The wind is cold and the road is the same one which I pedalled only a few days earlier.
I’m ready for an unhealthy dose of boredom, but, shortly after passing the BYO pub, I am greeted by two Buyarat looking men in a beaten up Toyota van.
They point repeatedly in the direction in which I am going, and I wonder if they need directions.
They’re so desperate that they even try to translate their wishes using their phone, but there’s no reception. Finally I see through their desperation and realise that they are in fact offering me a lift, which I sheepishly accept. They open up the back of the van and the Troll fits perfectly.
I sit on the back seat, somewhat unsure of where we’re going. But they don’t look dangerous and I figure that I can use my GPS to orientate myself, when we get there.
The younger man looks about 30 years old. He’s wearing a dark hoody and doing the driving. With his spare hand he fiddles with the stereo, trying several stations before settling on the ubiquitous euro rap-trance.
The older man rides shotgun and intermittently asks the driver something. Why are we giving him a free lift?, or How do we know where he wants to go?
The alternate dirt roads which I had found slower and bumpier than the tar seal are no barrier to the men or their old van. They tear over the corrugations, the van’s loud rattling competing competitively with the pop music from the stereo.
These roads also seem to offer better access to the mini shrines, which seem to come in pairs. At the first one, the driver raises his hood, beeps his horn several times and throws something out the window. After a short distance he passes another, lowers his hood, and we carry on.
The older man doesn’t do anything special, although at one point he slips on a branded beanie, perhaps because he’s cold.
I wonder if the younger man is into shamanic rituals, and whether giving me a free ride is part of his religious duty.