48 Hours in Country New South Wales
The last decent radio station dissolved nto static fuzz as we wound down the window to let in air with the hope that it might be somewhat cooler. Instead, we let in a heap of flies that wouldn't leave us alone as we drove further down the Kamilaroi Highway.
Silos and water tanks flashed past my window and wild sunflowers grew out of control down the side of the road. I was hypnotised by the windmills and infinite coal trains.
The bars of reception gradually decreased and eventually reach 'SOS only'. We were encircled by vast, flat and barren land as we traveled into the hazy mirages in the distance. I felt like we'd been driving forever but we barely made a mark on the map of Australia.
The towns are miles apart and each have their own personality. Pubs stretch over the pavement and adorn every street corner and curtains protect shopfronts from the blinding glare of the sun. The cars are painted in a fresh coat of dust and riding boots are the high-street fashion. Bearded blokes with eyes hidden in the shadow of their wide brimmed hats offer a simple G'day to the city slicker who sticks out like a sore thumb.
I wandered further away from the main strip of town. The charming old buildings and quirky shopfronts faded into gumtree lined streets of humble family homes and Hills-hoist washing lines with underwear nearly displaying family hierarchies. Angry, chained up mungrels barked at me from behind fences. I imagined the sound of pelting rain on the corrugated iron shacks, sheds and abodes but flawless the blue sky told me that rain is a rarity around these parts.
Before I knew it the houses on the side of the streets had disappeared and the road had turned to dirt. Not a soul to be seen. I jumped slanted fences in to an open paddock. The crispy brown grass crunched beneath feet and the blistering sun chapped lips, peeled my nose and singlet tanned my shoulders. Dad called and I answered "Don't ask me where I am, I have one bar of reception and I have wandered so far down dirt roads that you will never be able to find me".
The sun started to sink but the heat didn't die down. We made the routinely retreat to the local pub for a 'Chicken Schnitty' with garlic and chilli prawns. The Hotel was scattered with foreign accents of wanderers who'd driven too far down the wide, empty road to nowhere.