Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Trip (Day 5)

After the ubiquitous red dust of the interior, the grey-white sands of 80 Mile Beach come as a welcome relief. It's perhaps a little sad that the beach is actually the fragmented remains of a trillion trillion little sea creatures – mollusks, coral and cuttlefish. They gave their diminutive lives so that we might have a break from the red dirt, and then drive our 4x4s back and forth over their shattered little carcasses.

Their still living and 4x4-dodging descendents are everywhere. Miniscule lilac and white crabs, delicate and perfect and smaller than a baked bean. Tiny hermit crabs that bury themselves in the sand as you approach. And of course there's the sharks and blue ringed octopuses just offshore, the threat of which keeps holidaymakers out of the water.

Even so, we are tempted. It is ferociously hot, in a heavy savage way that is simply not seen in the south. The problem with camping is that there is no escape from the heat, short of finding shade and trying not to move. The tent becomes a portable oven, and it would be quite literally suicide to hide in there.

Fortunately once the sun goes down it becomes a whole different proposition. People gather on the beach to watch it sink into the ocean, possibly with the intention of making sure that it's actually gone and not just playing a cruel trick on them. Then out come the moon and the stars. The heat dissipates into a mellow, balmy atmosphere. The flies clock off and there are no mosquitoes to replace them. It's a time for some quiet drinks and a reflection upon life, and discussion with one's companions about the day that has been and the day which is to come.

Unless you are a Eurotrash backpacker. Then, apparently, the time for discussion is several hours around midnight, in loud voices, right outside my tent.

Fortunately it turns out that the time to loudly rebound an aluminium pot off the side of a Landcruiser parked next to their camper is 6am the next morning. And thus the karmic balance is restored.


Blogger an9ie said...

Ah, ye olde passive-aggressive response. This has saved my sanity upon many an occasion.

11:02 PM  

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