A BRITISH backpacker who completed a 1600km walk in WA’s outback is now hitch-hiking her way around the continent thanks to Aussie truckies.
Lindsey Cole has travelled from Darwin to Sydney since she began her 18-wheel-odyssey in February, and is determined to make it back to the Northern Territory before her tourist visa expires. And her journey was inspired by a lift she received to Perth.
A helpful truck driver brought Ms Cole back to WA’s capital last year, after she completed the gruelling walk portrayed in the film Rabbit Proof Fence between Moore River and Jigalong.
“This is much more tiring than walking,” she said from a roadhouse on Melbourne’s outskirts.
“I think it’s because I’m always talking to people.
“I love hearing their stories but finding stuff to talk about for 36 hours with someone you’ve never met can be tiring.”
Ms Cole said she and her long-haul helpers had discussed everything from politics to relationships and that a lot of the burly blokes told her “how much they miss their wives”.
“They all tell me to be careful,” she said, and admitted anxiety was one of the reasons her trip was so tiring.
But the 34-year-old said she did not approach “dodgy looking” drivers and had good instincts for who to trust.
She felt her experience so far, which has involved lifts in eight big rigs, had been encouraging.
“There’s a lot of hate in today’s world and we can be quick to judge, but people are generally kind,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have known any truckies before but now I’ve got a black book full of them.
“Some of these guys have got incredible stories — I can’t repeat some of the best ones — and they’re really nice people. I’ve seen the hard work they do. I think they get a bit of a bad rap but they keep Australia moving.”
Ms Cole said she had found the drivers unanimously “love Australia”, and added: “My ears have become immune to the F and C words.”
Her longest wait for a lift was 12 hours in Broome but she “loved” her most recent trip to Perth.
The former documentarymaker has already considered her next adventure and said: “I have been talking to somebody about camels.”