alien, Daily Prompt, dreams, driving, events, humor, serial fiction, writing

Rigabold: Civilisation…Maybe

Rigabold the pernicketness could see by the maps on his GPS that the town of Penong wasn’t a very big place. It was bigger than the road house communities he’d passed through on Nullarbor, Penong was actually a township, but it was small compared to what most people called a town. Being small meant two things to Rigabold, less chance of getting a good feed of Chiko Rolls and a golf course hole that was easy to find.

The third hole of the Nullarbor Links golf course was named Windmills after the twenty six windmills that stand on ‘Windmill Flats’. The town of Penong still to this day relies mostly on rainfall for it’s water however each house in the town has access to it’s own windmill which can pump water up from the under ground basins. Despite Penong being near the coast and a very windy area the water from the windmills is not always enough and water still needs to be trucked in from the next town along the map.

The history lesson on Rigabold’s GPS was beneficial to help him get a perspective on the third hole of the Nullarbor links and why it was called what it was. Had he not stopped and taken the time to read the screen he would, like many people probably just assumed the hole was named because someone built a windmill farm.

With his pictures and his notes recorded Rigabold got back in the Dodge and continued to head east. He considered stopping at the small roadhouse but despite knowing that the place was open for business it still looked closed and Rigabold didn’t want to interrupt the owner doing whatever it was he was doing to make it look that way.

Ceduna was Rigabold’s next port of call and only about fifty kilometres down the road. As the sun rose higher in the eastern sky and the hour crept towards 10am the road travelling got easier too. The road condition although still not city quality was better, the weather was warming up making it a pleasant drive with the window open, there was almost no wind, and the threat of wandering wildlife lessened as the day grew old. All in all it was wonderful driving conditions and Rigabold relished it.

From the information on his screen Rigabold knew that Ceduna was going to be his first real taste of populous since leaving Perth. Towns like Norseman in Western Australia were relatively large in size but small in number, Ceduna was less spread out but with a population of more than two thousand it was almost like rolling into a city after so many small towns where the population could be counted on two hands.

Ceduna was also a sea port, and a busy sea port, but it was still considered a remote area because of it’s distance to Adelaide, the South Australian capital, it was also quite self sufficient because of the distance. With, service stations, road houses and take away shops Rigabold knew he’d get a good feed of Chiko Rolls somewhere. He also knew he would find the first two holes of the Nullarbor links golf course which would complete that part of his journey, even if it was the part he wasn’t sent to actually cover.

However before Rigabold got into Ceduna he had one other thing that he was required to do, he had to pass through a Quarantine Check point. It was similar to the check point he’d passed at Border Village for west bound traffic into Western Australia however the Ceduna check point was a lot smaller and for east bound traffic. Their job though was still the same, check for fruits, honeys, and other substances that were restricted from being transported between states without the proper permits.

According to the GPS screen in the Dodge the Ceduna Check point wasn’t as rigorous as the Border Village check point in that they did not check for as many varieties of food stuffs but they were still strict about their jobs and what they needed to do to keep food bugs out of their state.

Rigabold pulled up the to checking station, a smallish building on the left hand side of the road about two kilometres out of town, and stopped the Dodge. On his side of the road two uniformed men from the checking station emerged and were headed toward Rigabold’s parked ute and on the opposite side of the road was a building advertising the sale of Oysters. Rigabold wasn’t over interested in Oysters but he was interested in passing the quarantine check without hassle so that he could be on his way.

“Good Morning sir.” the man in the light green uniform shirt and pants with badges that Rigabold didn’t recognise but assumed were related to his job, said as he stepped up to Rigabold’s open window.

“Morning mate!” Rigabold said trying to sound Australian.

“Just a routine quarantine check. Do you have anything to declare?” The man said politely almost as if he hadn’t said the same line a thousand times to a thousand different people in the preceding week.

“Nothing at all.” Rigabold replied.

Rigabold could see that as he spoke to the man at his window the second officer was walking down the passenger side of the vehicle looking in the windows and the rear tub of the ute. It was, according to the GPS’ detailed instructions for getting through the quarantine check, normal behaviour and making a scene was not worth it.

“That’s great.” The man at the door said. “Mind if we have a look in the fridge?”

“Not at all sir, the door’s open, and it’s not locked or anything.” Rigabold replied not worried about what the man or his offsider might see in the special fridge that could create Pollywaffles.

The stop was only a short one, made shorter by simply being polite and not refusing to do anything the men, who were only doing their job, requested and within three minutes Rigabold was once again mobile and headed into town.

Previous Episode here.
First Episode here.


  1. Interesting. I Googled Windmill Flats (because I love windmills), and it is neat they have created a museum of windmills. All the different kinds are interesting to see.
    I also can watch his progress on Google maps. Fun. : ).

    • I must admit, I’ve driven through the place a few times and I had no idea the place was known for such things. I found out via wikipedia 🙂

      • Yea, the story is enlightening for you too! Cheers to Chiko Rolls. : )

        • We have been pretty much everywhere the Alien goes but the thing is the drive from here to Perth is 4000 kilometres (2500 miles) and I really don’t like stopping for sight seeing when I do it so things like a windmill farm easily pass us by. Even when it comes to the golf course I think I’ve only seen two holes of the entire course.

          • Wow, 2500 miles is a long, long way; even for me – who enjoys a road trip. Yes, if you stop much on those super long treks, they take forever.
            I’m enjoying the sightseeing trip.

            • When we do that trip we do it in 4 days. The holiday is at one end, home is at the other. We stop for food and fuel and little else other that the motel room before dinner. It’s a barren wasteland out there. Driving at night is stupid and often dangerous and I have my preferred overnight stops. While there is things to see out there I see no point in spending time sight seeing, I’d rather just get to the final stop for the day and put my feet up.

              • Spoken like a man, although I do understand the perspective. Sometimes you can make those sightseeing trips different destinations.
                I will enjoy the story’s journey.

                • My wife must speak in a man’s voice then 😛 (although she doesn’t drive so it’s mostly my choice). No point stopping when the holiday is at the end of the road. The idea is to get to the destination and relax and when 8 days of any holiday is spent in the car making that longer by sight seeing is not enjoyable. It’s different on a driving holiday where it’s a different room every night, but driving across the country to us is just a means to get to a holiday, some fly, we drive. Holiday starts when we arrive.

  2. Sounds like a great holiday. How about a bullet train? Zoom, zoom …

    • Various mobs have tried to make a Super Fast Train in this country for 40 years and we still haven’t got one. In this country by the time we add airfares, parking etc etc in it’s actually cheaper to drive than it is fly. The train takes 3 days to do the trip and if you want a sleeping cabin, not just an upright seat, it’s still cheaper to drive. Besides driving means four days less with my in-laws 😛

  3. How often do you go?

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