There’s nothing like sharing a van with a rag-tag band of hitchhikers to put things in perspective, if only by revealing just how handy it is to be driving a working vehicle. For reasons I can’t really explain, I made it my mission to pick up as many hitchhikers as I could today, and I think I’ve put in a solid effort. No hitchhiker left behind! I mean, except for that one guy near Murwillumbah with the suspiciously shaped sports bag.
Like I said, I can’t really tell you what possessed me to do this, other than that it feels like my duty now that I’ve got this 10-seater. It sure passed the time, too. Things can get pretty slow when you’re doing a cross-country trip on your own, especially when you find yourself having to pull up for a tyre repair near Toowoomba. So when some bedraggled chap trying his hardest to get home from a blues festival near Byron strikes up a conversation by the roadside, and seems unlikely to be any kind of psychopath, it makes sense to offer him a lift.
The auto mechanic shop sorted the tyre issue so swiftly that we were on the road within the hour, and before I knew it I’d pulled over for a couple who’d managed to lose the tour bus that was meant to be taking them north. Turns out, they’d mistaken a ‘use the toilet and stretch your legs stop’ for a ‘go into the pub, get chatting to the locals and play a few rounds of darts stop’. As a result, the bus had left without them, taking their luggage with it.
See, these are the kinds of things that can happen when you’re out and about on the road. It’s all too easy to end up stranded, and then you’ve got to make the best of it – in other words, wait for someone like me to show up in a 10-seater bus and take you one step closer to your destination.