Jeep for sale, ideal for backpackers, comes with mattress + camping gear, Australia tested and absolutely safe, searching for kind owner to share an adventure!

Year in, year out, this exact listing hangs on pin boards in Australian backpacker hostels, usually boasting a picture of me beneath it. A real beaut – washed, buffed and looking like new, there I stand against a sunset on Cable Beach in Broome, or on the nearly impassable jungle trails of Fraser Island. I’m the very picture of adventure, action and fun! If you want to transform your travels around Australia in to an unforgettable experience then take me along! Drive with me through waist-high rivers, enjoy unbridled bonking on my back seat and then send me off into no man’s land in the desert! No problem, you can do anything you want with me, but I’ve got one thing to say to you, mate, “I’m not interested in finding a kind owner to share an adventure with, and before you decide to buy me there’s something you ought to know…”

“…I am old.”

I’m a 1989 Mitsubishi Pajero Turbo Diesel. I was making my way around Australian roads before you were even born! And I’m tired of it! I’ve circled this goddamn red continent 14 times in the last ten years, had my radiator dented twice in the process, have had too close of encounters with three kangaroos, eleven flats and have swallowed probably 10 million flies along the way. And. Now. I’m. Finished.

Have you ever looked at my odometer? Come on, I’ve clocked over 300,000 kilometres. I pray each time that I’m put through an inspection that I’ll be declared unfit. But no such luck yet. Like the listing says, “Australia tested and absolutely safe,” and yet, back home you would probably tell someone off who would try to pawn off a rusted vehicle like myself on to you. Here, down under, I guess it doesn’t matter to you. You just want to flee your guarded childhood and actually hope that something goes wrong and puts you deliberately at risk, even if only half-heartedly, because Australia is not a developing country in South America. It’s a civilized, Western continent, complete with democracy, dollars and drive-ins! What can happen to you here while you’re harvesting bananas, ordering two-for-one beers in backpacker bars, or uploading your latest pictures from your sailing tour at Airlie Beach? Then again, what do I know?

I’m just an old jeep.

And a tired one at that. My first owner was a genuine Australian article named Tom Baldwin. Tom came from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory and only drove me around on paved roads in his hometown that he, like most Australians, never left in his entire life. Okay, I have to admit, that was a rather boring time. And maybe I was just a tad happy when he was sent me up yonder on a rushing road train. Shortly after I came to be the property of my very first backpacker. Talk about the good old days!

The first backpacker who bought me way back when was a crazy Frenchman named Romaine – I accompanied him on his journey around the entire continent. He always called me “Buddy” in that wonderful French accent of his. That was cool. Sure, we had language problems at first, but after a while I knew that the exclamation “Merde!” was a sure sign of nothing good to come! This was usually the case when Romaine was driving on the wrong side of the road, again. Holy shit! Nearly gave me a heart attack! I’ve since come to know that, of course, driving on the wrong side of the road is natural for all Europeans except the Pommies.

But I do have to say – Romaine and I became an inseparable team. We drove together along the endless Cable Beach in Broome with “Porcelain” from Moby blaring out of the speakers in a continuous repeat. He showed me how to surf in Margaret River, and I guided him through the pulsating conurbations of Perth and Melbourne. We even hung out in the capital of Canberra and celebrated New Year’s Eve on the ol’ coat hanger in Sydney! But alas, after a year of partying and adventure, Romaine flew back to France to study business administration and I suddenly found myself in the hands of two German girls from Hamburg who renamed me “La Paloma.”

In the years that followed, my name was changed as often as my oil.

Frankie, Old Shatterhand, Heidi Klum, Klaus, Pamela, and Trecker are a few, and those are only the names I can pronounce! Again and again I drove from north to south, from east to west, from left to right, from the east coast to the west coast and back again. I can drive the stretch from Sydney to Cairns in my sleep and I even have my own reserved spot on the ferry to Fraser Island. I am now fluent in all Romanic languages and my cache under the passenger seat includes one flip-flop, a travel journal, a used franger and a brand-new iPod Touch.

My age is starting to show as I’m slightly incontinent because I am always losing some oil. My sight is getting dim and sometimes I forget to brake, no matter how nervously hard you pound on the brake pedal. To be honest, I’m not worth the $6,000 asking price. My previous owner only paid $4,000 for me, and even that was way over the top. But that doesn’t interest you does it? I see the gleam in your eyes as you slide your hand over my bonnet. I can already sense that I’ll be hitting the road again soon to experience new adventures – adventures which I am really too old for. I mean, I’m not Harrison Ford, who can decide whether he wants to slip into his Indiana Jones costume again. My opinion doesn’t count. And after you’ve parked me on the beach in Byron Bay and are sitting serenely on top of me smoking your weed, with Moby’s “Porcelain” blaring out of the speakers again, I feel my back creak and ache. I long for those quiet days in Tennant Creek when good old Tom and I, a bit woozy from our visit to the waterhole, crawled along at snail’s pace over deserted, lonely roads heading towards home.