“We won’t run we can walk to a place we escape free of thought. We can fight, we have a choice, we can build, we have a voice. We won’t [fear] or be controlled. It’s this right here that can feed your soul”
– Bliss n Eso
Date 18th August
I woke up at around 5.30am and got out of bed straight away to start getting ready. I didn’t want to make the day seem too long. As it was, I didn’t leave until 8.30am. It just takes so long to get everything done. I’m guessing I’ll get into a routine eventually, but at the moment I just look at all my stuff strewn hell west and crooked and think how did this ever fit inside this tiny bag?
I felt pretty good as I struck out and it stayed that way until around the last hour, which is what has happened everyday so far.
I developed this amazing rhythm with the poles and my stride. For fleeting moments it felt as though I was a four-legged creature and it was really easy to move.
A chant started up in my head and I recited it in time with my poles striking the ground:
As hard as a stone as light as a feather
It seemed to put me in the zone and when I recited it, my feet didn’t seem to hurt as much.
Two people stopped today to ask if I was ok: a man in a big black 4WD and an Asian couple in a white Falcon. I told the man I was fine, but I got a kind of “icky” feeling about him, so I was glad when he drove off. I took note of his number plate, but it’s lucky that I didn’t have to recall it because I forgot it almost immediately anyway. Good ol’ working memory, it’s such a gem of a thing.
The Asian lady was just so beautiful! She was extremely friendly and came out onto the road to ask if I was ok (she didn’t look for traffic before she did this and I almost wet my pants!). “You want lift? You ok? You come? she said, while indicating the boot of her car, where she (hopefully) intended my pack to go. I told her I was ok and thanked her for stopping. It was really nice that she was so concerned about me.
Three vehicles beeped and waved at me. One was a massive car carrier, so that was pretty cool.
When I got to Ban Ban Springs there was a vintage MG car club pulling up. Some of them came over to talk to me. One of ladies was the sister of my friend from Mount Perry, Des. Her other brother turned out to be the postmaster of very small town where an old friend of mine lives. I’d been looking for a way to get in touch with my old friend, who lives off the grid, and now that I know who the postmaster is (she gave me his phone number) it will be a piece of cake!
I’d left my first food cache at the servo and I went in to tell them I’d arrived and would return to collect it once I’d set up camp in the freecamp across the road. I never got to the campsite.
One of my old school friends, Bec, who I hadn’t seen in around 20 years was working at the servo and had been anticipating my arrival (my name is on the top of the food cache). She very generously paid for one of the rooms in the motel attached to the servo, organised for me to use the washing machine and paid for my dinner and breakfast the next day.
As I was walking through the dining room to get to the accommodation all the people in there asked what I was doing. When I told them, they all got up from the their meals and gave me donations. It made me feel really good.
Bec and I sat talking for ages in my room after she finished work. I had about 10 000 cups of tea because it was the first time I was able to make a decent cuppa since I left home. Time got away from me and I meant to call Ash on the public phone inside the servo (there was no mobile coverage) to let him know that my plans for the campsite had changed. I knew he was going to visit me and he arrived not too happy that he’d driven all around the place looking for me and started freaking out when I was nowhere to be found. Ooopsy! Oh well, he got over it and it was good to see him. We knew it would be the last time before I got to Kingaroy.
It was bloody awesome being in the motel room. I never for a second expected that I would be staying in a motel tonight! I had a shower as soon as I arrived. It’s good to have clean clothes and hair again. The dreadlocks are great for not washing because you don’t really notice how dirty they are, which I guess is kind of gross! When I had “normal” hair I had to wash it every second day, but the dreads can go for more than week without me needing to wash them. That’s fine as long as you don’t look at the colour of the water that comes out of them when you do actually get around to washing them. Luckily brown has always been one of my favourite colours.
The bag explosion at Ban Ban Springs. I still had to unpack everything even though I wasn’t camping. The tent and sleeping bag needed drying out and I still had to get to my clothes and toiletries. The supplies from the cache had to be packed in the next morning too. I also had to make sure I had access to extra tea bags, just in case I used up the supply in the motel room!