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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stepping back in time

Friday morning. More unknown territory. The date? The 5th of June. We left our amazing camping spot behind and headed towards the ocean. We both had no idea what to expect when it came to the beach, the town, the people, the roads. (We don't have a guidebook and we are still on unknown territory. We have a map and that's all we need for now.) So Friday getting to the first town, off the beaten track, was like nothing we had ever seen before. It was a town called Normanton. Oh my god. That should sum up just how I felt about it. But there's so much to say..

It was like stepping out of normal life, back in time to the 1900's. There was one shop, 2 pubs, and lots of Aboriginal people hanging around the street. The town was just one street, with a few side streets, that were all dead-ends and had a few shacks or huts that were houses.. It was only noon when we got there, but we were so excited, that we couldn't resist going to the main pub, where all the locals were hanging around. Most of them were already drunk. It was my idea to pop in to the pub (I was starting to miss the vibe and smell of a bar..how bad is that!!!), just for one. I wanted to meet some of the local Aboriginals, and just chill out. We didn't really have a plan anyhow. So what could go wrong??

Well, nothing really. But this town was so time-warped, that it was the most insane experience to walk into a pub (called the Purple Pub, which was painted purple), and have the most funkiest tunes, such as the Pussy Cat dolls, being played at high volume.. How crazy!! Me and Jason were so high from being in Normanton, that one beer turned into two, and we were both half drunk. The adrenaline was huge! We met some locals, even a guy called Shane, who wanted to hang out with us for a few days. He was nice enough, Aboriginal, and said the most touching things. So much so, that Jason even gave him the shirt off his back. We were both off in fairyland I reckon. What a buzz!

That same day, it was a Rodeo in Normanton which was s total coincidence. It was a big event so we decided to stay. We camped on the grounds, where the rodeo was held. It was like something out of a movie. Cowboys everywhere, horses gallore, bulls being ridden.. It was crazy, but the vibe there was the best ever. We camped beside an elderly couple, made friends and I wanted to party all night long of course, as soon as the hangover I was feeling from around 2 o'clock in the afternoon till 6 in the evening, had finally worn off. Then it was time to start again.. Hard work to say the least. But what a day it was and what a crazy place this Normanton was..

The next day, we wanted to go to Karumba for a few hours and head back to the rodeo again. Karumba was the town we were planning on getting to, the day before. We just wanted to get to a beach for a few hours and chill-out.. Well, we got to the beach in Karumba alright. We found croc infested waters, we swam (oops..not very wise, but very exciting..) and then..WE GOT BOGGED.. In the sand.. Oh god. yeah, just as we thought, things were going far too perfect and still were, until we got Myvan out of the sand and the engine started doing crazy things. We just about made it to the mechanic, not that he could do anything for us, seeing as though he was on his way home.. This brought both of us back to reality pretty quickly, as we realized that we were so far from civilization and it was Saturday afternoon and the mechanic wasn't able to help us until Tuesday and we had no way of getting anywhere. O no..

Then, just as we thought we were doomed.. We stopped on the side of the road, deflated and not knowing what to do, 3 campervans pulled-up. Jason told them what the story was, and one of the men, who goes by the name Henry, knew exactly what to do. He helped us, or Jason, to fix Myvan! It was the carburetor. I'm not too sure what the problem was exactly, but I do know that we sat on the side of the road, with these 6 people from Tasmania who were also traveling around, while Jason and Henry fixed poor old tired Myvan. The whole group gave up their afternoon, to help us get out of that town called Karumba.. And it worked. By 4 o'clock we were on the road again and couldn't believe how lucky we were that we were to have come across such helpful people. If we would have pulled-up 5 minutes later, we would have missed those people and probably would have had to stay in Karumba for 3 or 4 days..and it would have cost us a bomb too. But it worked out brilliantly. We decided to camp with this gang, by a river, which was between Karumba and Normanton. We went fishing with them, (my first time by the way) and went swimming in croc-infested waters again..(oops).. But it was all so great.. It was still all too perfect, no matter how badly that incident could have turned out.

The next day, the two of us were exhausted, so decided to stay at the river and do nothing all day long. No driving, no drama, no adrenaline. Just chilling and swimming.. It was so great to have a day like that. A typical Sunday. Monday morning, it was finally time to say goodbye to Normanton. We had been in the region for 3 full days. It was totally unexpected and unplanned but we wouldn't have missed it for the world!

All these great, whacky and insanely random things we were getting up to made us nearly wary of starting each day, as we still haven't a clue what to expect. But the unknown is what this trip is all about..

1 comment:

  1. Hey Niamh,

    Love reading your blog and hearing all your adventures : ) Seems like you guys are having an awesome time, so happy for you!

    Can't wait to catch up when you make it back down this way (you'd better stop in and see us on your way back down south! : P )

    Take care,

    keryn xxoo