The “Euro Backpacker” lifestyle of miserable odd jobs punctuated by drinking binges had officially run its course for me on April 18th, when I moved in to Magnus’ place to start my six-month tour of duty with Outback Adventure Treks.
I returned to Airlie Beach early evening. The gods of traveling had decided to punish me for my sins with a bus full of a unusually stinky passengers and some shitastic Richard Gere movie while the end of a hangover buzzed gingerly around my skull.
But I was in a good mood, because Magnus had been kind enough to invite me to join him and his family for dinner to celebrate his birthday as soon as I escaped the clutches of the Premier Bus Service.
Over enchiladas and Coronas I heard some more stories about trucks getting swamped, bones being broken and bikes crossing the desert with rubber clutches. At one point Magnus asked me again if I could ride off-road.
I mean, I yeah… but six months of some of the most grueling motorcycling the world can dish out?
Shit man, I sure hope so!
After dinner Magnus’ wife Wendy drove us back to their house. I was intrigued when the driveway was pretty much impassible, but I was flat-out psyched when we came to a stop in front of what was, for all intents and purposes, a giant garage sub-divided into rooms and powered by a generator humming outside.
It was far and away the coolest residential structure I had ever been in, and I tried to say so to Wendy without sounding sarcastic.
Hopefully my earnestness was conveyed, because I fantasize about living in an airport hanger all the time… my notebooks are filled with sketches of layouts. Hell, I drew one on the bus that afternoon. But I never thought anyone shared sentiment. Forget being able to cook or raise my children, if I ever meet a woman who’s willing to share a roof with my motorcycles I think I’ll know where to stop.
The first event of the season would be the Condo 750 in Condoblion, New South Wales. The Condo is an annual 750 Km desert endurance navigation race in which Magnus would be racing and I would be driving support. We would need to leave the next day, as we had over 2,000 Km to cover- just to the starting line.