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Sydney to Brisbane

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From the ninth floor of an hostel in the middle of Sydney, lying in the swimming-pool, while I’m reading a book, my journey begins. I have left Melbourne less than 24 hours ago, working until the very last moment, and now here I am, surrounded by tourists and travellers, intent on telling tales and on planning the next stages of my journey. I have 2 days to reach Brisbane, attend to the last formality, and then, finally, on December 19, I’m going to set out  toward Singapore. Two weeks of sailing, no slipways and no harbors, I’m going to touch the ground again when the 2010 will give the way to the new year, another year full of projects for me, and places to visit.

I’m walking in Sydney, giving a last glance to the Opera House. Strolling through the botanical garden with an English boy with African descent, I find out this guy lives in a street very close to where I've lived in London for 5 months. We discuss with ease about social and economic differences between Australia and Europe, about the question of the Aborigines, on African conditions.

And always naturally, after a long walk together, I greet him to sit in the shade of a tree on a lawn thick and soft, resting a bit . Freedom. I’m free to speak with someone, but at the same time I have my space, to live my moments, while in my head so many thoughts are flowing, so much that I could never express with words, I can just represent them with  my body and emotions. When it’s dark I come back to the hostel to enjoy a good sandwich, and I decide to end the evening going to bed, when many boys begin the nightlife.

The alarm rings at 5 am, without me had been being able to sleep much, but unfortunately when you share a room with seven other people, it  is something you have to take into account. My things packed together, mostly I just have to fix the camera and the computer, and I'm ready to leave for Brisbane. I considered both the possibility to reach it by train and by bus, but the idea  to travel during the day  doesn’t  fascinate me, so, driven by the adrenaline of starting a new journey, I reach the outskirts of the city by underground and from there I start to walk towards north, for the highway. Along the way, I find one of those big paper bags for the bread, I tear a piece, I get in a bar and I kindly ask to borrow a pen, writing BRISBANE on that, my goal. At this point I'm ready to lurk at the entrance of the highway. After less than five minutes, a car approaches, at the guide there is a man. With a slightly unkempt beard, and distinctly dressed with an odd tic in the mouth, which sometimes makes him arched it on the right side. He works in Sydney for three days a week and the rest of the time is spent with his family in a house on the north coast, where he takes care of his passions, including the horses. He 's a pleasant traveling company, who unfortunately can not give me a ride more than a few tens of kilometers, doubling the length of his journey to home. He  leave me in a service station that seems to be a hub for many machines, well, I just have to find the next ride. I get the exit, waiting to know my new driver, and after a long parade of cars, each of which seems amused by my presence, waving and smiling at me, finally someone beckons me to climb. I can’t let them to repeat it twice, I get the car, placing the backpack on my legs, and go. Vic, at least this should be an abbreviation of his name, lives in Singapore, has Indian origins, and he is in Australia for three months to work, to follow some of its customers, does not tell me specifically what it does and I do not ask to not be intrusive. We cover more than 100 km along when it comes the point to greet each other because there are no short-service stations or rest areas, Iask him to let me in the highway, hoping to stop a few cars entering. Unfortunately, there are no points where cars can stop. Walking under a scorching sun that starts to be unbearable, I find a roundabout, followed by a small open space of land. I wait for an hour, but nobody wants to stop, except a guy who is heading the south; until the roundabout the road is shared so the chances that cars stop going in other directions is high. I keep on waiting until a white van makes a dangerous maneuver, a sign that the point where I stopped is not very accessible, and it  stops itself a few meters from me. Nothing to do, this car goes to Sydney, I keep a little 'talk to the driver, until I convince myself to get on board, I need to go back on the highway, but of course in this way I will end on the wrong side of the road, and I will need to cross two lanes with three lanes each and I can’t, so I get off the car at the foot of a bridge, go back walking against traffic on the grass, and I continue to hitchhike on top of it. I see so dramatically decrease the percentage of cars passing the street, however, the highway would not improve my chances, because of the high speed of the cars.

After about half an hour, a truck stops and granted my request to be taken to a service station. In part because I’m tired, partly because the old man speaks with an accent very close, I can not understand many parts of our conversation. After thanking him for the ride, I begin my search starting from a number of parked trucks. None of the drivers seems to behave in a friendly way, most get rid of me saying that the company does not allow them to carry passengers, and among people who bring gasoline, so strange, they all go somewhere other than my destination. The worst part is that when you approach someone, you can see all his distrust even before you spoke. I keep on trying, as long as the sun fades more and more, than I decided to give up. There will be time for one last rider with an attractive girl, who drives barefoot in an old car, held in a very caotic way , she leads me to the nearest station, from where I take a train to cover ,during the night, the distance left to Brisbane. At the end I could take the train from Sydney this morning, but by doing so I would not have met these five people, I would not have discovered these small businesses.


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Chi Sono

Mi chiamo Stefano Bonanni, classe 1985, sono un mediatore interculturale laureato in Scienze per la Pace. Tra il 2009 e il 2012 ho viaggiato via terra dall'Italia all'Asia, ho attraversato la Russia in treno, girato per i deserti della Mongolia in una jeep, pedalato su di una Mtb in Vietnam, Cambogia, Thailandia. Viaggiato su navi intorno l'Indonesia raggiungendo le Filippine. Ho girato l'Australia in macchina e sono tornato di nuovo in Asia su di una nave merci, da dove ho ripreso il mio viaggio verso l'Italia, passando per le vette della Cina del Pakistan e del Nepal, gli asharam indiani, il Kurdistan, la Giordania, la Palestina, e l'Egitto.