Leaving Adelaide

Once again, I was heading into the unknown. I set off with mixed feelings of nervousness and excitement. I had a few pounds in the bank by this stage but all my worldly belongings could still fit in the rucksack.

The weather had turned nasty the day I left Adelaide. Floods were reported along the South Australian coast and beyond. It was not too long before the mini halted in front of a road closure sign. I backtracked until a side road heading north was located. I should have realized that there was trouble ahead when I came across an eagle casually eating a rabbit in the middle of the lonely road. I had not met any oncoming traffic the whole time. The weather deteriorated and the rain developed into unpleasant hail.

I soon discovered why the road was so deserted. The lakes of water along the roadside became more extensive until the bitumen started to disappear under water. Not wanting to be beaten, I foolishly ventured into the water but soon lost sight of the road centre. The water had risen to the door sill so I killed the engine and set off on foot to see how deep the water was across the road. After 50 metres and with the water around my knees, I decided to admit defeat. I returned to the car but was unable to turn around. I was on my own in a bleak deserted valley.

With no landmarks as guides, backing out became a difficult task as I tried to keep the wheels on the crown of the road. At last dry bitumen was reached and I was able to continue the journey. It was quite late when I arrived at Mount Gambier. I found somewhere to get a bite to eat and then sought refuge in the local picture house to gain a bit of warmth. Later I spent a cold uncomfortable night in a quiet lane, curled up in my sleeping bag on the back seat. After a fitful night I awoke to find that the clouds had lifted and blue sky was at last on show. Time to move on.

Roy Orbison – ‘Pretty Woman’  1964
Pretty woman, stop a while
Pretty woman, talk a while
Pretty woman, give your smile to me

Next: Victoria

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