I have just watched the sun surrender on 2020. Last sunset of an… interesting year. And it turned out to be a spectacular send off. This is despite an Indian gentleman’s initial assessment of it being a rather disappointing sunset. We were on the ‘roof’ of our motel – even though we stood on solid outback ground. The accommodation beneath our feet was in fact a converted opal mine. The White Cliffs Underground Motel. And although the view was magnificent – red soaked soil as dramatic clouds looked on – the faint orange line on the horizon seemed to underwhelm the Indian. I was trying to justify it as still being beautiful when I turned slightly to my right. In the distance was a brilliant scarlet splash. ‘Uh – there’s the sunset! You were looking in the wrong direction. And wow – it’s magnificent!’ Turning, the Indian was surprised to see that he had wrongly maligned what was in fact a stunning farewell to 2020. I then proceeded to take copious photos with my phone, this being one of the few things my iPhone is now any good for. I have no coverage and no internet. My hole in the wall room also has no tv or fridge or toilet. But I love it. Embraced by the earth, I’ve already had a nap – a peaceful post beer snooze. Then went for a walk outside, taking photos of what looked like another planet – as if Mars was colonized by bogan miners. Then I had a decent dinner of chicken schnitzel. I saw an amusing exchange while I was waiting to order. Two Indian guys (yes there does seem to be a disproportionate number of Indian tourists – perhaps taking a quick non-quarantine trip before the upcoming Sydney cricket match) were asking if they could plug in their rice cooker somewhere. This required the fetching of the grey-haired owner, who inquired, ‘So you want to cook your food in our restaurant?’. The Indians thought about this for a moment, nodded their heads and replied, ‘Yes’. Disgruntled, the owner led them to where they could do this. Later, on my way back down from the roof, rich spicy scents drifted through the white-washed old mining tunnels. I’m going to enjoy my stay here.
Lovely story xxx