VISTAS OF THE WASTE – PART 5: ALICE OFFSPRINGS

Crossing the Great Divide is no easy task. There are four ways to achieve this feat, but only three of them might end up well, though sometimes you run out of luck even if you choose the safest of them.

First of all, you could go via the First Bridge, the only permanent crossing through this hellish canyon filled with sea water. The problem is – you have to reach this settlement first and then wait in a long queue of similar travelers. Not to mention the exorbitant toll to use this miracle of modern engineering.

Option two – Queen’s Valley. If you succeed in locating this remote city hidden among northern mountains , there’s a chance you will catch a flight. Yes, you heard me well – they have gliders, planes, balloons and everything that can float more than 2 meters above the ground. Getting a single person this way is rather simple. Your ride full of gear and provisions is another matter, I’m afraid.

The third option – which I have chosen, by the way – is to travel by water. Pirates from Alice Offsprings have such a mean reputation that all the other ne’er-do-wells praying on greenhorns crossing the Great Divide keep a safe distance. On top of that those mutated scumbags know pretty much all about sea currents, whirlpools and feeding grounds of various beasts. Plus their prices are reasonable – usually you can buy their services for a rare finding or a favor done for their leader Alice, the All-mother as she is called by the inhabitants of the pirate harbor.

That’s exactly why I’m inhaling stinking fumes from the docks and watching my off-road as it’s being towed inside a ferry. I guess only rust and the captain’s ego hold this sorry tub together, but what can you do? Of course, I could choose the fourth option and cast myself into the depths, hoping to swim across the Great Divide. Unfortunately, this way you would learn nothing about the legendary West. Wish me luck as each and every hour spent with those wretched dregs from Alice Offsprings might be my last, anyway…


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