This is a day I will remember well, the road from Broken Hill through New South Wales to South Australia, is the Barrier Highway. The road is long and very straight, there is very little traffic on this road. The car we were doing this trip in was a 1998 Holden Berlina and was very cool. I was very proud of this car and I was very impressed with its speed, pick-up and handling. That’s why I remember this day so well.
With long straight roads like this the temptation to speed somewhat is very great. We set off fairly early in the morning and I was travelling rather smartly. We passed through the last part of New South Wales quickly and through a tiny town at the state boarder. Passing through the town I took note that there was a police station and I also noted that the car port by the police station was empty. Our friendly policeman is out and about.
We stopped for a comfort break before motoring on our way. The road was very straight, I started to increase my speed, a bit faster, a bit faster again, this is fun, the road is straight, nobody is on it, the car is very stable, let’s go just a bit fast, of course I went a little beyond the speed limit, as I got faster I overtook the only other car we had seen in a while as I flashed past at around 150 kph. Ooops the speed limit is only 120 kph, never mind nobody is here to see. I continue to accelerate and finally had the car up to 160 kph. This was the first time I had driven a car at 100 mph. Delighted, I continued, the car was solid on the road and drove like it was doing a much lesser speed. Ali was getting very agitated about my boyish stupidity, up ahead on the road, way up ahead in the heat shimmer I thought I could see something going on, maybe five kilometres ahead at the top of the rise, it caught my eye. It was hard to tell what it was but it looked like a VW Combie van or something on the side of the road and something else in the middle of the road. I backed off the speed, and continued to back off.
The thing at the top of the hill started to become clearer and appeared like a person dancing around in the middle of the road. “What and idiot” I thought “Some one could be speeding along here and not see you, what are you doing”.
I slowed even more and I was now barely doing the speed limit, and then it started to dawn on me what I was seeing. The VW Combie van was actually a white 75 Series Land Cruiser with Blue and Red lights on top, and the “Idiot” in the middle of the road was a Police man. He clocked me at 162 KPH and from his vantage point he clocked me was 7 kilometres before I arrived. I gave the steering wheel to Al for the rest of the day, there was every possibility I had just done me licence in on driving points.
That day we drove on the straightest roads of the holiday, and we end up in the Clare Valley for New Years eve. Prepared with some flash wine and a great dinner cooked by our tent we tried to stay up for the New Year eve, exhaustion got the better of us and finally we gave up the ghost about 11.30 pm, so much for 1998.