Our stallion on four wheels had made it out of Exmouth safely. No wailing sirens chasing us down the deserted streets. Still, going into hiding for the night seemed like a good idea, you know, just in case. Cape Range National Park provided us with a legal camping-spot on the beach, looking out over a gap in between two cliffs with the sea at our feet. We set up a camp-fire under the stars and truly felt like the luckiest bastards alive.
The next day we spent driving all day to Karijini National Park. A long but beautiful drive, until it happened, in the outback: the female monthly drama started. Dying of cramps, overwhelmed by the heat and flies in the back of the van, I tried as hard as I could to not think about it. To me, the worst thing that could happen, I mean, try and explain your mood swings to three guys. Suddenly the 20 flies that got trapped in the back of the van with me, were all I could see. Annoyed , angry and armed with a thong (Ozzie translation) they were the perfect outlet for venting my frustrations.
It got late and we found a quiet roadhouse to crash for the night. During the drive it was obvious we had hit some insects on the way. The headlights acted as an insect magnet and we had to stop sometimes to clear the victims off our front window. About half an hour before we got to the roadhouse, the splattering noise increased by the second. When we got out of the van it became clear why. Millions, I shit you not, millions of locusts! In the air, on the ground… stuck in my bikini top. Screaming like a little girl… It was quite an impressive sight.
Setting up camp was madness. We had to do it all in the dark because turning on the headlights meant a full-on locust attack from all angles. After the tent was set up, I walked over to the bathrooms to freshen up a little and wash away my moody attitude. Walking through the complete darkness, I suddenly realised the crunching under my feet definitely weren’t branches. It wasn’t until I switched on my phone to use as a torch and aimed it on the ground, that I realised I was walking on a thick layer of dead/half dead/alive locusts. The entire ground was covered in them! Ok, they were a bit annoying but I had no intention of killing them.. unlike flies, but that’s a different story. I was already halfway and stood there for a bit, grossed out and contemplating what to do. I really needed that bathroom! So I carefully walked on my tip-toes, hoping to avoid another massacre under my feet.
Guess what locusts attract? Yes! Frogs! Millions of them too! Fast food flying around, if I were a frog, I wouldn’t miss out. Frogs landing on my feet, sliding down my leg after an attempted hop, locusts covering everything, I finally made it to the bathroom. Opening that door felt like my personal Everest. Until I switched on the light and had a look inside. At least 30 frogs decorated the toilet bowl from inside out, dead and alive locusts, ants and spiders covered the entire little space, it was like insect heaven. The other frogs happily hopped around with their tongues sticking out, having something land on them every second. They must have felt like the luckiest bastards alive.
Remember the scene from ” Raiders of the Lost Ark”, with the snakes, and the one with the spiders? Well, this made Indiana’s adventures look like a walk in the park!
Great… now what? Nothing could cheer me up now. This whole ‘Living the Dream’ thing started to show some dark sides. I growled but started laughing out loud straight after. It’s just one of those days, might as well look on the bright side of it.
Insect mayhem like this also meant snakes. Someone once told me to stomp my feet around before squatting, to scare off any nearby snakes. Whether this is true or not, I didn’t care. Rather have myself look like a complete idiot than having a snake hanging from my bum. So thankfully in the complete darkness, I stomped around a little, took the risk and squatted down in the grass. Clutching a toilet roll in between my chest and chin, balancing on one hand and using my free hand to swat away any creepy crawlies from flying against my bum, or drowning. See, even I have a heart.
I tried to run back to the tent this time. It seemed I was the only one who had witnessed this crazy insect night, everyone had passed out.
“Welcome to Australia”.. I still hear Dick’s voice echoing in the back of my mind. Yeah..cheers mate.