I reckon five million stars are better than five stars any day.
I was raised in the city, my parents and I usually stayed in motels when we traveled and through my business life, I have generally stayed in fairly good hotels.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like a special five star treat, particularly when my wife and I get to travel interstate or overseas. But… have you ever taken the time to look up, beyond the city smog and gaze into the stars?
Many years ago my wife Pat and I were traveling to Coober Pedy from the Flinders Ranges, for an extended Easter break.
We were making good time, and after the obligatory stop at the William Creek Pub for a lemonade and to gawk at all bits and pieces adorning the walls, we headed on, not thinking about the time.
Our travel buddies on this trip, John and Liz, also towed a tent trailer, so when happy hour beckoned, we found a suitable camp spot and set up for the night. By the way we always like to travel with other people when we are heading bush, if we are out of phone range and something should unforseen happen, an extra pair of hands comes in ‘handy’ I guess.
Now, by setting up for the night, I mean, leaving vehicles and trailers hitched, one old three legged gas bbq, some snags and a bottle of red (or two). Keeping it simple.
As always, conversation started about the amazing country we live in, the sites and sounds we encounter. This was a bit weird through, sure we had the sites, but the sounds were, well, minimal.
The flies buzzed and an occasional bird in the distance called out for what ever they call out for… that was it.
We almost felt like intruders, with loud chatter, the sizzle of the barby and the beautiful noise the red wine makes as it pours and of-course laughter probably traveling for many kilometres.
So, with all chairs in a row, we seemed to fall silent as darkness surrounded us.
Heads back and gazing skyward, the sight will always remain with us.
So many stars that you could almost touch (they seemed that close), so bright, different shapes and sizes, shooting stars, satellites and an occasional plane in the distance (was it a plane). This was the moment I fell in love with camping, the outback of this amazing country, Australia, a moment to reflect on the universe and possibility of life on other planets.
I should have put on some appropriate classical music. Not tonight, silence the best beat to have on this occasion, with an occasional ooh and aah, or did you see that?