Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
In which we see much underwear (some in parlous condition), encounter an
unhappy Hereford, receive warnings of dangerous beasts, and anticipate the
journey to Tambo.
The road to Cracow
A beaut Cracow tree with the fabled pub on right.
Pub interior resembles a second hand clothes shop. Do patrons arrive with an
old pair of undies or a bra in their back pockets, or do they take off what they
arrive in and depart feeling cooler ?
Whenever I see these displays - walls covered in old clothes, fences with displays
of sneakers, ceilings plastered with currency from around the world -
they get me wondering.
WHY? is easy. The decorator is making his mark by leaving a bit of himself behind
for others to see, like a cat marking its territory, and the more eye-catching the
marking the better. Sounds simple, but there are pitfalls in the marking world -
it is easy to ignore the marking hierarchy. Without a working knowledge of this,
markings will be ineffective and attract little attention. The ranking system can
be related to poker hands :
One Pair : Hankerchief (white, clean)
Two Pair : Hankerchief (dirty, coloured)
Three of a Kind : Socks (dirty, at least two holes)
Straight : T-Shirt (dirty, torn)
Flush: Jocks, Panties (clean)
Full House: Bra (best if very big or very small)
Four of a Kind: Artificial limbs, plaster casts
Straight Flush: Heavily soiled underwear
Royal Flush: Used prophylactics
WHO? is harder. While we may never know which individual started the marking
trend, anthropologists have reconstructed how conversations may have gone at
the first marking. One widely accepted scenario is like this :
“Hey, Davo, after this beer, how bout I strip off me jocks and pin em on the wall?”
“Idea, Philo, idea ! Hey, Cheryl, wanna stick ya bra nex ta Philo’s jocks?”
“Bloody hell, Davo, ya nongo … Ok, just finish me beer. Hey, Denise, wanna … … … “
And so it began.
There are lots of character buildings in Cracow.
It’s a bit flasher in Theodore, where the hotel has a vaguely art-deco look,
… but more importantly, next to the Dawson River there is a pleasant free camping
area provided by the town. Very popular with caravans that fill every space but are
unable to breach a log barrier around the grassed area.
Birtles slips through with ease and has several acres of grass from which to choose a tent site.
Not everyone in Theodore is happy.
What could be upsetting this young Hereford?
Oh, I see his point.
Theodore evening. Warm, still, peaceful - at least until I offer to pin my jocks to the
café wall just above the espresso machine.
From Theodore we take the back road past the Kianga mines, another huge venture
that for 30 kilometres is ripping the guts out of Mother Earth.
Moura and Rolleston roll past - we are pushing hard, west on the Dawson Highway
to Springsure where it will become the Dawson Development Road. Then, a
mere 246 kilometres on the DDR, most of it dirt, and then we will be in Tambo -
we do all know what is in Tambo, don’t we?
But first, some photographs of Springsure, where we take note of warning signs.
Inwardly, we hope to encounter one or more of these dangerous creatures,
if only to prove that they exist.
There are other travellers in town who are aware of the danger. They move
cautiously, freezing in Marcel Marceau poses at doorways and corners until
the way is checked for marauding Koalas. It’s slow, stop-start progress, but i
t’s safe and earns the respect of locals who are gratified that the ever present
killer amongst them is being given due respect.
I adopt exaggerated displays of caution and apprehension, scanning every
tree and bush for the tell-tale signs of Koala - animal carcasses with large
chunks torn from them.
If my caution fails and it goes wrong - Birtles gets mauled by a rogue Koala,
for example - it’s reassuring to know “Alice’s Rough 24 Hr Towing” will be
there to help us get to Tambo.
Rough towing? Is that cheaper than regular towing?
Drop-in engine / gearbox replacement for Birtles at the outdoor museum.
And electric parts are available too.
Springsure has a display celebrating 100 years of federation. One of the sections
is a series of glazed tiles by young children. Some of the connections with federation
are a little obscure, but there are some charming pieces.
And the winner is …. Rebecca Stone !
Judges interpreted Rebecca’s work to be an insightful metaphor for politics
(The windmill turning endlessly without moving from the spot
represents empty political promises; the chubby pig symbolises the makers of
those promises, happily growing fat on the public purse while trampling and
crapping on the common folk represented by the artist’s name along the bottom;
all the while, the high ideals of federation rise out of reach, blown away by the
stream of empty promises from the windmill and chopped into unintelligible
pieces by its blades).
Rebecca explained it more simply: “ Isa piggy, ana winmill.”
Evening falls on Federated Springsure.
Under the blaze of the LED tent light I check what the DDR involves.
What exactly is a development road anyway? Lots of dirt, maybe sand,
and corrugations for sure - all good tests for the new tank. Whatever it
holds in store, it is the only way to get to Tambo without a huge loop of
more than double the distance of the DDR
…. and we all know why we have to get to Tambo.
Outside the tent there are sounds like bricks falling into deep mud. The Koalas
are dropping from the trees to start their night hunting. There is a little comfort
in the tyre iron next to my pillow - it won’t be much use against a hungry
full grown bull Koala.
There are also muffled murmurings, too quiet to understand but every so often
a word stands out : “ride”, “….”, “die”, “climb”.
I leave them to their debate. By morning they will have come to a decision -
if the Koalas don’t get them.
To be continued …..
BigZoner #096 (English Chapter)
"Keep brotherhood till die"