I truly believe that everything happens for a reason – good or bad – life is as it should be.
I also believe the saying “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
Day 3 of our Aussie road trip was spent mostly driving toward Western Australia, unsure of which direction once we got there. We hoped to head to the Bungle Bungles but had heard that the road had been closed the week prior due to heavy rains. We planned to stop at the visitor’s center in the town of Kunnanura to inquire about road conditions before planning our route.
When we reached the NT/WA border checkpoint, I learned about Australia’s quarantine laws and regulations that are strictly enforced to prevent travellers from importing pests and diseases found in fresh produce.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables,
- plants, seeds, cut flowers,
- soil, sand,
- any used agricultural bags and containers
We confessed to having a few pieces of fruit and some veggies and were told to either throw in the rubbish bin or circle back around and eat what we could at the nearly rest area. We decided it was time for lunch.
Two other travelers were sitting under the shaded picnic table having a produce feast. They kindly offered us some lettuce, which we accepted to jazz up our boring ham sandwiches. Shir (Israeli) had recently met Thibaut (French), when she responded to the ad he had placed in a hostel, offering a lift to WA to anyone who would share in his cost of petrol. Such occurrences are very common to backpacker culture as it is always cheaper to travel with others and backpackers are as cheap as they come. They were also in route to Broome, but would have to take the highway with 2WD instead of the famous Gibb River Road than Stacy and I planned to brave with Hercules. Thibaut seemed envious of our 4WD as he wanted to visit the Bungles but again couldn’t with 2WD.
After having a quick side convo with Stacy, I offered to have the two join us for the Bungles trip if they would agree to split the cost of petrol. They loved the idea so we exchanged phone numbers and told them we would call them in a few hours with details once we confirmed if the trip was possible.
We arrived at the visitor’s center only to learn that it is closed on Sundays. There was a note on the door stating that the road to the Bungles had been reopened. We called Shir leaving her a message that we were heading to the Bungles in the morning and to meet us at the campsite in Turkey Creek if they still wanted to join in our adventure.
I was happy to discover that Telstra has a cell phone tower in town, meaning the 3G broadband stick I purchased in Darwin could pick up wi-fi in the area. I decided to hang out on the shady porch of the visitor center and use the Internet while Stacy would fill up the tank and run a few errands. She would fetch me in an hour and we would try to find the secret water hole that she learned about from a local as we were dying for a swim/shower.
While Stacy was gone, I somehow became the representative for the visitor center, happily sharing the information I knew with other travelers who stumbled upon the closed office. I was talking to a German couple when I received a call from Stacy, “Um Kel, you are going to kill me, I did it (GULP) … I locked the keys in the car!”. Luckily we had purchased a roadside assistance plan (RAC) prior to leaving Darwin and they would be able to unlock the car within the hour. Turns out she was at a petrol station about 2K out of town and the nice German couple offered to give me a lift to the station (Guardian Angel #3).
Shir and Thibaut just happened to come into the petrol station, happy to find us there as her phone had no service so they had not received our message. They did want to join us and we decided to meet up at the campsite later.
The RAC man let us into the car and we were on the road again. Stacy was relieved that I wasn’t upset with her for locking the keys in the car and felt bad that we would not have time to go for a swim since we lost two hours of the day due to the car key incident. I wasn’t mad because locking keys in a car is totally something I would do and probably will do before this trip is over. And I pointed out to Stacy that if she hadn’t locked the keys in the car we wouldn’t have been in the petrol station when Shir and Thibaut stopped by and we would have missed out on making two new cool friends and having a great adventure together in the Bungles. I also pondered the idea that perhaps a giant crocodile lived inside the secret watering hole and would have eaten us and this was the universe’s way of saving our lives.
I choose to embrace the unexpected and always trust that life is exactly how it should be and everything happens for a reason.