serendipity: “The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.”
My little adventure was off to a slow start. A late night/early morning drinking and chatting meant my northern departure was delayed. After driving the most boring road in the country (the Bruce Highway) for five-and-a-half hours I’d had enough. I checked into a dodgy motel in Australia’s beef capital, Rockhampton.
200km behind schedule and a little knackered I walked into the Great Western Hotel, a brilliant pub with the heads of stuffed bulls ‘decorating’ the walls as well as dozens of photos of bull riders in action. Out the back is a huge bull riding arena. I think you’d struggle to find a vegetarian meal in this pub.
I instantly recognised a guy at the bar. I worked with him 16 years ago. “Lisa!,” he excitedly said as he opened his arms. A hug from him was quite a treat. He is a favourite of many. A kind, gentle nature, sparkling eyes, and a genuine smile has always made the girls swoon. Now in his mid-40s, with a peppering of grey, he still makes the girls swoon. SWOON.
A 15-minute chat followed as we stood at the bar, him with a lemon lime and bitters, me with a scotch. He’d just finished walking across the Simpson desert, fundraising for YoungCare. He and his adult son rode motorbikes around Cambodia – his son decided to stay. Mr Swoon plans on retiring soon, moving down to the coast with his new partner, and going off the grid. His prognosis is two-eight years, thanks to a brain tumour.
He told me of his adventure plans. Among them are Cradle Mountain and Everest.
“You’ve got to live life, Lisa.”
I smiled and nodded. Yes, yes you do.