Last Thursday Steve and I contemplated the idea of heading to South Australia. By midday Friday we had been accepted to relocate a van from Melbourne to Adelaide, which gave Steve (the one who had to pack up most of his belongings) very little time to get his shit together. At 8:30 in the darkness of a Melbourne winters night we finally hit the road.
The van hire came at no cost (thanks www.imoova.com), so I shouldn’t complain. However, given the fact the car stereo had a mind of its own we were unable to rely on the radio for entertainment and even the slightest bump in the road would result in it speeding to maximum volume, giving us both a fright. By 11:30pm we decided it was time to call it a night. At this point we had reached the small Victorian town of Charlton which luckily for us had a free camping area. Equipped with thick blankets in the back of the van, going to sleep was not an issue. By the time morning had broken the cold had found its way into the van making it extremely difficult to surface from the blankets and begin to scrape the ice from the windscreen (I didn’t think this happened in Australia).
Five hours and countless small, country Australian towns later we had finally arrived at the South Australian border. This was like a very less hectic version of the USA/Tijuana border. Instead of the border agents searching for mass amounts of drugs or smuggled immigrants they were on the lookout for fruit. Needless to say we arrived in South Australia with one less banana.
After hours upon hours of driving long straight roads we finally arrived in the Riverlands, the place where Steve grew up. We drove around the sites of the towns, locals to Steve’s Childhood. Renmark, Loxton, Winkie and Glossop. We stopped at The Big Orange, which unfortunately had closed in 2006 and ate lunch in a local restaurant.
Just five hours after arriving in The Riverlands it was time to get back on the road to Adelaide, now with a much lighter load. After another three hours of driving in the dark we had arrived into the bright lights of Adelaide, a city I had visited only once before around five years ago. At 9pm we arrived at Steve’ friends place for a few quick beverages before heading to a couple of bars in the city. Exhausted, from all the driving I was surprised I managed to still be dancing in Adelaide’s only gay club (considering it was a half hour later in Melbourne).
They next day, riddled with a hangover I followed Steve about the city as he utilised his small amount of time in Adelaide to visit as many friends as possible. The whirlwind weekend concluded with a 7pm flight back to Melbourne. It’s crazy to think that after spending two days driving 11,000kms the flight back home was just 55 minutes.