Here is an insert from my latest book, now available for sale on Amazon at the following link, for both hard copy and Kindle versions:
I sleep in Coolgardie on the hard ground in the middle of the bush. The sleeping bag is covered in wetness and a thin layer of melting frost as the sun rises. In the middle of the night a truck driver and pulls up next to my spot and is surprised to see me when I say hello; he wouldn’t have seen me if I hadn’t introduced myself in the dark.
“Thought I was hearing things!,” he says. He takes time to clean and wipe out his cab.
I have various short rides all the way to Salmon Gums, which is a town small enough that you can only buy groceries at the local post office.
One guy that picks me up is a stocky Aboriginal who used to be a boxer and now works at a correctional facility. He pulls over while I am hiking with my thumb out and even though he hadn’t initially seen me, he offers a ride in his Japanese Supra. He shows me around town and takes me to a scenic overlook.
“This here is wheat country,” he says. We are surrounded by green rolling hills and farmland. “I’m from Melbourne, just moved here five months ago.” He says that he mostly deals with illegal immigrants from Iran and other areas of the Middle East that arrive by boat.
“The boat driver gets paid about 100 dollars per person to bring migrant workers to Australia,” he says. His car is fast, efficient, and quiet as we cruise along the highway and a speed of 180/kilometers an hour.
Just before dark, I’m picked up by an Aboriginal man who is a Christian pastor. “It’s a good job,” he tells me. “We’re in the business of counseling, marrying, and burying people.” He pops in a cassette of a local band, I imagine him as someone thoroughly involved in the community. He pops in some Jesus-inspired country music and old-timer style porch bluegrass all the way to Coolgardie. He offers me the rest of his KFC chicken.
We pass along miles and miles of pipeline. “That water pipe goes all the way south,” he says. “It’s for drinking water.”
He drops me off on the outskirts of town and it’s long since passed dark.