Day 10…

TITLE: Rest Day

We’d been given a little room each at The Heartbreak Hotel and with a day to ourselves I chose to spend mine writing for the most part. People came and went during the day, some just passing through, others settling in for a night or two before continuing on their way.

They say it takes a certain kind of person to love this land, for people to come to terms with the remote and sometimes harsh environment. “The Heartbreak Hotel,” an established icon in these parts gives weary travellers a reprieve and before long they’re all ready to hit the road once more.

The day began having been woken by a nearby traveller coughing for the best part of thirty minutes. I’d have gotten up to see if he was alright but I figured while he was coughing he was probably okay – plus I could hear the cigarette lighter getting a work out. Nevertheless I couldn’t go back to sleep and so showered and parked myself at the table out the front of my room to write – until it got so hot I needed to relocate.

Come midday Fred escorted me up to the “phone box,” this being the nearby hill upon which (once you’ve scrambled to the top of) you’ll be rewarded with two sticks of reception. Enough to receive messages and post an Instagram photo or two.

There’s a chair up there, and a few dozen empty tinnies. Clearly it’s frequented by locals and tourists alike – there’s no reception at The Heartbreak Hotel but you can purchase WiFi and a mini hike up the hill makes whoever you’re calling feel pretty special. You’re standing on a rock on a massive pile of bigger rocks having made your way up the overgrown path in thongs, silly really when being bitten by a snake in these parts would be most inconvenient.

Beer o’clock comes around early here, I met Jase at the bar that afternoon. He was already there so technically I was late. My laptop was becoming quite at home in a bar but it wasn’t long before I got sidetracked and writing took a backseat for the rest of the evening. Jase was chatting with “Bazza.” Bazza was in his 70s and spent the winter travelling through warmer climates. We spoke with him for hours, the afternoon turned into evening and before we knew it we’d missed dinner. He told stories of his time on the road, of losing his wife and daughter in a car accident and the various places he had worked along the way. His face came alive when he laughed and his smile lit up the room – his enthusiasm for life was infectious.

The dart board beckoned. I’d not played darts for years and could only recall playing once, at my cousin’s place when I was just a kid. The normal technique for throwing a dart was lost on me, too restrictive I thought. I threw mine like a baseball player, left knee up, right arm back with dart in hard, left arm out in front for balance and then *THUNK, the dart would hit the board. Where on the board it hit I didn’t mind, I wasn’t playing to win so a good score was simply a bonus! The odd one went astray and ricocheted off the tin wall behind, a couple of the men at the bar seemed to be reconsidering sitting so close. Can’t say I blame them.

We had tinned spaghetti and meatballs for dinner from the back of the Prado.

TIP: You’d be better off just going to bed than having tinned spaghetti and meatballs.

TRACK: Boy & Bear – Walk the Wire

KMS: None today

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