We have just pulled into a rest area at Cherrypool around 30 minutes drive south of Horsham. We intended to put the kettle on and make smooshed banana & peanut butter sandwiches (dusted with cinnamon of course) before continuing north. But this is such a picturesque and peaceful campsite right beside the river that we will probably stay here tonight.
Early afternoon and it’s already chilly at 12 Celsius, but fortuitously there is a small firepit and supply of wood right outside our door. So if it’s not too wet and the rain holds off (50/50 chance I reckon), we might just have a fire tonight.
Kelly and Juno have curled up under a blanket on the bed. We have no internet signal here and the only sounds are woodland and water, and the occasional crumple-swish of Kelly turning a page of her magazine. It is a total forest bathing of ASMR.
The heap of stripped red-gum bark and branches is sodden and it takes significant coaxing to build the small fire. At first, our carefully constructed teepee is a smoke machine. Much animated arguing over the best way to build a fire and the correct ingredients to set the tinder before we try Fire 2.0, a committee approach …that only chases us away with improved smoke & advanced eye tracking technology.
Eventually though, we smell of the bush, the fire takes, and we sit quietly as it snaps and cracks and sizzles, and we sip wine, and a growing bed of coals throws warm orange light across our faces, and we stare into nature’s infinite scroll, and the sun soon sets and fish jump across the stillness.
At the far end of the rest area, there are some public toilets. The structure itself is quite new and it contains drop or pit type facilities.
I am late for my morning business meeting. So I hurry in.
OK. Do not be fooled by the harmless facade. Something terrible has happened here.
Some sort of obnoxicating olfactory evil.
Some sort of eviscerating excremental cataclysm.
Some sort of rectitudinal non-linear expulsion that has opened a portal to the very back passages of hell itself.
I have used plenty of drop toilets in my time but trust me…you do not want to go there. Ever.