May 07, 2007 GMT
Australia - The North

The main road between Darwin and Port Augusta is flat and straight with few highlights but its own MaxMax feel and the far between petrol stations (yohoo, coffee time!). Until recently Stuart Highway, as it is called, had no speed limit, but nowadays it is restricted to 130kmh. I lingered along, hoping for that first sight of kangaroos, but I saw nothing, not even the tiniest lizard. I only discovered why butterflies are called butterflies – they look like butter after smashing into the visor. Yes, could easily be mistaken for Tine Setersmør. So bring a handful of tissues because it might be another 150 km’s to the next handkerchief on earth.

Ha ha ha
To survive the heat and the dust and the butter and the straightforwardness I’d printed out a photo of my Sweetheart and placed her on the tankbag. When the landscape became exceptionally monotonous I would still have something exceptionally interesting to look at, thus staying vigilant and awake. In other words; it was all a matter of traffic safety… ehem… Anyway, after some time traveling I’ve become familiar with attention from journalists, but the cameraman in Renner Springs who was there to cover a SIDS rally was more interested in the picture on the tankbag. What’s the story about the girl, he asked. I told him, and voilà, she hit the TV-news in Australia, and she didn’t even have to show up in person. What a woman!
Sharing my breakfast with a friend
Camp guard
(photo by BMW-traveller Mark Hamilton. Thanks Mark!)
Another half day down the road I pitched my tent in Wycliffe Well which has its own UFO landing site. If I didn’t see any kangaroos on my way through Australia I would at least see a few aliens. Allegedly they were all over the place. But, would you believe it, I didn’t see any of them either. Thus for one night I lived next door to Alice, that is, the camp ground on the outskirts of Alice Springs. Disillusioned by the 1500 kilometers of wildlife from neither bush nor space I went to a wallaby feeding ground at dusk. I was dying to see something. At first it was a mediocre show, but it all gained some appeal when an overfed wallaby started to vomit. I had no idea that a tiny creature like that could contain so much green liquid substance. Amazing! Then it was another 450k’s to Ayers Rock. Climbing it was like smoking – they urge you not to do it, and then offer you the ticket. So I did it. Unfortunately I did it with my motorcycle boots on (ouch, blisters, blisters, au, sh*t, f***)
…and then there was no ice-cream bar with live music and jacuzzi on top, just this lackluster copper plate
Finally at Coober Pedy I entered the Thunderdome. Yep, in the eighties they were all there - Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, you name it - to shoot Mad Max 3. On every other corner you see signs warning you not to walk backwards. Who the hell walk backwards? Anyway, the reason for the do-not-walk-backwards-frenzy is the holes in the ground. Coober Pedy is an opal mining town, and we’re talking deep shafts. Occasionally tourists fall into them, and the holes are so many and so deep that some of the missing tourists are never found.
A Coober Pedy sofa is always safe
Today you can go for a guided tour to the mining fields, or take a visit to an underground Serbian Orthodox Church, or a few other things with a touch of seriousness. Though on top of my list was an old chap called Crocodile Harry, not because he had a role in Mad Max 3, but because of his well-known and large collection of women underwear. I had all the questions lined up; if he preferred the panties new or slightly used, and if he sometimes wore collection items himself etc. Things like that. Unfortunately Crocodile Harry had just passed away, so I never got to understand anything about his hobby. I had to settle for the underground Serbian Orthodox Church, though it wasn’t really a good substitute.
World premiere at Harstad Kino sometime… well, probably never

Posted by Erik Saue at May 07, 2007 05:32 AM GMT

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