Have you ever had one of those moments in your life when you thought you were going to die? Well, up until October 6th, 2012, I had been lucky enough to avoid any near death experiences and, until it actually happens, until I actually die, I hope that I never have to go through anything like it ever again. It was the single, most terrifying experience of my life.
You know those roads where it is so far between towns that they have to purposely build petrol stations? That’s the kind of road we were on. We were at that stage of the road trip where the excitement was starting to wane, but we weren’t close enough to our destination for the excitement to flare up again. We had been on the same stretch of road for the past few hours and nothing noteworthy had happened… Well, unless you count us singing (making up the words) to Tintarella De Luna at the top of our lungs. Suddenly, out of the nowhere, a swarm of bikies surrounded us. The sound of hundreds of motorbikes is indescribable and something that will forever send a shiver up my spine. When we recognised the logo on the back of the thick leather jackets as a well known Aussie bikie gang (we will not disclose the name for fear that we will be hunted down and murdered), our hearts started thudding in our chests. What were we to do? Should we pull over, would that make us targets? Panic set in, Rachel was driving but when she started sobbing uncontrollably, I had to reach over and take the wheel. I glanced out the window and my eyes locked with one of the gang. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was a hardened criminal. He must have seen my fear, and maybe that’s all they came for, because they then left as quickly as they had came to start terrorising another vehicle and we were left try to pick up the pieces of our shattered existence. We thought that was the last of it until we drove over a bridge and saw an abandoned bike on the side of the road. And then, on the river bank, we saw it. We won’t go into detail, it was horrific, but we knew that the bikie gang had disposed of one of their own. Again, we were struck with the question of what to do. It was clear that there was no way we would be helping the poor chap, the question was whether or not to ditch our car, change our identities and start a new life. We were pondering this difficult decision when we saw the police vehicles driving towards us. It was like a mirage and we couldn’t quite believe it. But then, like the sound of angels, we heard the sirens and we knew that they were real and that we were safe. Nevertheless, we were too afraid to rat anybody out, so when we were stopped and interrogated by at least 12 uniformed officers, clad in bullet proof vests, guns drawn, we said nothing. To our luck, they believed us, and we drove away into the sunset, changed women. And all the more stronger for it.
***NB. This account may be slightly exaggerated. And by exaggerated we mean we did end up sharing the road with hundreds of bikies from a well known gang (and by well known, we mean we had to Google it) and we did see a large police presence on the side of the road, but the bikies were very respectful and did not harm or intimidate us, or anyone else that we are aware of. This is one of those stories that started out as an interesting event in our fairly mundane drive and slowly snowballed into a tale of our imminent demise. Now, whenever we talk about it, we each try to outdo our last re-telling of the story. One day, I’m sure it will become a story of how we managed to save the world from an impending apocalypse.