ask me. And I WOULD OFFER POEMS, AND history I’d say,. Australia was the best thing I could have done, There are no more do overs, what’s done is done. Today I can go out there, and show something I have done. I could rent another caravan again, and go to Melborne? But that wouldn’t show much except traveling does do something.
I have a whole Month in Australia so what’s next Cheryl? Go see the sun rise ! And I’ve seen some beautiful sunrises here. I stayed at an apartment hotel although it was furnished right, it didn’t feel like home either? So where will I feel at home again? I don’t know yet. This week in the news, it was about poor sportsmanship and honestly I could hear about that back at home. I give great thank you to Angie for her guidance she’s a Hotel clerk with a hotel in Adline Australia, and others who along the way gave me maps and ways to get going on the Highways. It seems the utopia I’m after doesn’t exist in the news it exits on the open road in Australia. Perhaps the utopia was inside me always.. Unless I just hope in my car and go but that will get tiring too. Rent will be expensive but less than what it cost in au. Well I’m back in Vancouver, but nothing much has changed, but I have changed. I will long for the peace and quiet of the desert and those peaceful sounds, this morning I woke early about four, after a short stay with my Dads and I hear the sounds of business, I hear tug boats, and there is a cement factory near –by, which is a little noisy and when I looked at the Fraser River, I saw someone fishing this morning off the docks, and I was outside one early evening, I saw a beaver so the water has to be good. It’s going to be hard to not look at all the tough issues So far, people are wanting me to get a life. Traveling is a life, and my thanks to the people out in the outback who endeavor the road for the rest of their days after all the troubles they lived through. I went to a writers conference in Sydney, and people walked out from the Canadian writers conference, because they weren’t being honest about living in Canada, although Canadians’ are far harder on ourselves, to be honest to being outspoken isn’t one of them. It is in the media locally, but it hasn’t reached internationally, Canada is to quiet for their own good.
I heard people talk about how people are buying condo’s and than leaving them empty? well I sold mine due to the strive I was getting about selling artwork and pictures on my door way. Over many different things, like offering free Yoga, to the ladies in the building to see if there was an interest in Yoga. I was told I’d have to be certified for that, than people wouldn’t want to do yoga? Nobody has to purchase anything they don’t want, So at least I don’ t own an abandoned condo anymore. Criticism about how people live from income to food to what people do for a living Makes me wonder, if people haven’t got more to do with their time inside their condo’s verses critiquing others at how others can live.