It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Magoo and I laughed pretty much all the way to Broken Hill and all the way back, as a matter of fact, I can’t remember ever enjoying a road trip as much as I enjoyed this one.

Our trip began as the day dawned, setting off into the dim light with dim expectations on my mind, I quickly began plotting how I would manage the driving issue.

Magoo began her shift and within an hour began to ask me if I would like to drive now? “Nah, I’m okay.”

Smirks from Magoo.

Another half hour or so later, “You can drive now.”

“Nah, it’s okay, you’re going great!”

If “consternation” is a look, she gave me one of those..

I have mentioned before the necessity of stopping at the Nimmitabel Bakery whenever one drives by, if nature hasn’t called yet, then you can bet your ass those cakes in there have been calling you loud and clear!

After a quick coffee and breakfast we resumed our travel, Magoo once again asking if I wanted to drive. “I think I’ll leave it with you for a little while….” I replied sleepily.

By the time we stopped for lunch, Magoo had had it with driving, and handed me the keys. From that moment on, I could drive as much as I wanted. (Don’t tell me I’m not a fucking genius!)

Worth mentioning during our lunch in Tumut, was a pair of very old ladies who were lunching at the next table. I’m definitely one of those people who delights in people-watching, and likes to imagine things about them.

I imagined that they had known each other for a very long time, as they were completely oblivious to anyone around them. When Magoo and I got up to leave, I couldn’t help but ask the women if they had been friends for a long time?

“Oh yes, we are sister’s” one replied, turning towards Magoo, she added “are you two sister’s as well?”

I know it wasn’t very nice of me but I instantly sent a telekinetic throat punch her way before laughing and saying “Oh no, this is my beautiful mother, and I am going to find a Cosmetic Surgeon right now..”

Road map’s 101 – Don’t let Magoo and I navigate. Nu-uh, not unless you have time to drive around until you accidentally stumble across your destination. Which is exactly what we did, time and time again.

Imagine you pull up in a small town, no idea where the motel (you booked last week over the internet) is actually located? Imagine you pull out your phone, start looking at street maps when you clearly have no idea which side of town you’re on or even which way the map is supposed to point? Then imagine you have pulled up right outside the motel.

This happened to us so many times it actually became our navigation method.

After driving all day, the pair of us were ready for bed, but I had no way of knowing what I was in for that night.. Magoo snores! Not just a little lady-like snuffle, but more like some kind of flailing epic beast! I kid you not, that woman is a busy sleeper. Watching her drown, snark, and wash the sheets, (rubbing the bedclothes together, wtf), was not my idea of a restful night. Around 3am I sat on the edge of my bed and cried out, “Faaaaaaaark! I’m going to sleep in the car!”

I felt so bad about my outburst that I spent each night with Magoo biting the insides of my cheeks, piling pillows on my head, pretending I was dead, trying to get into the rhythm of the snores – and failing badly. In the end I just accepted my fate and slept around 4 hours a night, proving to myself that I can handle almost anything as long as I know it will end.

On that first day, we saw some amazing scenery, two groups of wild horses, wild goats and many historical sites. Magoo and my father’s lives began in the Snowy Mountains, and she told me many stories about their early years. I can’t recall ever being interested in those stories before, but now they were intriguing.

Once over the mountains, the landscape very quickly flattens out and dries up. The change is so remarkable you hardly notice it happening, one minute green, then brown and dry – but the beauty of our country is undeniable. (Click on a photo to start the album.)

We talked almost non stop, there was no sleeping in the car, no listening to music, just talk. We got to know each other in a new way, like companion’s instead of family.

Pete’s boys were great, we had a lovely time sharing meals and touring the desert, and even though they told us Broken Hill was on South Australia’s time, (ie half hour behind the rest of the state), we still forgot and went everywhere early! I really enjoyed having them around for their knowledge of the area, and their memories of their dad. Great company.

I met Jack Absalom in Broken Hill, an Australian artist, author and adventurer whom I fell in love with immediately. What a character! I could have listened to him speak all day. My favourite part of the trip, (much to the Gooster’s surprise!) He told story after story that completely fascinated me and made me so excited I nearly took off into the desert that very day! Luckily Magoo, (who is used to my suicidal compulsions), grabbed me by the collar before I could get too invested in this latest fantasy..

If you really want to know about Outback Australia, do yourself a favour and watch this. It’s old, but it’s very informative and entertaining.

There is so much I could say about this trip, but the main thing I came away with was a phenomenal bonding experience with my mum. She’s 78 now, and won’t be around forever, but I know that one day I will have a wealth of beautiful memories to call on, and until then we’ll have time to make some more…

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