Some say there are no such things as coincidences, only the inevitable or statistical convergences. One of our favourite TV characters, Gibbs on NCIS, doesn’t believe in coincidences but then he’s in a line of work where a coincidence would make your senses perk up a little.
We were nearing the end of our travels on Cape York with Cousin Heather and her husband Ross but she was still ultra wary of crocodiles, begging Ross to step back from the water’s edge when he fished.
She was particularly alarmed by my story about a poor woman whose husband had been taken by a croc about eight years ago. He had gone to check his crab pot the night before they were due to drive back to Brisbane and never returned.
By the time we left Lakefield National Park she had, according to Ross, taken 3478 photographs of anthills and only one of a crocodile. It was a smudge in the water some distance from shore and not easily distinguishable as a croc.
She said all of her anthill photos, however, were special, especially the well dressed one on the Old Telegraph Track. “Maybe I should write a book about anthills,” she mused as Ross snorted. “I think people would love to know how they are made and what all the different architecture means.”
Near Cooktown we lobbed into a bush caravan park and relaxed. Heather loved the surroundings, made coffee and wandered off towards the river. I was a little surprised to see her head off on her own.
Croc warning signs were everywhere and the next morning Tony mentioned that the owner had advised caution, saying “We’ve already lost one here. We don’t want to lose another.”
My ears pricked up. Sure enough, when we checked on Google we found that Heather had been wandering towards the fatal crab pot spot. Like Tony, he had been a Vietnam veteran and had lived close by to Ross and Heather's home in Brisbane. So sad and far too chillingly coincidental.
Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence and maybe statistical convergence led us to Tommy the next day. We were not sure if any more Global Warriors like Isabel were on the road in Australia. She was the second and the first had gone overseas but we knew All Terrain Warriors were about to swing into regular production.
In Cooktown Ross vowed he had seen another Global Warrior. You couldn’t miss that upswept arse, he reckoned. Sure enough we tracked down Isabel’s new little brother Tommy who had followed her off the production line at Yandina.
Two Global Warriors were on the road in Australia on that day and, with no knowledge of each other, they both ended up in Cooktown. C’mon Gibbs, that’s coincidence. Stuff the statistics theory.
Lee and Graham Meyers from the Sunshine Coast, formerly of Toowoomba, were heading north to the tip of Cape York in the Global Warrior labelled with a turtle and the name “Tommy”.
Tony liked their vehicle better. It was cleaner and had a more manly name than Isabel.
We spent a pleasant few hours comparing notes, drinking coffee and admiring what each couple had done in fitting out, personalising and modifying our respective Global Warriors.
Tommy had been fitted with 240 volts and a washing machine that was Lee’s prized possession. She wasn’t leaving home without it.
I wanted to put something about the Meyers on my blog but Lee said they hadn’t had to describe themselves as anything in their post-work era.
“Graham is probably best described as a nearly old bloke chasing his dream of freedom without a deadline. Me? A traveller soaking up the beauty of the world, while trying to make sense of human activity.
“I guess we are all the sum of our life experiences, and we use those to survive and to perceive. What we did to make a quid in our working lives is really obsolete after five years, I have found.
“W. J. Holden once said ‘Cemeteries are full of indispensable people, but the world goes on to bigger and better things...’ “
Yes. We’d best get on with the dreams of freedom without deadlines, soaking up the beauty and trying to make sense of human activity. We have an election happening. That last part might be too hard right now.