Category Archives: Melbourne Adelaide

This is my diary of Melbourne to Adelaide Trip

Riversedge Caravan Park – Baron Harkonen

I decided to wait a day before I wrote this entry. This is less an entry than a condemnation.

I have found that fundamentally all through my trip that I have been blessed with meeting kind and decent people.

By and large we are good folk and this is a great country. We have strong values about fairness and looking after each other.

Faces come to me. A hand shake here. An offered drink or meal. Just a conversation in passing.Everywhere a keen suggestion to keep going.

When you see the good you have a stronger reaction against the bad.

So I will be as honest as I can about the bad I just saw. Maybe I just have clearer eyes.

I think we have all been in the situation where we are confronted with the disabled or homeless or a medical situation where we are either afraid or overwhelmed or as has often been my case just -to- damn busy to step in.

Often it seems like the responsibilty to act should belong to someone else. We develop a whole series of mechanisms to walk on by.

In cities the cost of intervention can often be quite real and dangerous. We have a mindset that someone else will fix the problems. I say this because I want to make it clear I am no guardian angel.

But then sometimes you are presented with situations where you have long enough and are in a secure enough position to -do- something and if you choose not to then you really are a loathsome human being and should spend some time on some serious reflection.

Like the owner of Rivers Edge Caravan park. I am going to just say it. Your an awful person. I hope people read this and decide to go somewhere else aside from your park. I hope your lack of charity costs you.

What I saw incensed me so much I am going to call this out and relate exactly what I just witnessed.

So let me try and relate this.

So I had just paid for two nights and I am setting up my tent and I see this old guy. It did not register at first but he had clearly been beaten and was homeless and suffering dimentia.

One of his eyes was totally messed up. It seemed he probably had not washed for days. He had come in to the caravan park on a three wheeled bicycle loaded with all his things.

I am probably so wild looking myself that he seemed normal!

But none of this really registered until later.

He was walking around lost and confused.

At some point he asked the park staff , ‘Have you seen may bags? Put them by the power. Please help me out. . .’

No effort was made at this point to walk around and look. I suspect they actually threw his gear out or he had been beaten or robbed days ago and had just lost track of time.

Regardless I said, ‘I will walk around and have a look for you. What do they look like? Retraced your steps?’

Now if I had known at this point he was suffering dimentia and crazy I might have excused myself but I didn’t. So I walk around and see he has left things all over the place and figure out he is a bit mad and that the missing items may not even exist or are changing from moment to moment. This could have been going on for days.

10 minutes of that seemed enough to confirm this and I left him to it.

Over the course of the day he continued to wander and got steadily more irrate. No one came to help him. No one so much as suggested that he sit down and have a cup of tea.

It seemed he really had lost something. He didn’t put up a tent. He just sat in the caravan park kitchen. As it got dark he began to curse and mutter. Eventually he started to cook something.

He kept repeating that all his ‘supplies’ had been stolen. I think all his loss was very real and that his sense of time was all messed up. As I rolled over to go to sleep the smell of whatever he was cooking was like rotting garbage.

Maybe it was what he was cooking from the bins. He turned on the TV. It was then that either the caravan park owner or caravan park manager came over and turned off the power on him. As it got dark he began to curse and rant. As it went on he became steadily more irrate. Eventually the caravan park owner is +60 fat with beady little red eyes ( entirely filling in his stereotype as a phobic uncaring selfish individual ) came over on his quadbike and said, ‘This is not a bedroom. This is a kitchen. Now piss off!’ To which this old fellow replied , ‘Please have you seen my gear? Please mate?’ And I can see now he was trying to hold on to whatever sense of civility he had left.

After this he lost it. Began to cry. Curse. Scream about murdering people. Crying gurgling howling sounds.

I lay in my tent hoping someone else would -do- something. After a bit I indentified that this was because I was afraid. He sounded so crazy that if I went near him he would just kill me.

This went on for about an hour. No one responded. No one came. Remember how in a city someone else will always -do- something.

I want if I can to somehow relate the dignity of this guy. He had clearly been beaten. He had lost his gear. He didn’t have a comfortable tent to sleep in. He was holed up because he had lost some part of his mind and had nowhere else to go.

I wasn’t sure what he had lost but I supposed whatever it was couldn’t have been all that flash or expensive. Food. Clothing.

So I got up and dug out some money to give him. Such a classic city response. 50 bucks is half a new tent!

Absolve personal responsibility and guilt with money. It didn’t feel like that at the time of course. I was responding in a way I thought was helpful.

But his response was absolutely noble and fundamental.

‘Don’t want money! Don’t accept charity. Seen my bags? Just want my stuff!’

I was just scared then. A lot of -fine-spite-yourself-then- . . . so I left him to it.

The next day he was wandering around again. He clearly had lost the ability to respond to crisis with a plan. Just going in a circle.

He asked me sometimes hopefully , ‘Seen my things?’. Raved and cursed.

At some point he asked me , ‘Know anything about bicycle wheels?’ Of course I do.

I lied, ‘Nope cannot help you. . ‘ This was a response to the rejected charity.

But I hope I have managed to get across some of the plight of a person like this. He was just old and lost and angry but when confronted with charity he conserved his dignity.

Through all of this I also worried that he might steal my things. Of course he didn’t. All he wanted was his stuff back real or imagined.

Of course the caravan park owner ignored him. At least until that evening.

He came over on the quadbike. ‘Mate get the hell out of here. Your a parasite. Your finished mate. Tomorrow your out of here. Fuck off. . .’ And rode off.

I was incensed at this point. If you run something like a caravan park you have a responsibility. Not just to show some kindness when presented with an incident like this but to your other guests to. We all do to each other for hecks sake.

What if this old guy just lost the plot and in a disconnected rage hurt someone.

I determined that in the morning I would go get my supplies and if the old guy was still around when I got back I would -do- something.

It took awhile right. But see how you can learn to do a bit better and take that if you can.

So I went and did my shopping. Came back. Old guy was still in the same place.

So I walked over to the caravan park manager in her van and said ,

‘I see he is still here. What do you think I/We should do about him?’

I put an emphasis on I. Give me some suggestions about your town and services and I will do something. I really give a fuck just point me in the right direction. I just take a bit to get started. I am working on that bit now.

She was quite reasonable. We talked about maybe calling an aged health care service or the Sally’s. Something.

That would result in an effort to at least get him some new gear.

It was then that the caravan park owner climbed in the van.

I wish I could describe him. Just a repulsive nasty human being.

It was in his eyes. Not a single drop of compassion in them.

Just blood shot and nasty.

‘What are you to fucking talking about?’ , he snapped.

The caravan park manager just switched off.

Her job after all probably on the line then.

I said ,

‘Mate we are talking about what to do about the homeless deranged old guy in your caravan park. . . .’

He snorted in disgust , ‘Not my bloody problem mate. What can you do? Chuck him out!!!!’

I just lost it at this point. To be confronted by such a vile attitude. I thought about all the decent kind people I had met.

Just one fat arsehole like this can undo the charity of a hundred decent people.

This bag of pustulant selfish self pursing scum. A big difference exists between being afraid or not knowing what to do and being what the owner of this park is. A whole new level of rotten.

I wanted to reach through the window and drive my fingers in to his fat repulsive windpipe and crush till his selfish eyes were turned off for all of you. The good people who have worked a lot harder than me to be kind and compassionate.

Who would turn down the chance to knock off Baron Harkonen? What I was looking at was the death of true blue.

He said to me, ‘And who the fucking hell are you anyway? I see you with your faggot hands. This is -MY- Caravan park and I don’t need you fcking telling me what to do in it. . .’

So uncaring. So unreasonable. But his response said it all. What is wrong with being gay or black or.anything. An individual that thinks this is still an effective insult in this world is nothing to care for.

It made me smile. All the distance I have come. My ‘faggot’ hands have done up bolts put in fences a lot more besides.

And you know I hadn’t even asked him to sort it out this poor old guy really.

I had really come I think for some direction. So I at this point I let him have it.

I said, ‘Mate I am someone that cares for other people. It is a thing real Australians do. You on the other hand are just fat scum and fundamentally and obviously an uncaring individual and my faggot hands as you called them are worth ten of yours. You are not true blue. I am writing a blog ( a diary because you most likely have no clue what it is ) and by this time tomorrow evening I am sure at least a few thousand people would have read about how you treat the elderly and disabled in Talems Bend. I will also be sending a letter to your local rag describing this incident. So my faggot hands as you can see do pretty well. . . .’

At that point his mouth dropped open. His little piggy eyes were calculating.

Then I followed up,

‘I hope one day you also end up old and lost and alone. .’

He laughed at this but I could see the fear in him. He wasn’t healthy. Fat. Jowled. I could see the death for him. Like a claw. Gasping out his last somewhere. Probably a stroke most likely. GOOD!

I went and packed up my gear and looked around but the old homeless guy had already gone. I passed him awhile later. Dragging his load of things. Wished him well.

Maybe he had a bike problem. I don’t know. I did not stop. At least he was moving and the sun was shining. He is probably still on that road somewhere dragging along his stuff. But I respect him. His hands are worth 50 of mine.

People will drive past. We all drive past. I rode

And as for the arsehole that owns the riversedge caravan park.

Well to avoid him ( ) you can cross the Jervois ferry for free and drive another 20 minutes to the lovely campsite in Wellington.

Quiet and not on the main truck route. Cheaper to and the toilets and showers are clean. .

And if this story bothered you maybe drop the uncaring old bastard an email :

Because karma is sweet and we have a lot of eyes in this world to look on our selfishness and poor deeds. . .

Day 13

Right so today I am going to ride out to hwy and then to whatever town is closer. Pretty sure it will be Wedderburn. My plan is to charge phone and order tires in to post office.

This means I will be stuck in Gabyln for a bit. 

Without the cart I whizz down the hwy. Just want to sort this out. Not worried about conserving fuel or the scenery at this point. I also need water. I have just about used up my ten liters. Covrr the 30k to Wedderburn.

Go in to post office. Lady gives me post office details but also suggests they have a dunlop tire center.

Handy. Yes indeed they do all sorts of wheels. No he has none in stock but he can ring a friend of a friend.

So I spend the day in Wedderburn. I park my bike outside the dunlop shop and gradually stack up a pile of supplies. Food. Water. Petrol.

At some point the local patrol pulls past and he does a double take at my bike. But you know it is fitted with the restriction kit and fully complies with the intent of the law.

He then goes and parks hopefully in the park across the road and watches. I keep going and returning with more stuff. Quite what he expects me to do I am not sure. Perhaps a burnout with all of my supplies and then a jump over a flower bed?

Anyway gets to about 3PM. I see the cop is gone but another patrol car is parked at the turn off to the Calder Hwy.

I find this all very obvious and entertaining.

My tires arrive. They are all old or stretched but in a pinch this will get me through. Thank the Dunlop man as he has just saved my butt.

I spend the next 30 minites or so hanging stuff all over the bike putting it my pack and hanging stuff off every available spot I can find. I have stocked up on a bunch of stuff and I am going to be going nowhere quickly.

I heave myself on to bike tires hanging off my bag. Four liters of water in a tank strapped to my chest. I muzt look like some sort of human shopping basket.

Then I very carefully pedal out and cross over the road and make my turn off on to the Calder. Policeman does not follow me. His car is empty. Must have got bored.

I decide this is really a rather nice day and I like the challenge so I decide to pedal the whole 30k back to the campsite.

At some point the first patrol car I saw passes me going the other direction.

I am bent over looking at my front wheel and nothing else. Sweat is dripping off the tip of nose on to the tire. This is a long slow climb and you know with the motor yiur always dragging a tiny bit of clutch and the weight of that other chain.

Patrol car comes back this time right next to me. He slows for a bit. I am not sure what law he is hoping I will break. Maybe I will suddenly do a wheelie with my enormously powerful 200W motor and fly away.

I can tell by the way that he whizzes off that my full compliance with the law has probably wasted several hours lf his day and left him unsatisfied with the unfinished blue helmeted potential of my unusual vehicle that might otherwise have been.

This results in a deep grin on my face which I keep for the rest of the day.

Day 12

Whike drifting off to sleep I form a new plan. I have looked at map and I think I see another campsite. This one is close to the Calder Hwy and Wedderburn. But I will need to get the wheel coaxed one last section. I have an idea of just how this will go. I will stuff a tube with knots of fabric from a t-shirt and stitch it and the remains of the tire in to a super tire. All this would be fine if Kooyoora was actually still a campsite.

Wake up with dawn. Didn’t bring any needles. No problem I make one from a fish hook. The eye on one end makes it a bit of a pain to pull through rubber of tube but it will get by.

No thread ( actually it turns out later I did put a needle and thread in my medical kit ) but I do have floss.

I spend the next hour with the leatherman making a stack of tiny knotted balls. I cut up an old thermal shirt which has seen better days but the material is super tough.

I take one of my blown tubes ( 16×2.125 ) and cut a small hole in the backside. I then begin to pack it with the cloth. This takes patience and a long time to stop it all bunching up. I make a small tool out of a bit of tubing I magpied at Mt Franklin to do this.

In the end I have a tube which is really quite impressive. It is a bit like one of those no puncture tubes which are really just a solid core.

Next up I put the remains of the tire back on the rim and push the tube in. The tire is really jsut gone. It has just destroyed itself. To fill it in I then I begin to stitch and wrap with insulation tape. I basically just bind the whole lot together around the rim.

In the end I have a wheel. It will roll. This is the last stage. If I don’t locate a campsite before it comes apart this will not be pretty.

Leave the cart good go and go off to find a campsite. No point dragging it around until I have somewhere to go. All the signs here are either missing pointing in the wrong direction or incorrect. The sign which says , ‘Kooyoora Camping Ground’ which I follow for 20 minutes with a sense of elation ultimately just leads me back to where I started.

I then hear a train. Even in the national parks you often do. A train can be 30-40km away and you will still hear them. Especially the horns. I remember on the map before my phone ran out of power that I had seen campsite close to a train station. So that is where I head. After about 40 minutes come to another national park.

Gabalyn. I am about to give up when I see a broken sign laying in bushes.

“Gabyln Campsite”

Great. No water or anything but a place to put up tent.

Back for my gear I go . . .

Another hour spent nursing this mess to camp. Holds together really well. Could actually get the heck out of here on it but decide not to risk it.

Tomorrow I will head out to the Calder Hwy which I am pretty sure is not to far away.

As I go to sleep I can hear the trains now loud and clear.