Time to Say Goodbye 

On April 26, 2017 by Saint Paul

Another day, another hike. The Saint has slept well with the wind gushing through the nets of the tented camps where he and his followers have spent the night. The cool breeze and the howling wind are an excellent combination to be in a warm bed and his Saintliness is therefore quite rested and feeling relaxing when he wakes up at 5.20 am. The breakfast is a full Australian breakfast with sausages, baked beans and the oh so tasty vegemite. Good old Tony has dared the Saint to try it and although his Saintliness already knows the taste, as the marmite he tasted during his saintly adventures in New Zealand is pretty much the same thing, he still gives it a go. The first couple of bites aren’t half bad, but the more vegemite he tastes, the worse it gets. Therefore he disposes the goods in the bin to avoid having the visit the dunny at an unexpected moment.

At 7.42 am, Saint Martin finally fires his metaphorical gun to signal the start of the Kings Canyon Rim Walk in Watarrka National Park. The walk starts off with a steep climb to the top of the canyon, but then the quickly changes into a relatively easy walk along the canyon plateau. The Saint has decided to climb as 70% as he has been warned it is called Heart Attack Hill. He vividly remembers the ascent to the top of Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand where he needed the comfort of a nurse at the top to regain his energy, so he now takes it slow which means Carmen Sandiego and Jacky Sparrow are right on his tail. After overtaking a crying woman, who is comforted by her husband, he puts his legs in a higher gear to speed things along and avoid the heat of the rising sun. He quickly spots a fork and a sign indicating a lookout. He contemplates for a few seconds whether or not it is part of the trail but considering it is only 600 metres, he immediately decides to take the right turn which turns out to be the right decision. The trail to the lookout provides some dangerous and narrow areas where one could easily get so stuck that one should gnaw its stuck limb off to be able to move on. Fortunately no gnawing needs to be done so Saint Paul easily makes it the end where he is all alone by himself to bask in the sun in this glorious day and enjoys the view. 

On the way back to the fork he meets Saint Martin, Freddy, Jacky Sparrow, and Carmen Sandiego. They are following in his footsteps but are about 3.38 minutes behind his Saintliness. Saint Paul then overshoots one turn and almost climbs the wrong hill but he realises in time he needs to double back to get back on track. 14 minutes later he is surprised to see MJ smiling and waving from the other side of the canyon. When he walks up to her she reveals that she has skipped the lookout and walked straight ahead down the continuing trail which is the reason why she ahead of the pack. Jacky Sparrow pops her head around the corner of the other side of the canyon 3 minutes later, followed by Carmen Sandiego, Saint Martin, and Freddy. The Saint heads down to the Garden of Eden where he is of course fortunate enough to find no living soul there so he can admire it in peace and quiet like God intended.
After admiring the view he heads back to the point from where he met MJ and along the way he runs into Jacky Sparrow who is leading the following pack at 2.59 minutes. When his Saintliness approaches the staircase to the top of the canyon, he is again surprised to see Mary-Jane waving at him from above. When he reaches her she admits to have skipped the lookout and the Garden of Eden to avoid having to say goodbye to any limbs that might get stuck. She is accompanied by Nora, Gwendolyn, Elsa, and Bartholomew and they are grinning like a shot fox to have been in the lead for at least a few minutes. Saint Paul quickly repairs the balance in the universe by retaking the lead and keeps it until he runs into two busloads of tourists that had the folly idea to the same walk only a bit earlier. Since the Saint doesn’t fancy getting stuck behind a few dozen screaming twenty year olds he decides to have a sit-down on top of rock and admire the view.

Five minutes later he looks around and spots Bartholomew and the four others in the distance. He quickly runs towards them and it is not long before he gets stuck behind the two groups of tourists. The gods decide to help the Saint out by having their guides share some information on the sedimentery rocks, enabling his Saintliness to easily overtake them and get back to the finish line in a time of 1:59:56. There he is congratulated by Tony who is in fine weather after having grabbed forty winks, and is then rewarded with some free Kings Canyon WiFi. 

At 4.13 pm, Tony drives his bus over the city limits of his former hometown, Alice Springs, with around 26,000 people by far the biggest city in the Northern Territory. This gives him the unique opportunity to grab the mic and take over Saint Martin’s role as guide. He indulges his audience with fascinating facts on for example the city’s famous regatta. The Henley-on-Todd Regatta is a highly exhilarating and unique regatta as it is the only sail race in the world that is most likely to be cancelled in case of rain. The reason behind this is that the boats have no bottoms. And bottoms are very useful and can be very attractive, especially if you are a person that likes bottoms. The boats are in fact not actually boats but simply cars, because most of the time there is no water in the river Todd. 

The last supper with the lovely driver Tony as honoured guest, Saint Martin and Tony have a bit of difficulties finding their tucker after having a bit of a barnie with the restaurant staff of The Juicy Rump, but once they have found it, it sure is a chicken and rib feast for the both of them. The rib feast is such an event that Tony needs to call in help from the Saint to finish his plate. His new good friend Saint Martin even plays the role of dad when he tells little Tony to eat his cabbage like the young vegetable lover Jacky Sparrow. Once everyone’s plate is empty, Carmen Sandiego takes the metaphorical mic to give a glorious speech to melt Tony’s heart. Tears well up in the corner of his eyes, but as a true bloke he keeps them to himself. He kindly thanks her for the kind words and everyone for their interest in his beautiful and enormous country. While they need to part ways, Tony and Mrs. Tony can still follow all of their upcoming adventures thanks to the Saint’s glorious blog.

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