Wilcannia

Wilcannia to Broken Hill is about 200kms. Quite uneventful other than the heat was getting to me. I pulled into a truck stop to grab another sip of water. The bloke with the bashed out windscreen was there. Thought I’d go and have a natter. Crane on truck
“How’you going mate?” I said.
“Yeah good mate. I’ve been ripped off again!” he replied with the use of the “f” word on the end.
I asked, “what’ya mean mate, someone flogged your window?”
“No no mate, my missus, my ‘f’ing missus” he said.
“What I said, someone flogged your missus mate?”
“No, she’s left me and ripped me off, I’ve lost everything again, ‘F’” he said.
“Oh, no that’s no good mate” I remarked.
He said, “not only that this is the second ‘f ing’ time it’s happened to me.. the second ‘f ing’ time!”.
Wow, this guy was angry. He was eating a hamburger from somewhere. Where I don’t know as there didn’t seem much cooking in Wilcannia. He spat out a ton of cold-slaw.
“I hate that crap” he said.   
I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue the conversation. I asked him where he was headed. He did tell me the name which I have forgotten but evidentially it was a further three days drive from here. Three days drive with no wind screen and in that heat. I was starting to feel a bit sorry for him. He seemed in his early fifties, scraggly hair and front teeth missing. He said all he owned was this car and the stuff inside it. He was headed to a mine somewhere to earn $150K per year and start life again. He said a few other things which are really not printable here and would probably send this book into the ‘adult reading’ section.

Onto Broken Hill. The town came up fast. I didn’t really know I’d hit the town until I noticed houses both sides. Standing by bikeNow the big decision, where to kip for the night. I cruised through the town a couple of times looking for a motel that had a reasonably enclosed courtyard so the bike would be a bit safer. Found one and booked in.
The lady said that the aircon was working just like the one in the office reception. I didn’t think the aircon was working at all in my room. It wasn’t aircon, just a ‘con’, I was thinking as I unpacked. I just lay there on the bed exhausted in the heat. Went out for a walk later and had a filled-roll from the Subway Takeaway.  Wandered around to the Information Centre and bought the obligatory fridge magnet. I had a nice long talk with the lady at the counter. Good sort I thought.

For some reason the town seemed deserted. Big wide streets, deep gutters. A strange feeling of loneliness came over me all of a sudden. Real weird. Sort of as if I was the only one left on planet earth. Can’t have this I thought and wandered back to the motel. I had a cuppa and then fell asleep on the bed. Woke up feeling a lot better and found a restaurant that served up some seafood. Not too bad, but pleased to finish up there. I didn’t like Broken Hill and could never live in a place like that.