Sunday, 3 June 2007

On a quarter tank of gas

Long weekend! Love the sound of that, don't we all? Being Sunday, we went for a Sunday drive. Here's how the pros do it:

Dredged through the fridge. Hmm a few BBQ sausages, some hamburger patties, hummus, liver pate, tomatoes. Lebanese bread, condiments, halwa, biscuits. More than enough for a BBQ picnic. take plenty of water, a teapot, teabags coffee and sugar, too.

Once we loaded up the car and got away a bit we decided on a destination. Somewhere South, and within a quarter of a tank round trip range. "Dewllingup!"

As we got closer we made the decision whether to go to the first or second Dam/BBQ site. First one, we decided, because we'd already been to the farther one.

It's out on Scarp Rd, and last time we'd travelled Scarp Rd we had almost had our eye teeth shaken out it was so rough. But a few hundred metres in there was a newish looking dirt road, and we decided to see where that went instead. After all, the day was ours, we had everything to stop and make a meal wherever we were.

After a few kilometres it started to look like the track went nowhere in particular. Despite being newly cut and graded, it doubled back and forth and really, we'd both lost interest in the scenery when it seemed we'd seen each scene from at least three different angles.

One more T-junction, one more chance to turn around without sinking the car in soft shoulder. "On," we decided, "just ONE more junction." The reason I'm stretching this out is to emphasize the string of coincidences that led to this point.

Because not 250 metres farther, we came across a broken down car. The chap in the car had been stuck there for two days with his dog and his camping gear. So luckily he was prepared for the stay, but imagine the string of favours he must have had to ask from Chance, for us to make that very chain of decisions.

Anyhow - long story short, the chap's name was Ray and his pooch was named Billie (and way to fond of playing slimeball with strangers) and we gave them both a lift to Dwellingup Hotel where Ray was going to find a new starter motor and head back to fix the beast.

On getting to know Ray on the drive to town, I sort of got the impression that he was moto-itinerant, which is a highfalutin' way of saying I think he might have been living out of his car for quite a while. All I know is that if I'd had my caravan already I think I would have given it to him to live in. Not sure why, but I felt he was basically a good person and had gotten a bad break. And was trying not to let us know.

I can understand a man having pride but I can't forgive myself for my thickness - I should have worked that out at the time not now sitting at home and almost 60 kilometres away from being able to help. All I can say in my defense is that my back is distractingly sore and painful, and I have been starting a flu. Had I been more switched on I might have been able to help the guy find work or at least a place to stay.

In any case, at least he's in a friendly town and that counts for something. Trish and I headed to the farthest BBQ araea again and had a leisurely late lunch and then an even more leisurely drive home, and if it wasn't for having suddenly worked it out I would be in the land of grampa naps right now.

If anyone's in Dwellingup tonight reading this look for a feral looking and smelling guy with a medium sized black and white doggie, and make sure they're okay, okay?

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