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Australia, March 20, 2000

Doing the Hitch-Dance

I even shake my bootie to get a ride in Oz

Please, please pick me up someone!
Shaking that ass
Yes, I just had to take the tourist pick
Half-way there!
A very long way from anything you could call home
A lonely road
From all the emails I've received, I know your wondering how I'm doing with the hitchhiking. Well, so far I've made great time across this country. I'm in Adelaide now, about 1/3 the way to Perth, after starting on the 8th, and I've spent two days in Melbourne and in Camberra to boot.

Opposite to what most Aussies think, I'm not catching rides with truckers. They're usually to busy or too professional (driving is their job, ya'know) to bother with hitchers. I'm finding much better luck with random car drivers.

Standing where they'll notice me, I hold out my sign and dance around, making eye contact so, as my dad says, "making them turn me down." This usually gets me a ride in ten minutes or less, and usually all the way to my destination. Each diver has oddly said they'd never hitch themselves, but that they used to pick up hitchers when it was common. I guess it's a control issue.

Some cars passing by don't have control issues, especially the handful at each place I hitch who shout encouragement's or hand me drinks in solidarity with my efforts. Australia is definitely a friendly place.

I'm planning to attempt the next leg, 1,500 miles (think Moscow to Lisbon) of sparsely populated desert, this Wednesday. It should take me four days of hitching to get to the Indian Ocean, and yes, Sean, I'm gonna take plenty of water.

Midweek Update: In Esperance, and watching footie

Bet your wondering what that means! Well, Esperance is a town in the far southwest corner of Oz, I am here after my ride from Port Augusta, 24 hours, one cliff-side desert road, and a kangaroo mob from here, took me home to his family.

Graham is a big footie (Aussie Rules Football) fan and he described all the rules as I watched a game last night. Quite an interesting mix of soccer and rugby played on a cricket field. If you ever get the chance, ya outta see it!

And if you're ever on the West Coast of Australia, you should stop by this fun little town. I wasn't planning to go this way, but luckily Graham talked me into it, and I am glad. With beautiful white sand and blue water beaches at the bottom of steep cliffs, it is a relief to my red-desert overloaded eyes.

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