« back       further »

Floating lights

Supply-Camp — 2000-07-28

With aching bones I set my bush office up in the early hours of the morning, in anticipation of the first radio stations that will want to know how we have been fairing this last week. Then I light the fire and set the billy on the fire to boil, before waking Tanja. Then end of the nice sunny days is marked by the appearance of dark clouds in the sky, and soon all that we own is covered with an all too familiar sprinkling of raindrops. A cold draft scoots through my make-shift office as I put our experiences to paper, my fingers are stiff and I am cold despite being warmly clothed. Rufus is lying on the ground beside me, going about his main occupation of sleeping.

I hear Tanja talking to Jo and Tom on the wireless in the late afternoon, ‘You’ll be here around 9:30 p.m.? No worries, drive carefully and watch out that no kangaroos jump into the side of your car’. We make contact with them again at 9:15 p.m., Tom is able to speak to us from the wireless in his car. ‘Denis! Okay, nice to talk to you again. We’re just a few kilometers away from the Thundelarra station!’ I hear him through the small speaker on our wireless. ‘Good, then you’ll be here in about 10 minutes. We’ll use our torches out on the road to send you a beacon!’ I reply. ‘Very well, see you soon. Over and out!’ ‘Okay, over and out!’
Soon after, we are standing out on the dirt track and peering into the black of the night. We vaguely see a tiny prick of light at the end of the darkness, but it quickly disappears. ‘Do you think that was them?’ Tanja asks. ‘I think so. It’s an interesting sight anyway’ I answer. We listen in anticipation to the silence of the outback, hearing absolutely nothing. Suddenly an eerie, almost spooky circle of light appears and we are struck dumb by the impression. We watch motionlessly as the ball of light slices through the night like a U.F.O., the sound of the engine audible only after many minutes. ‘Should we turn the torches on?’ Tanja asks ‘Let’s wait a minute and surprise them. Maybe it’s best if you go over the other side of the road and we turn our torches on at the same time, when I give the signal’ ‘Okay,’ she answers. It takes a few more minutes for the car to reach us, then I call ‘Now!’ and we both point our shining torches toward the all-engulfing head-light. The greeting is tremendous as Tom pulls up in his Holden and we fall into each others arms out on the track, pouring out stories of our experiences. ‘Ha, why are we standing out here on the road? We’ve got plenty of time to talk and you can drive your car into the narrow aisle there. I’ve checked the sides and they’re hard enough.’ Soon after, we are sitting snugly around the campfire and describing our trip since Jo left us. Tom tells us of his time on Lake Air also and we exchange stories well into the night. We have a great night and are aware of the true meaning of friendship out here in the bush.

Day: 78




We are happy about comments!