OK, so on the BNT, you get kinda used to being asked the same questions. You know, the old:
What made you decide to do it?
What’s been the best part of the trail so far?
Do you mind if I take a photo?
Are you doing it for a cause?
Shucks, you start to feel like a bit of a celeb after a while. But low and behold, on our last day on the BNT, somebody asked the rather unusual….
Has anything, you know, like, WEIRD happened to you on the trail?
I had to have a little think. Weird? Well actually, yes indeed it has.
So I started to relay the experience of our mysterious disappearing passion fruit. Unfortunately, I think our innocent inquirer was expecting far juicier stories- of creepy stalkers, attempted murder, rape and pillage perhaps, so they began to zone out upon hearing of our comparatively dull fruit dramas. (which, I might add, miserably fails to top ‘Trot to the Top’s’ amazing fable of The Pie Sent From Heaven).
But it was weird nonetheless. And it got me thinking of other weird and wonderful things to happen to us. Of which there were quite a few…But this is the one incident that’s REALLY got me baffled.
The Case of the Mysterious Disappearing Passionfruit
This was during the time Z and I were riding the bike through the Northern Queensland section of the BNT. In fact it just so happened to be on the day that our friend Cathy failed to show up in the vehicle as arranged, so keep in mind we were in highly agitated state, which may have somewhat altered our perception of reality. Nonetheless, Z and I were sitting by the side of Gunnawarra road, on perhaps one of the most isolated stretches of the entire trail. We were waiting for Cathy to appear and there had been no cars or signs of civilization for hours.
Z leapt up at the first sight of the tell-tale dust rising in the distance, but soon realised it wasn’t Cathy’s car. Instead, it was a friendly dude in a white truck servicing electricity poles. He seemed just as surprised to see a fellow human being as we were, and kindly offered us some passionfruit, which we very gratefully accepted. It was a hot day with very little shade (when isn’t it in that part of Queensland?) and we could have screeched with excitement at the prospect of three whole passionfruit to share between the pair of us. Because there were THREE pieces of fruit. Of that I am absolutely sure.
After thirstily devouring one fruit each, we reached for the third to split in half, only to find that it had gone. Vanished. Into thin air. Literally. I stood up to check if it had rolled under my bag. Or got lost in the nearby grass or bushes. Only thing is, there WAS no nearby grass or bushes, let alone other potential hiding places for a stealthy passionfruit to squirrel itself away into.
Wondering if I had at last ‘gone troppo’ from all the sun we had copped as of late, I emptied my bag- maybe I had put it in there absent-mindedly? Nope. We turned out our pockets. Rubber bands, lip balm, empty packets of electrolyte mix, gooey lumps of fruit leather, but no passionfruit. I looked for signs of animal tracks- perhaps a bird had snuck up behind us and stolen off with our precious fruit? Or a crocodile perhaps, Z conjectured? Or was someone hiding in the bush and playing ‘sneaky buggers’?
Either way, that little passionfruit was there was there one minute and gone the next. We had been warned that in North Queensland, people went missing fairly frequently. It appears the same is true for passionfruit. Any ideas what might have happened to it? I’m still dying to find out!