The Pacific Ocean was a welcome relief from the last 20 days of unbridled desert dryness as Dim hopped aboard a tour boat headed for the Great Barrier Reef. During that time, Mr. Deter ran into a cast of characters in a world of wonders as he looked back. The group of drunken Aborigines that he helped get back on the road in Western Australia, the Maori bus driver in Darwin that knocked his own front tooth out in a ceremonial ritual. The mechanic, Jack, that fed and housed Dim and later installed a timing chain in the disabled Ford. He requested a small fee for parts and labor so his tip exceeded his bill. Red land formations that looked like cherry whipped creme and was home to the largest kangaroo troops. They inadvertently prompted huge trucks, called road trains, to knock them up to Kangaroo heaven. Critters that slithered, birds that dropped big turds, emus, and dingoes and a bevy of mammals with deep pockets. In the Northern Territory alone, there are 56 species of snakes, and half are poisonous. Mining towns abound and it is hard to find Foster’s beer in most of Australia. The list goes on, but the ink is limited. As the ship chugged through the colored seas, cautions about box jelly fish and sea snakes made it obvious that not only the land animals like crocks and cassowaries can kill you, the sea harbors a mass of malicious murderers too. Turning south towards Brisbane, a stop at a local tire repair store was due. Dim could see the air in the right rear tire as its tread disappeared. As a conversation struck up between Dim and the shop’s owner, Dim’s accent and his last 4 plus weeks in Australia unfolded. The tire tycoon replied, “I always wanted to drive around Australia, and now a guy that came from half a world away is doing it.” Dim got a substantial discount on his new-used tire. On the way out the door, Dim thanked the man and replied, “do it or dream about it.” Dim was now on his way through gum tree canopies towards Brisbane.

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