The crunch of red dirt under tyres, dust swirls, blanketing everything. Forced to a stop in the middle of a wallaby track. Had to. Because…
A silly bugger of a Goanna, believes he’s got right of way.
I jump out of my Ute and look around. There’s nothing and no one nearby. I’m the only person on this lonesome dirt trail, following a mud map, drawn on scrap paper, from ol’ mate back in the pub.
I peer behind and the road disappears round the bend of trees, same for the front. But beside me the panoramic wonderland of melaleucas, gums, wattles, paperbarks and other native trees and shrubs. An endless green belt stretching all the way to the ocean.
The cooling engine ticked. The dragonfly wings buzzed, dancing in the delicate breeze. Flamboyant Rainbow Lorikeets feast on pink flowering turkey bush. They roll around where they land, drunk from pollen, echoing like gaggling giggly girls. The fluorescent greens of ringneck parrots flash by as they defy gravity with pretentious aerial acts, upside-down, swinging on seed pods. Overpowering all is the ear-splitting melodramatic screech of nearby hanging fruit bats who should be asleep.
It’s a busy wallaby track. Yet, this Goanna’s stopped traffic, doing his interpretation of a red dust old man shuffle. Ignorant of his growing audience, the wallabies camouflaged within the long grass, watch me, watching the Goanna cross the road.
Yeah…not like I was on a deadline and peak hour traffic’s building up behind me?
I check the load. Even kick dirt shrouded tyres where a butterfly decides to land. I play tourist and take a few happy snaps on my mobile phone, that’s out of range, again. No towers and no power out here.
I climb back into my Ute, start her up, the stereo erupts with a blasting sound, sending the birds off in a flurry. And what d’ya know, mate…that bloody Goanna moved – fast.
And so was I, leaving a red dust plume high in the cloudless blue sky, on another deserted wallaby track, to somewhere, nowhere, but anywhere but there.