Mad Marsupials and Salad

Yesterday, I rolled into Ardlethan, home of the Kelpie with the intention of staying in the Caravan Park, which turned out to be a toilet block on house site in the middle of town. Not a soul was there, just a note that said ring Janice for inquiries. Well I did just that and Janice’s message bank said she was out gardening.

 I began setting up camp when Janice called back with some pretty specific instructions: “Go to the forth house on the right past the pool and ask for Therese.” As I pulled up to the dilapidated aka “Rustic” home I could see Therese sitting in the couch on the veranda behind some shade cloth.23052014 (8)

Heaving her ample frame towards me with barking dogs in tow, she asked: “Come about

“Yes” I replied, “are you the Key Master?”

“How many?”

“Just me Mr Surly and Bob”

“It will cost extra for three”

“No it’s just me and the bike and trailer”

“Ok then $15 but I will leave $10 in a bag in my letter box so you can take that tomorrow when you drop off the key.”

There was nothing to stop me taking the key and $10 but I wasn’t going to argue with The Key Master.

I had the “Caravan Park” to myself that night- except for the possums. Around midnight, I woke to the snarling fur balls trying to get into my panniers and again at 3 am when the trees were alive with them. They are kind of like Australia’s version of Monkeys. Pesky, opportunistic, but cute.

Riding in mostly overcast conditions, I felt the camber and gradient of the road today. Lightly treed farmland and gregarious currawongs.

Pulling in at the roadhouse, I ordered the usual tea and toast and asked for a salad sandwich to go. So while I sat having breakfast absentmindedly flipping through a well-thumbed copy of Big Rigs magazine, the proprietor started calling out from the kitchen:

24052014 (1)“No meat?”

“That’s right, just salad” I replied.

“How about beetroot?”

“Sounds great”


“Yeah carrot’s good”

“And raw onion?”

“Yeah a little”




“Sounds wonderful”

“Mayo, what about mayo?”

“Thank you”

“But no meat right?”

“Thanks that’s right no meat just salad!”24052014 (2)

After we had collectively constructed the salad sandwich, he shook my hand and wished me all the best on my travels.

About 15 clicks out of West Wyalong,  I startled a Kangaroo, which took off running parallel alongside me but just meters ahead. Inexplicably, the suicidal marsupial kept making kamikaze flights from one side of the highway to the other. I backed off, not wanting the crazed animal to jump into me!

It wasn’t looking good; the first couple of cars managed to avoid the bounder, but the apex predator on these roads, the heavy haulage prime mover, wasn’t able to slow down in time. A last minute blast from its air horn had the desired effect with the Roo bounding off to live another day.

Below are some of the beautiful old buildings in the main street of West Wyalong.

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Categories: Mebourne to Mackay 2,500 kilometers 2014, Solo unsupported Australia toursTags: , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Nick – just catching up on your travels and reading them to J as we sit here cozy on the couch this chily eve – have been laughing out loud! Thanks for posting and hope you are enjoying the full moon and sea views 🙂


  2. Keep them coming Nick – we are following your adventures all the way. Best regards Curtis and Jacqui


    • Thanks folks , I’m finding that everyday folk are fairly open and generous if just a little weird , but then I have never meant that mythical “normal” person


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