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ReportsThursday, 25 July 2002
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia --> Port Augusta, South Australia (on th Just after midnight I noticed how bright the reflection from the full moon above us was. It lit up the entire patch of small trees and dry bush that I could see along the road.
The bus driver was telling me earlier about the games the kangaroos like to play with the bus, but they mostly loose. “Last week it was 3 to 0 for the bus.” We were talking about kangaroos that become wazzaroos as they just stand in the middle of the road at night. The bus that drives a 100km/hr can’t always escape them and sometimes the kangaroos also jump around.
“You’ll see six along left lane of the road,” says the bus driver. “Three on the left lane, two on the right lane and a bunch more along the other side of the road. As you approach in high speed you just hope they jump away.” But not often they do. And then they become a wazzaroo, something that was a kangaroo.
When I was trying to get some sleep at 3am at night I suddenly heard this loud BANG! against the front of the bus. The bus hit something and it sounded like it broke in thousand little pieces. Then the bus drove over it. Gagabump! It was a horrible sound and I jumped up straight up and screamed: “F*ck!” What was that?! It became very obvious that the bus had hit a very large kangaroo. Next to splashing its entire head and some other body parts open (very visible), the poor animal had also created some audible damage to the front of the bus. Only the head lights at the left were still on. The rest was dark. I had just experienced my first road kill.
Now let me make myself clear: I have nothing against 72-year-olds! But people just shouldn’t always have to grasp for attention with so much simple conversations like that lady in the front was doing. At 4am at night! However I didn’t want to listen to it - I wanted to get some sleep - I however had to find out that the poor lady had numerous abortions in her life, until a boy was born with all kinds of difficulties. Life was sooo hard with him growing up and when he was sixteen a truck hit him and he was killed immediately.
And BANG! That was another kangaroo! “That was only a little one,” the driver said. But what a noise these impacts make!
It was only in the morning, when the bus made a breakfast stop in at the Caiguri Roadhouse, that we actually saw the damage on the bus. All the lights at the right of the bus where gone, even the plastic protection layer was missing. The sound of the thousand little pieces was all the glass that must have splashed around.
I had some juice and my bread stick with cheese spread (as a dip) for breakfast and enjoyed the sun coming up.
I finally managed to fall into a deep sleep (because the lady in the front finally fell asleep) and was awaken by the driver when we passed the Western Australian state border to South Australia around lunchtime. That also meant that I had to change my clock and add another 1,5 hours to the original Perth-time. I was welcomed to another time zone!
At the Border Village Roadhouse the two drivers changed bus and the bus got two new drivers that would lead us towards Adelaide. They were a bit worried about the damage; what if they’d hit another kangaroo at night and loose all lights? It would be pretty dark on the Nullarbor Plain.
A sign outside the roadhouse announced UFO’s. What was that about?
The tour continued and probably every Nullarbor-traveller agrees with me that every roadhouse along this empty and long straight stretched road is a point of relief: a sign of earth civilization. Because there isn’t much else on this big flat pancake we were driving on.
Frequently we’d all see the blue sea at our right, but half an hour later that could have been fata morgana, because we weren’t always driving that far south.
I few hours later I saw a flying hamburger! It landed along the road, but when we passed it, it was gone! Or was I snoozing again?
A few movies on the TV further it got dark again (as far as that was possible with that full moon) and we arrived in Port Augusta after midnight. Just some 6 more hours to go and I’d arrive in Adelaide!
Good night Nullarbor!