A chance meeting
Sydney Trip report June 2011
After leaving Wagga Wagga on the first day of our journey home we headed into the setting sun towards Narrandera where we had a cabin booked in the caravan park. Before it became too dark to see any birds I added a few interesting species to my trip list for the day. Just out of Wagga Wagga I saw a Great Egret feeding in a road side paddock. Several flocks of Galahs flew across the road in front of the car and Australian Magpies still scratched around on the ground looking for a tasty morsel for supper.Now and then I’d see an Australian Raven fly across our path.
One of the real delights of this stretch of road was seeing several small flocks of Apostlebirds feeding on the roadside. For some reason we hadn’t seen many on this trip.
Just on sunset we were approaching a fruit fly exclusion zone. Some parts of Australia have the dreaded fruit fly which destroys some of our finest fruit crops. For many years parts of Victoria and most of South Australia have successfully kept this pest out, and the fruit fly exclusion zones are designed to ensure that continues. As we approached the zone we started eating the little fruit we still had left on board. We decided to be good citizens and stop at the drop off point, a large bin on the roadside where travellers must deposit uneaten fruit. If people continue on with fruit on board and they are subject to a random check, there are severe fines in store.
As we pulled up to the deposit bin, two other cars were there, the occupants standing around chatting – and eating the last of their fruit. As we stopped we recognised the occupants of one of the cars – our local mayor, one of our councillors and their wives. The occupants of the other car were also from our home town.
What are the odds of that happening? Three cars, each independently coming from a different starting point and all stopping at the same spot at the same time with the same purpose and all occupants coming from the same town and all knowing each other. Bizarre.