Having satisfied Sergeant Carroll with the right answers and the subsequent passing of the road side attitude test, as well as the breathalyser, Rigabold the pernicketness completed his first big decision and munched his way into another Chiko Roll. As me munched it left him with one other decision that needed to be made, a decision nearly as big as the Chiko Roll one.
Should he go straight ahead at the intersection three hundred metres ahead, should he turn right, or should he turn left.
A simple idea of geography would tell anyone that a turn to the left would mean heading north into the bleak nothingness that was the South Australian outback, an area so vast that a person could go days without seeing another soul. Although nothingness didn’t really bother Rigabold the north really didn’t do much for him, he needed to be on the east coast of the country, heading into the central interior did not make heading east any quicker or easier. Something else that didn’t make heading north easier was that there was no road, sure he could make his own but there really didn’t seem to be a need for that. Making his own road was probably something Sergeant Carroll, who was still down the road watching for any speeders and no doubt watching Rigabold, would probably frown upon too and there was no need to upset the Sergeant after he was so polite.
That left two other options, the path straight and a turn to the right. A turn to the right would take Rigabold down around the eastern edge of the Great Australian Bight and towards the Eyre Peninsula. By all reports it was a stunning area that offered beaches, wonderful scenery, plenty of old towns and old stories and some really good surfing.
Surfing, or as Tumcuddulan’s called it, wave skiing, was a favourite pastime of most Tumcuddulan’s with the beaches and oceans often so crowded that riding your own wave was impossible. However Rigabold had not brought his wave skier because when he suggested to the powers that be it would be a good idea given that Australia has some of the best beaches on Earth, he was told that his trip was for business not leisure. That annoyed Rigabold a little bit because everyone needed a little down time, but he also understood that his bosses didn’t want him goofing off too much and the Aussie waves could do that to even a Tumcuddulan. He did briefly consider the option of hiring one of those fibreglass boards that Earthlings use to ski the waves but they were so big and bulky that it seemed like the fun level just wouldn’t be the same. If fact the fun levels of wave skiing in a human body would also not be that high given the clumsiness of the human shape and size.
In the end the decision to travel south was overruled simply because of time. He’d already spent a bit too much time on the road and spending more on an endless wave skiing adventure could see him get in more trouble that it was worth. The not so subtle reminder from his friend Flugglenuff only that morning that he need not have flown the Stargazer to outback Western Australia to hide it when there was a vast ocean on the east coast of the country which would have cut his trip down dramatically was also still weighing on his mind.
So for that reason it was decided he would take the straight road and head in a more direct route to where he needed to be.
Although the towns on the eastern side of Ceduna were closer together there was still a bit of distance between them and as Rigabold headed roughly due east his GPS told him he had about a third of a quagnackle until he got to the next town.
In forty three degree heat Riagbold cruised along the Eyre Highway. The speed limit was a third of a quagnackle but since the Dodge’s speedometer was in real Earth distance measurements Rigabold read that speed limit to be 100 kilometres per hour. Although he didn’t expect anything to go wrong with the Dodge purely because it was hot he wasn’t going to risk anything and he cruised at about eight kilometres below the speed limit not stressing the engine or the other parts of the vehicle.
Not that any sane motorist likes breakdowns but Rigabold didn’t fear a breakdown, he was competent in mechanics and knew how to repair anything under the bonnet of the Dodge. It helped that his Dodge had been modified and the standard diesel engine had been replaced with a Tumcuddulan power plant that had few moving parts and only required a single twelve millimetre spanner to repair. But the bigger reason why Rigabold didn’t want to breakdown and be fixing his Dodge on the side of the road was because he didn’t want prying eyes of the helpful traveller who pulled over to offer assistance to see just what was under the bonnet.
It was hard to not notice the change in his surrounds between the roads Rigabold had been on since leaving Wave Rock in Western Australia the morning before and the roads east of Ceduna. The roads across the Nullarbor had been barren, the trees and shrubs spread out, the land flat and in any direction one could see almost forever, especially with Tumcuddulan eyes. On the roads east of Ceduna there was hills, more vehicles and trees, the strangest of which was the trees. Having spent so long in barren areas suddenly seeing so many trees along the road side, even the small bushy scrub like trees, felt a bit enclosed and covered in, it was kind of like spending a whole day in the open and then driving into a tunnel without a roof.
It was as Rigabold approached the small town of Wirrulla that he came upon a big secret!