skulking ground

Follow our family of Cunning(ham) Foxes on our turbulent travels around Oz

Oscar the Hiace

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After a few days at North Shore we headed up to Rainbow Beach, 2 hours is about all Bodhi can take sitting still and half of that he’s sleeping, he starts operation meltdown so we pull up emergency breaks on wherever the nearest possible rest area will be at Inskip Point. This is where 4WD’s head to Fraser Island, so as you can imagine kinda Sandy, perfect for tearing it up in the dunes but not so great for old mate Oscar the Hiace who had just recently been fed a whole tank of fuel, about 80 litres of water and “carrying some weight”.

We were full to the brim and bursting, Bodhi’s screams of protest in the back, our stomaches growling and the end of the day fast approaching. We get to the camp area, scout it out on foot to make sure the old fella is going to make it through the soft sand. All systems woe, we drive to the spot, a little unsure I tell Jacob we should probably not risk it and go for a safer option near the entrance of the park. Wanting to get us the perfect spot he decides to “Go It” anyway and drives us right into a gully. A ditch. A soft, sandy, pit. Bogged, bogged, boggity bogged.

I wasn’t going to tell him I told him so, I didn’t really need to, the look said it all. I know the one, because I inherited it from my mother and I’d hate to be the beneficiary of that bad look. Stranded mother and baby wait patiently by the side of the road while father forages under vehicle, shifting sand, letting the air out in the tyres, and losing a lot of weight with a crash water diet.

Out of the bog and into the mire, all that aside Jake redeems himself by building a beautifully big fire. I make a beautiful big mess while making dinner and Bodhi, well he’s just bloody beautiful. It’s pitch black night, any tension has melted with the warmth of the fire. We dance awkwardly around the fire, a kind of shuffling cuddle. We see shooting stars, satellites and ones that look like Sagittarius. We also see the lights of a van coming straight for us. Then the sound of the engine revving, either this is a scene from ‘Deathproof’ or someones in trouble. The light in the van shines on a young woman alone looking at her map. She’s bogged. She drove right into a sandpit. Great. Twice in one day, we go and help, I hold the torch, Jacob is on his hands and knees digging out the sand, but I held the torch.

She’s a tourist from Romania who speaks French and likes Belgian Chocolate. She’s braver than me traveling alone out here, there are loonies everywhere, the guy four camps down was high on metho, car fumes spilling out into the entrance of his tent wanted us to sleep beside him. Hmmm, thanks but No. That night I half slept thinking that he would creep into our van and touch my feet. I’m sure there are worse things he could do, but a weirdo with a foot fetish is a weirdo to be reckoned with.

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