2700 Kilometers in the desert

Trip Start Jan 20, 2005
Trip End Sep 10, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, June 13, 2005

Picture this - You wake up to the sound of a cell phone alarm, the second one already. Slowly , you stretch your arms and legs from within your sleeping bag and let out a morning sigh. You turn around and look down at your friend and make one of those tired 'Good Morning' s screatch out of your mouth , at which point you realize that the first order of the day is brushing your teeth. While stumbling out of the camper van you catch a glimpse of a spectacular desert sunrise and pop back in to retrieve your camera. The orange colors capture your attention for an unknown amount of time but your breath steers you back to the 'Cheapa Campa' camper van where your toothbrush is waiting.
Today is a big day because you plan on getting 800 Kilometers closer to your destination - Darwin. A few hours later you are on the road with a diet coke in your left hand and the sun beaming at your right arm which forms a strange feeling along with the air conditioning. Anyone who knows me would not have heard the last sentence because they would be saying "DIET COKE????". Yes , It's true. Since I have developed a tolerance for carbonated drinks (beer...) , diet coke was the only logical continuation. Once I tried it , got a box at woolies (Woolworth supermarket) , the rest was history. Finally , I am among the normal people and will continue the family heritage of diet coke consumption and anyway , there had to be a cold way to re-caffinate my blood in the desert heat.
So the drive continues... On and on... It's like watching a screen saver all day seeing the lines moving but nothing looks like it's getting closer. Drive , drive , sip , drive , sing , sing louder , tap on wheel , drive ... This was the order of the day for four days straight. But what is that coming in my direction? Could it be?? Yes !! I knew it! Another vehicle coming in the opposite direction! It's time to get ready because it's getting closer ... closer ... and here it comes! My hand pops up as I wave and release half a smile at the oncoming driver who in return waves back. Wow... What an adrenalin rush... Thank god I have an hour to get ready again for the next encounter.
Well , I think you get the point. I drove for four days straight from Cairns to Darwin in a camper van with my friend Hila. We have officially discovered the 'relocation's from rental companies. The cheapest way to rent a vehicle is to relocate it. If the company needs a car/campervan in another place then you can pay less. The restrictions are on Kilometers basically but we had no problem there and it served us very well. This vehicle had everything - A stove and toaster and refrigerator and cabinets and sheets with two beds and another 'attic' you can build and sleep in. This was a five star camper van and it was good fun driving our little monster.
There isn't much to add because this perfectly describes the last four days. Now I'm in Darwin after returning the camper van and I'm checked in to a backpacker that looks like a hotel. Yesterday there was a strange Greek festival that we went to but basically there isn't much to do in Darwin. The only weird thing is that it doesn't feel at all like the Australia that I've seen so far. There is something more authentic about this city. Welcome to the Outback!
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