I was given a quandary last night. Dropped at the airport by Carmella in the afternoon, I’d had the luxury of being able to lounge around the house in the morning, wander down the road to get some cash out, print a couple of tickets and have lunch. All of which marked the end of a fantastically comfortable stay, before I return to hostel life. After so long away from hostels I really wasn’t sure if I could be bothered – here we go again with travelling conversations, I couldn’t imagine being up for that.
It didn’t last long. A French girl and I both got on the wrong bus and were directed to the right one, right behind. In our defence, it’s a J1 or J2 to Adelaide, but the same bus numbers also go down to the docks. I couldn’t tell it was the wrong bus from the front. She got the (right) bus driver onside, and it turned out we were both heading to the YHA. A few minutes of conversation later and it turned out she was driving to Melbourne in the morning and fancied company – I was bang up for the chat, it turned out.
So. To travel early, see the coast road in the day, have a bit more space but have to bin a coach ticket and find somewhere to stay tonight, or to stick with the coach journey through the night I’d booked. I liked the idea of the known, of ‘saying yes’ to a newly presented option and of continuing our conversation, but the coach trip seemed more of an adventure. I slept on it, figuring if I woke at 6 raring to go, then I’d go.
I didn’t. I felt a slight tinge of regret through the day, but it was a tinge accompanied by lunch and a book by the river, in the sun, for hours, from where it was hard to regret anything too much, especially knowing it was stormy back home. Adelaide was nicely busy-not manic, but with a busker every 100 yards and shops trying to entice people in, this felt Christmassy. But with the sun – I’m still not used to that. I passed a key cutting place that invited us all to
“Watch batteries while you wait”.
I tried it for a moment but it was dull even while not waiting. Not much of an idea.
A lovely day in Adelaide and I was back at the hostel to pick up my bags before heading to the coach. Christmas Eve and the place was buzzing with people arriving and leaving. I grinned at an Indian man who rested briefly and then paced. He came over and was unsurprised to learn I was English – he’s not the first to say I look typically so. I had to dash for my bus, which was a pity-fascinating man, who had come to England to do his PhD in high speed photography and stayed, but is now travelling Australia ahead of a Latin America tour next year. He doesn’t need to work, probably invented something fascinating in photography. With just a little more time we’d have been out to dinner and I could have asked.
The coach. A nice buzz here, too. I thought there would be, but couldn’t picture it, which made the Gallic drive initially more appealing. The driver gave us a lengthy spiel; if you have drink, drugs and food on board
“You will terminate your ride. I don’t mess about, ladies and gentlemen.”
Settle back and enjoy the ride. Fingers crossed for an arrival on time or near to it to allow me to get to Westerfolds parkrun for 8.
Reading: The Hard Way, Lee Child; A Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood.