Smooth Sailing Towards Desert Lands

Road to Broken HillI think most of you are by now aware that very soon we are heading way way inland, deep into the Australian Outback. To a town called Broken Hill to be precise. And, I do have to say, so far it’s all been very smooth sailing.Back to Country

For a very long time we have wanted to, at some point ‘in the future’, spend time in Broken Hill (BH). Then while we were in India, we made the decision that, when we got to Australia once more, we would look very seriously into finding a way to spend a good length of time there.

So, here we are three months later and about three weeks from that big adventure. Our plan basically is to, as we call it, make a life there. Of course, first steps in that project are to find a place to live, a source of income, and obviously figure out how to transport ourselves there.

Pauline discovered a Facebook page called ‘Broken Hill Classifieds’ and put a notice on there that we were coming and did anyone have any rental property. Amazed we were when we got a stream of replies back. Lots of helpful advice, I think three or four actual offers of accommodation, one of which sounded irresistible

A couple has brought an old guest house and are renovating it into several separate apartments, or flats as would say here in Oz. The rent was to be so low that nobody could refuse; and they threw in the idea of us being sort of part-time caretakers (sweeping, putting out the rubbish, and so on) for an even lower rent. So, all agreed. Very exciting.

But, as so often happens in renovation land, our new friends found that there is going to be a lot more work to renovate than they thought: crumbling walls from rising damp, rotten floor boards; I am sure you get the gist here. So, that arrangement is on hold for at least some time because it is going to be a big and expensive job.

DSC_0086-Edit

The beetles are rather large in the desert

Never fear, more offers were being made. A fully furnished two bedroom house close to the centre of town, with everything we would want. The lovely woman making the offer told us it has been the family home for more than 60 years: her mother has recently had to move out of the house and into a nursing home. Even more perfect, we thought. Only snag is that it won’t be ready (also heavy repairs going on) till about the end of July.

Why is that a snag? Well we are poodle (three adorable little creatures) and house sitting on the coast, about 1000km (600 miles) from BH. And the poodles’ humans are coming home on 2 July. Which obviously leaves us with a few weeks to fill.

Again, Pauline’s Facebook discovery came to our rescue. She put out a call for a housesit in ‘The Hill’ (what the locals call the place) for those dates, 2 July to the end of the month or thereabouts. Once again we got a heap of replies with great suggestions. One in particular got our attention. This lady said she is going on a holiday (a road trip yet! Lucky her) with a friend from the middle of June for about a month, but look, don’t worry, I have a friend who will look after the cats until you get here. And then you can choose to stay in the house or in the flat out the back. Then, when we get back, if your house isn’t ready you are more than welcome to stay till it is.

So, there it is. All cemented in place. Very smooth, very friendly, and full of good omens, good vibes, and blessings for us.

What about income? Well, as of now we have none, and to add to that fact is the reality of us having very VERY little money. Without the possibility of a ‘regular job’ due to our health, we will be calling upon Social Security to at least help us get by until something turns up (we are still working on the Mala business we started in India, and I do occasionally sell a photo or two). We will most likely be required to do some volunteer work in return for some money from them. Quite right too. Not at all unhappy about that; the only thing will be to find volunteer work that we are actually able to do. And we are already working on that, putting out feelers, making enquiries.

Volunteer work is for us service to others. And we do indeed see it as part of healing. Giving is receiving as they say.  We will do our best to be of the most service we can. And we do not fail to see for a second that we are very blessed to live in a society (community) that is willing to help us out, so it is a gift that we can help out in return.

A-Local-Radio-Station-in-its-own-Radio-shaped-building-in-outback-Australia-2 (2)

Paul plans to volunteer at the BH community radio station (this isn’t the station ; it’s actually someone’s house. Cool eh?

Now, as for transport there. There is a train and bus that takes 13 hours all up; you know the drill: train goes so far, then bus the rest of the way. This trip would take us several days to complete (either that or doing it in one day and risk collapse!), meaning spending heaps of money on hotels and the rest. It’s an appealing idea for two nomads like us, but there has been a lot of water under the bridge since we hitchhiked from here to there in the 80s.

Car Wreck in Broken Hill Australia

End of Roadtrip Collapse

So, we’re going to fly. Yes, flying always sounds like it’s going to be more expensive at first glance doesn’t it? Well, that’s why initially we dismissed the idea. But in fact it will be probably less than half the cost of that train and bus marathon (you want marathon? A friend on Facebook is on a 76 hour bus marathon across the US. Here’s his link. Interesting guy, really nice person, and on a mission of love). On top of that it takes two hours. Unfortunately it’s going to be in the dark which means we won’t get to see the extraordinary landscapes and the way they change as we reach the red sands of our deserts (flying over Australia is one of the must do things in life I reckon).

We feel called to the desert and BH in particular. We both sense that it is the right place for is to be at this time. We also want the quiet, the peace and the beauty of that place and the landscape in which it sits. And, we are very tired. Well we are always tired, but we believe we will find some rest there, some healing. We are nomads yes, but even nomads have to stop sometimes to replenish energies that sustain them on the endless journey they are on.

Time to make a life. It’s a walk we need to take, a pilgrimage we need to make

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