To Simplify... the pursuit of happiness through simple living on the open road

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


The tour's end approaches, but not before shifting to the far-flung reaches of Western Australia, where the novelty of sunrise over the Pacific gives way to sunsets over the Indian Ocean. Or do they just call it the Indian out here? Something to check on with the locals.

Anyway, because the quasi-medieval highway system on this continent can easily turn the coast to coast drive into a five day affair, we fly, and so a different bus awaits to shuttle us around for the next week's worth of reenactments gigs. With this comes a new bus driver, and so it is that chain-smoking Barry now holds the reins to this traveling old-school big band circus. A nice enough chap, but if making good time is of any importance in his world, it seems to play a distant second to his tobacco addiction.

All of two hours into the journey from Perth to Geraldton, we suddenly pull off the road for our second bathroom stop of the morning. Unaware of any abnormally shrinking bladders on the bus, and with a functioning toilet onboard anyway, the sharper minds among us see this for what it is – a paper thin excuse to engage in more lung pollution. This, it is universally agreed, could get old fast.

It's not the only addiction that perplexes me though. A mere hour removed from the last mini-mart stop, which itself followed a sumptuous breakfast buffet by less than an hour, I watch as everyone queues up for another fix of hydrogenated roadside snacks. And I briefly wonder to myself just how many consecutive hourly stops it takes before sheep will at last tire of such substandard fare.

Justifiably worried about what impact a 20 minute stop every single hour will have on arrival times over this next week, possible solutions are bandied about. My own favorite involves popping over to the chemist across the street (pharmacy to you Yanks), loading up on nicotine patches, palming a few, and then surreptitiously patting ol' Barry on the back to let him know what a fabulous job we all think he's doing.

Eventually, we make it all the way to Geraldton, and with the rare opportunity to call a place home for two whole nights, this latest tin can of a problem has at least been kicked down the road until Friday.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

No Digits

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. A mere two months separated from the spartan 45 square feet of van that is the closest thing to a house in my world, I checked into the hotel du jour here in Grafton today to find myself assigned the only room in the place with no digits on the front door.

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