This week, I’ve learned three things:
1. Don’t let the bird-watcher drive the car;
2. If the track looks like no-one uses it, there’s probably a reason; and
3. You’re never too old to be car sick.
I’m writing this now, so you can rest assured, it didn’t end too badly. But there was a moment I thought we were coming unstuck.
It was meant to be a pleasant country drive. A few hours out in the bush looking for birds and finding that perfect picnic spot. The reality became a mixture of terror, frustration and shallow breathing.
The so-called ‘track’ provided a perfect view over the nearby river. All good. Unfortunately, my husband was busy looking at the treetops and not overly concerned with the direction we were taking. Not so good.
Then the single-vehicle ‘track’ started getting thinner and the only way out took us down a 45 degree slope toward a watery canal. Again, not so good.
“We’ll have to go back,” I said.
“Not likely,” was the reply.
And looking back along the ‘track’, I could see the sense in that statement. Sadly, the alternative was no more enticing.
I braced myself for the worst as we made the death-defying descent.
I think I heard my husband laughing, but I can’t be sure. I couldn’t look at him. We got to the bottom and suddenly another track materialised. “Oh, there it is,” was all he said.
An hour of winding bush tracks followed. Around this time, lesson three made itself known.
All I know is this – birds may be beautiful. The bush may be too. But bitumen, sweet bitumen, is my best friend.