Mount Isa to Tennant Creek Northern Territory

Today I drove 660.3km to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

I left Mount Isa at 8.30am. I settled into driving, had the music on and just followed the road. I don’t really need the GPS, as there is one road and it is straight. The beauty of having an inverter is I can recharge phones, my camera and light if I want to. Sometimes it looks funny as I have chords going in all directions.

My camera is handy for the occasional shot out the window. The landscape changes so much I just marvel at it. I feel I am seeing Australia for the first time.

I drove to Camooweal where I wrote the last blog. From there I drove 471km. I stopped along the way to have some lunch. I saw a few caravans. I ended up under a tree opposite one. I had a chat with the people they were from country Victoria, travelling to Brisbane. They were very friendly people. The guy was a former Australian Army officer. He said he felt sorry for the Australian soldiers in Iraq. We had a chat about society, he felt quite cynical about the world. He also had something to say about kids on computers and the changing world where kids aren’t outside and the problems. He had concerns for where the world is going. I felt I should convey my life and somehow provide a spark of hope. I told him what I do and he seemed to resonate with that. His wife came out and talked as well. I conveyed the importance of people talking more about the type of world they want. We had a positive discussion and the I felt I should hit the road, I had a long way to go.

I drove on and just settled into driving. I loved watching the landscape change as I moved. I saw another wedgetail eagle. I also noticed the very straight road I was on and the ability to see across vast distances to the horizon. I absolutely love being in the middle of no-where. The occasional caravaner and truck went past. I particularly like the fact that they put on their right indicator for you to get past. The roadtrains do this and it is helpful as they are very long. It is nice manners I find. I give them a double toot as I go past.

I stopped at Barclay Roadhouse which was around 100km from Threeways. I was told they had good wireless reception. The petrol price was a shock at 1.89 per litre. In Mount Isa it was 1.41 at the United Petrol Station (independent). I don’t like the fact they take advantage of you as there is no-one else. I guess it bares out economic thinking that the market will charge the highest price without competition, this is considered rational, I see it as greed pure and simple. Greed is rational I guess when you think that is security. Anyway, I had a orange juice and sent some emails. I had a chat with some folks outside on their way to Darwin to work. They are moving. The lady said her daughter was in the Navy and they were going to meet with her, she was quite excited. She enjoyed travelling.

I left Barclay Roadhouse and just drove, I thought don’t worry about the money. I had spent $130 in petrol in two days and had about $58 in my account. So funds were low. I had been putting the petrol on visa. I am unable to check that but I am not worrying about it. All will work out.

I drove listening to Byron Katie and the idea that life unfolds in perfection. That there is nothing to fear. I am deeply engraining this thinking as I am seeking freedom. I am learning to trust what happens and let go of fear. I want to be able to not fear anything. I listened to how fascinated she was by every moment of life and that she didn’t identify with the ego. If she was in pain she went into the experience. She believes in loving every moment in life no matter the situation. I can see the wisdom of that in non resistance. You feel more pain when you fight, when you are stressed and tense. I want to move beyond that where I can no longer fear things not going my way, or not going according to plan. I want to be grateful for all my experiences. So quietly I listened to this voice explaining her life and her freedom. It was deeply inspiring.

I arrived at Threeways to find it was a servo (service station) and a small caravan park. It was only 26km from Tennant Creek. I thought don’t worry about the time, just go. It was getting onto 6pm and I try to avoid setting up the tent in the dark. However, I got there with some light. The tent site was only $10 the lady on reception said had she known I was a clown would have given it to me for free. I thought that is such a different attitude to the other caravan parks. I put up my tent and noted how hard the earth was here. I was told the following day the temperatures in summer get up to 50 degrees. The surrounding land is red soil and green trees on rounded hills, really interesting terrain.

I did some work on the computer after I set up and then went to sleep. It was a quiet caravan park and I went off to sleep easily.

The next morning I awoke around 6am, tired but happy. I found my energy really low as I drove so far. My mum rang and told me about what is going on for her. We talked about spiritual matters and the idea of acceptance of reality. We have a lovely chat, she told me she is proud of me. That was a nice thought.

I got up and made breakfast did more work on the email. I then had a shower, did my washing and headed into town. I rang my sister who had tried me earlier. We talked about our lives. She told me how much she loved horses and how she was a top trainer. She believes in loving the animals. I told her about the rodeo, she felt the riders were hot. I didn’t really get into the rodeo as I don’t think the horses were into it. She said they will stomp on the guy if they get a chance. My sister has worked with horses since she was 13 years old and she is 49 years old. She now races horses. She said she loved them all her life and had to be with them. Both of us have followed what we love. I told her about the country. As I was chatting I was noticing all the indigenous people on the streets. I loved the feeling I was in another country. It felt like overseas and I felt a little more understanding of them. I didn’t feel nervous just intriqued and keen to say hello.

I got off the phone and just took in Tennant Creek. A straight strip with businesses on both sides. Mostly retail shops. I saw the indigenous people sitting on chairs, on steps, on the ground or walking around. I popped into the post office to get some money. I saw this lady with nice green thongs and stopped to chat to her. I asked her if she was a local yocal. She smiled and said yes. I asked her what life was like here. She said it is great. She lived in Darwin and moved to Tennant Creek after spending 2 weeks with her sister. She said it is great. I asked her about the indigenous people, she said people get on most of the time, sometimes there are problems. Particularly if guys come from the outstations. She said mostly problems were tribal. At first I thought this was frustrations vented between indigenous people then I felt no it is the tribal nature of conflicts. I realised there was much conflict in African tribal societies. The lady’s name was Di and she said there were around 800 languages in this area. It just gave me an instant picture of how diverse the aboriginal society is. Ignorant whites tend to view them as the same but they are not.

She said she grew up in Darwin before it became commercial. She said kangaroos used to sleep under her window. It was a nice place. She said her father as a young man worked out on the stations and met aboriginal men. He learned the language, the culture and customs and his respect for them grew. As a young girl she also had respect for them and lived side by side. I really liked hearing this. She said this was before the alcohol became a problem. So sad I thought. I know that most indigenous societies have alcohol problems and it is due to the biology of people. Sadly they are seen as less or feared and I felt this was not a true depiction of this proud and wise people.

I asked her about the leadership in tribes, she said the elders lead and they are men. The women have groups and hierarchy within those groups. I noted a Aboriginal council of respected persons. I liked the name there. I enjoyed my chat with Di and we exchanged life experiences. She liked the fact I was a clown. I gave her my website. She told me she is divorcing her husband. She is excited about it but sad about leaving the dogs. She found the confidence to do it. She is going to live in a small town in Victoria. She is going to work on her life. She said she would love to work with animals. She said she was always rescuing animals. A fine thing to do I was thinking. Very compassionate. She said she wants to get her smile back. I said follow your heart and think about the Byron Katie work, it will help you let go of the baggage. She thanked me and we had a hug. She said maybe we meet again. I said you never know in this life, anything is possible.

I then head off and just observed life around me. I smiled at the indigenous people, sending love in my way. I walked into a $2 shop and found an interesting book on encounters from the other side. I thought I will check that out. I chatted with the lady who owns the shop and she said she was happy even though it was Monday. She said she had travelled a lot but kept getting calls to work at this shop. So eventually she came back and bought it. She has been happy in Tennant Creek. She also believed in a positive mental attitude and that life is as it is meant to be. I am finding there is so much wisdom in people. I don’t feel dissimilar views, particularly from women.

I ended up going into the newsagents and chatting with the woman at the counter. She proceeded to tell me that she always has believed in giving her last penny. She’s been poor but felt generous. She said she remembers being down to her last $20 and a guy asked her for money, so she gave it, saying to herself she doesn’t need it. This happened to her quite a few times, someone needed petrol, another needed $10, so she just gave it thinking she has enough in the fridge. I really loved her attitude, that is living fearlessly. She said what goes around comes around. This is the true spirit of community and I know that it works. I told her about clowning and she was interested. We would have talked longer but customers were coming in so I headed off to find a coffee.

I was feeling tired and sat with a nice coffee to read some of my book. It was about spiritual experiences, looked very interesting. I just sat there allowing the tiredness to fall away. I sat for a while and then started to walk back to the caravan park.

I pulled my washing off the line and chatted to the two young people at the tent nearby. I ended up sitting with them awhile. They were moving to Darwin from Townsville, they found it was too commercial and decided to have a change. The woman said she had got rid of some of her clothes, it was hard work. She said they had a stretcher for their air mattress and were comfortable. Her partner worked as a construction contractor and was hoping to get work up in Darwin. He had had a rough life drinking and drugs until he met his angel. She was a lovely woman and said he is eating properly now. You can see the love between them, it was really nice. He sat there drinking beer whilst she chopped up the vegetables. I told them about a few mystical experiences I had and they were really interested. The woman said she had a 16 year old son and they were going to meet him but got on a later bus and it turned out the son stayed back and go on a later bus. She said to her partner wouldn’t it be funny if he got on the next stop, and whallah he did. She saw that as similar to what I was saying. Life you can’t control, things just happen and sometimes timing is perfect. I really see that these days. I find people so open minded, even with some of the wild stuff I share, I find a kindness in people and a natural acceptance. I really enjoy speaking with people and I find they are just all lights in this world.

I don’t have a cynical attitude, I feel quite the opposite, I see nothing but hope and potential. I hear a consensus from people about the way the world is changing, however, through them I see positivity and a sense of values which I find personally inspiring. I have so enjoyed listening to stories and sharing lives. This to me is true community and it just fills my life with joy.

Anyway, I will be going to a teacher’s house tomorrow night then off to Canteen Creek which is a 4 hour drive (remote). I will then stay a few days out in the bush and teach kids, then I’ll come back to Tennant Creek and make my way to Alice Springs.

So time to do some photos. I will try and set up the links tonight to my Travelling around Australia page and also photo gallery on this blog or maybe tomorrow, so people can look at some of the photos from clowning. It has been deeply inspiring and joyful.

Know that your life is a miracle and you can have what you love. Just step out of things and trust your heart. For me, I am not disappointed I’ve been prepared to ignore fears and go for it, it is incredibly liberating and I feel myself going from strength to strength.

Good night and beautiful dreams. I wonder which is the dream this life or the dream life. The aboriginals speak of the dream time, I think they knew much more than we know. I see their beauty.

Mohandas Gandhi

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”