Whilst staying at my friends daughters home up north, we set aside
a weekend to visit the Karijini national park. This is about 300 kilometres
into the outback, and takes a fair while to get to since a considerable part
of the route is undertaken on dirt roads. As we were using a Toyota 4x4 landcruiser
this didn't present a problem, so we set off late Friday afternoon as the sun
was going down. Of course this meant we would be arriving after dark, so we
had to keep a very beady eye out for kangaroo's straying into our path. (They
just love to sit there in the middle of the road forcing you to take violent
After we had located a suitable place within the park to set up camp, one of my first priorities was to identify where the nearest 'bush' toilet was. To the uninitiated, a 'bush' toilet is simply a deep hole in the ground with a basic loo seat precariously hovering above it. If you're lucky there may also be walls surrounding it for a modicum of privacy. Flies come as standard but doors apparently are optional extras. After stumbling around in the dark for a few minutes, I managed to track down our local convenience. Not finding a door, I reasoned that if I stood my torch in the entrance facing outwards and whistled loudly this would ensure that any other potential customers would wait their turn. Focussing my attention on the seat, I knew that the principle rule for these outdoor loo's is like having a fear of heights...Don't look down!!! But...I just couldn't resist it, because out of the corner of my eye I'd seen something moving. Something was a bit of an understatement. Some-things was a more accurate description. Crawling up the side of the porcelain, and disappearing down into the bowels of the earth was a seemingly never ending stream of cockroaches, big buggers too. Oh yuk!!! Not fancying a plague of creepy crawlys erupting over my butt as I squatted down, I picked up a bottle of disinfectant and sent a tidal wave down over them. Roughly calculating I had about 2 minutes before they shook themselves off, regrouped and mounted a retaliatory strike, I hovered over the pan in the darkness whistling my head off and gave them what for. I really showed them who was boss and what I thought of their social activities, I can tell you. It's a very odd feeling using a loo with no door, one feels very exposed and vulnerable with your trousers around your ankles knowing that at any moment someone else might walk in on you. Certainly focuses the mind into getting on with what you're doing as quickly as possible.
When I returned to our tent site, I informed my friend's daughter of the loo direction, and mentioned the lack of a door. Carrying a sack of torches with her, she ambled off to carry out her toiletary needs. A few minutes later she returned, laughing her head off.
"You know you said there was no door" she exclaimed "well you must have read that big sign on the front as you walked in."
"Yes, so what?"
"You know, the one that explained all about the site, and where to go, and what to do. "
"Yeah, yeah, what about it?"
"Well, that was the door. Didn't you notice it had hinges?"
OOPS!!! ......................... Who's an extrovert?