The Tasmanian convoy is currently situated in Hay, on the very flat Hay plains. Driving around the streets of Hay a friendly competition ensues about using the town’s name in a pun, eg ‘Let’s make Hay while the sun shines’, ‘Hay (Hay) you (you) get offa my cloud’ with the eventual winner being ‘Hay Hay it’s Saturday’ (because it is actually a saturday).
We drove to Hay from Deniliquin across some remarkably unremarkable landscape, apart from the odd interruption from free range cows wandering across the road. There was however, the occasional sign advertising viewing platforms for ‘The Long Paddock’. Thinking this was some kind of exciting tourist attraction we speculated about what this wondrous ‘Long Paddock’ could be- eventually deducing that it was indeed just one, very long paddock.
We have noticed since crossing the border that the caravan park clientele in NSW are decidedly well dressed, not letting restricted access to showers and laundry facilities dampen their style. We have called them the ‘Park Glitterati’, identifiable by their gold jewellery and pastel attire.
The best op shop purchase from the last couple of days comes in the form of a one piece jumpsuit in fuchsia and aqua and the most disturbing culinary discovery in the form of a Red Bull and fruit smoothie. The current soundtrack in our car is stirring renditions of classic rock/pop power duets including ‘Under Pressure’ with alternating Bowie/Mercury lead vocals, George Michael versus Elton John in ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me’ and the Kenny/Dolly tour-de-force ‘Islands in the Stream’.
Our site in Hay is on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. While pretty to look at, the banks of the river prove treacherous. One member of the convoy is nearly sucked deep into the soft mud on the riverside, with ankle and a good stretch of lower leg consumed by the thick green-brown goo. It feels wonderfully cool and refreshing before drying to a crackly grey crust like elephant skin.
There has also been a nightly tradition of storytelling around the fire or BBQ. Themes have included The Murray River, Swimming and tonight’s theme- Fire. We are slowly learning about each other and these tidbits help, as memories, anecdotes and shy revelations are offered forth to the circle. We are having a nice time.