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Nearing the end of our month long walkabout in the outback of Australia, our bus was traveling northward towards our destination for the evening, Cooinda. Located in Kakadu Wildlife Park, Cooinda contains a large billybong or small lake. Billybongs are created by the monsoonal rains that are common in the BackO’Beyond during the rainy season. They hold large reservoirs of water that the wildlife thus survive on during the long droughts often experienced during the winter months.
As the months wear on, the billabongs become smaller and smaller as the water is not only consumed by the various forms of wildlife including crocodiles but also lost during evaporation. Dusk was rapidly descending upon us, suddenly, the smell of hot metal began to infiltrate the interior of the bus.
This could only mean one thing, and it wasn’t something we wanted to face at this time. Our bus engine was overheating, being miles from civilization, this was not a good thing. Pulling over to the side of the dirt road, our aboriginal driver exited the bus and raised the hood to determine the damage.
Knowing a little about engines, I assumed that if the engine wasn’t totally destroyed, it soon would be. The driver announced that we should just take a break, take a few photos and the bus would be ready to run again as soon as it cooled off. I’m thinking, Fat Chance!
As the sun settled over the horizon, the bus started and we were again on our way. This can’t last forever! Two more days before we arrive in Darwin, can we make it?
Crossing several crocodile infested streams we finally arrive at our campground. I asked the driver if they were going to send another bus, stupid question. From Where? He gave me a nod, but I felt the nod meant, no.
Since we were due in Darwin on Saturday and my flight wasn’t until Sunday, I decided to not worry about the bus, I had an extra day to hitchhike if need be, and by this point in time I began to realize everything would work out perfectly, so there was no need to worry. Sit back, learn and enjoy, good advice for life no matter what the situation.
I realized long ago the aborigines had a connection with the universe most of us don’t have and their insight can carry one through the most extreme situations. Needless to say , we arrived at Darwin airport just two hours before our comrades of the past week were scheduled to fly back home, plenty of time, and the bus is still running.
After dropping us off at our hotel, the remaining passengers were going on an additional tour , bidding them farewell, we assumed we would never see them again. A friend and I decided to go to the beach, hang around and get some superb sunset photos , return to the hotel and go out to dinner with our remaining group.
Arriving back at the hotel just after sunset, we were astonished to find our fellow travelers waiting on us, they had gotten just a few minutes from the hotel when the bus blew up.
It turned out to be quite an evening, since the trip was cut a day short, our driver decided to spring for dinner. after enjoying dinner at a Indian restaurant, complete with very expensive wine, ( we decided to splurge on the wind since the driver was buying dinner), we migrated to the Sportsman’s Bar located on the beach in Darwin. A night of dancing,
jitterbugging and comradely ensured.
Arriving back at our hotel about 3 AM, it would be a short night, our flight back to Cairns was at 6.
It had been a powerful lesson, the one that teaches us that we already know what we have just been taught. Each of us has the knowledge inside us that will guide us through life, all we need to do is let it shine
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His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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