There is something quite nice about being alone on a bus, no phone reception, your thoughts organising themselves into various orders, being given that time all to yourself and thinking ‘right, I must catch up and reply to that long email…’ I like these moments of travel. I actually quite like being between places… The time it offers for reflection and consideration. The right time of day chosen, you can see the sun fall on different parts of the land. Onto sunset then the change to a star lit sky. If travelling long enough, being woken by the warming colours of sunrise… It is often on these journeys that inspiration surprises me… 🙂 It found me when I left Perth and also when I left Katherine.
Back on integrity coach lines, travelling onto Broome (I did leave a note in the kitchen looking for a liftshare, but unfortunately it was not to be), I was more prepared for this journey than the last. Fashioning a pillow using the handy pillowcase I carry and some of my clothes (incidentally a handy store of clothes if it is cold), I made sure to have extra clothes and a jumper in my bag. Meeting my drivers, one wearing some impressive knee high socks and the other as camp as anything, I knew it was going to be an interesting journey ;-). Of course read the rules, I found this reading a little more entertaining! 😉 Additional information, this one talked about wildlife. Warned we might hit a kangaroo or a sheep, an emergency stop would be bestowed for a cow ;-). Told to stay in our seat at all times, for health and safety reasons he recommended we sit down on the toilet. Ahaha.
I spend time writing; and reading my journal back from Katherine last year, a time I was in a similar situation. It was most interesting to read my thoughts, and all the memories with the girls made me smile, even laugh out loud :-). Thank you girls for being there :-). My eyes sore from the screen, putting my unplayed list on (become a mission now), I curled up on my two seats, lay back and looked up at the stars… I heard a clunk… A kangaroo I thought… We pulled in along the road. I heard talk of ‘air pressure’, ‘8 to 9′, ‘raised position with a leak’ and ‘suspension’… Not words you usually want to hear in the same sentence when you’ve been pulled up on the side of the road for an hour and ten minutes… Asking the driver the go, he informed that the kangaroo that they hit had taken out the air line and that we currently had no front suspension… Excellent. Now I’ve been here long enough to know how much of a pest kangaroos are and how much damage they can cause, but I was surprised they were a bigger match for a bus. Maybe it just got the wrong spot…
Not quite sure what they did, we eventually pulled away with no suspension… A bumpy ride, we bounced our way along to South Hedland where we scraped our way into the fuel stop. Given 10 mins for refreshments, we played our part then got back on the bus… We didn’t get far… The bus too low, we scraped ourselves along but couldn’t get out… A mechanic came to help us. He had to go for parts… We had been told this was a 10/15 minute job. It took 2 hours and 5 mins… Making us at least 4 hours late into Broome… Treated to eye of the tiger blasting out the stereo system at 4am, with a dead phone, the opportunity to charge it was capitalised on ;-). It was STILL not fully charged by the time we left…! Madness.
Seeing the sunrise over Port Hedland (been a long time since I was still awake to see the sunset and sunrise in a 24 hour period), I was too tired to watch out my window in the light. Slightly disappointed I didn’t get to drive it myself, maybe I’ll manage it another time when I come back… Arriving into Broome five hours late, the Broome visitor centre not making the best first impression, we’ll see what happens when I explore… 🙂
Ps if this is starting to get confusing my travel map shows you where everywhere is ;-).