It was not an early start. Me and The Fireman got going just after the crack of noon. And if course five kilometers down the way we remembered we'd forgotten to bring the music CDs so had to go back for them. You can't travel for over a week in a can without music. It could be deadly.
Tearful Julie waved us goodbye and we started north on our 4000km road trip to Darwin. The grey skies urged us on with dreams of tropical sun. Road signs warned to watch out for kangaroos and koalas. Pink galahs flocked and squawked in the tall gum trees.
Grey Nomads steered their caravans at leisurely speeds. Road works were in progress and made us stop to wait for a pilot car. By the time the sun was low we'd only covered 300km. But it was a start.
We found a caravan park in West Wyalong and pitched our camp on a grassy site. Across the road was a little hotel with a pub where we could escape the chill. Inside was bustling with beer drinkers watching the footie. We bought two schooners and received two tickets for the Thursday meat raffle.
At eight o'clock they drew numbers. The first won four schooners of beer. The second won the meat package. And the third got a chance to pick a card and maybe win a $1900 jackpot. He opted to take $100 sure cash instead.
After dinner we retired to our camp for a bit of wine and telling each other stories. The southern stars gleamed overhead.