Around Australia on a Lambretta
Today 19 April 1971 - Sydney to Narooma - 218 miles
Up at 5 am packed and set off at 6.25 am. Stopped at Nowra to fill up and stretch our legs. Had a cup of coffee out of town and headed to Batemans Bay 12.45 pm. We had lunch there and then on to Narooma. After pitching the tent we had a long walk then cooked dinner before dark as we have no lights apart from torches. It was a well earned shower and early to bed.
20 April 1971 - Narooma to Cann River - 156 miles
We had to wait until about 9.00 am before the tent was dry enough to pack up and hit the road. The trip today was the great dairy country and we stopped at the Bega Cheese Factory. Lunch around the border and then went on to Cann River where we pitched camp for the night then went to a walk before dinner. Very cold now with strong winds and rain.
21 April 1971 - Traralgon - 199 miles
Very cold morning. After breakfast and a cold shower we waited till the ten dried out and on the road about 9.00 am through bushland and onto Orbost. It was blowing a gale from here and we battled against the wind to Nowa Nowa where we stopped for a coffee and a warm up. Our next stop was at Lakes Entrance and then on to Bairnsdale where we had a look at the Catholic Church which is very ornately painted inside. Lunch was near the fruit gate. At Stratford it started to rain and blow so much so that Agnes got blown off the road so we stopped and waited till the wind dropped off a bit then battled on. We stopped at Rosedale to fill up however we were so cold we couldn't lift out seat up to get to the tanks and had to get someone to help us. We were glad to arrive at Traralgon around 4.45pm still in the pouring rain and were glad we were staying with friends for a few days. A hot shower and a hot cuppa were most welcomed.
We stayed in Traralgon until 5 May being taken around the district and into Melbourne. We were ready to leave on 1 May but the weather was so bad we had a few false starts before hitting the road on
5 May.1971 - Geelong - 147 miles.
We hadn't got too far away (Morwell) when we had to stop again and put our wet gear on. The rain never stopped until we were through Melbourne and decided to keep going to Geelong where we had a hot plate of soup and a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up. We chose to stay in the Youth Hostel there to keep dry and warm.
6 May 1971 - Port Campbell - 133 miles
We left Geelong about 8.45 am and took the Torquay Road until it joined the Great Ocean Road. We had great weather until Apollo Bay and down came the rain again. We stopped at the Memorial Arch and a couple of the other scenic lookouts having a break at Lorne and lunch at Apollo Bay then headed to Lavers Bay. The road was wet and muddy and it took a lot of concentration to keep upright. We then found that Lavers Hill was a little town and no camping area so we pressed on to what we thought was Port Campbell. We were lucky enough to see the 12 apostles without rain but decided not to go into any of the others as we were both tired and that we would return tomorrow. After pitching the tent and a chat with the Ranger we went to the shop to get something for dinner. There is a camper's common room here so cooked dinner then went for a walk before settling in for the night.
7 May 1971 - Warnambool - 46 miles
We were up and dressed when the rain started so decided to cook breakfast in the Common Room then sat about hoping to see the rain go off. We brought the scooters in the shed and dried off things then packed up eventually leaving after 11.00. On the way stopped at The Arch, London Bridge, The Grotto and Peterborough. From here we headed to Warnambool. We had our wet gear on all day but never got rain. Once leaving the coast we went through beautiful green pastureland. At Warnambool we pitched camp and walked up to the town. After dinner we walked through the town and up to Fletcher Jones' Gardens which are really lovely. We eventually got back to the camp around 9.00.
8 May 1971 - Mt Gambier - 136 miles - watch back 1/2 hour
We were on the road by 9.30 today after chatting to a few people in the camping ground. First stop was Tower Hill and the Crater Lake on the side of the road. Out next stop was Port Fairy where we saw the oldest pub in Victoria first licensed in 1844. At Portland we filled up then had lunch on the side of the road about 5 miles out of town. We rode on to South Australia, eleven miles from Mt Gambier. We are camped near the Blue Lake. After pitching camp we had a coffee and walked down town. We walked the main street and had dinner in a Chinese Restaurant then walked back to camp.
9 May 1971 - Kingston - 99 miles
This morning we were up early then after breakfast it started to rain again so we went for a walked to let the tent dry off. We walked to see the Lakes of Mt Gambier. We were almost back to camp when it rained again hence the tent was soaked again. We were both pretty fed up, but me the most, with still not a day without rain. We eventually packed the tent up wet and finally left about 11.30. Firstly we went through pine forests then open grazing (sheep) country. We stopped at Robe turn off and had a coffee then continued on to Kingston. We had no sooner pitched the tent and the rain came down. After a clean-up we walked into town and back. We decided to have dinner in a Service Station out of the bad weather. We walked into the Station and back getting soaked on the way. After getting back we sat in the Laundry and wrote a while.
10 May 1971 - Murray Bridge - 137 miles
As soon as we were up we packed the tent up and just managed it before the rain came. We put all our things in the Laundry then showered before packing everything and having breakfast. We finally to away in dry weather however not for long and we had to put our wet gear on again. The road followed a long stretch of coastline which was very bumpy and very windy so we had a battle the elements once more. We stopped at Meningie for some shopping then went out of town and had lunch. Next stop Murray Bridge. We pitched camp and walked up town to do some shopping. We had a Bar-b-que tea then went for another walk before turning in.
11 May 1971 - Elizabeth - 69 miles
We packed up before breakfast again today and on the road before 9 heading towards Adelaide. The countryside was hilly and we were unfortunate to get stuck behind 3 semi trailers so ended up pulling in at Aldgate for a cuppa and a warm up and then headed down the long hill to Adelaide stopping at the Old Toll House for a look. We rode through Adelaide and found my Cousin Ann's house OK in Elizabeth. We were just in time to baby sit. When Ann came back we had coffee and then went into the shopping centre for a look around. We helped Ann preparing food as Ann was having people in that night as the family were moving back to Sydney to live on the Friday.
12 May 1972 - Elizabeth
Spent the day in and around Adelaide and helped my Cousin to get ready for visitors again.
13 May 1971
We set to work cleaning the scooters before heading out to catch up with more friends.
14 May 1971
Today was moving day for my Cousin's family so we were busy helping them get organised and heading off back to Sydney. We ended up cleaning the house and staying one more night before leaving Adelaide ourselves.
15 May 1971 - Nuriootpa - 37 miles
We had breakfast and packed up ready to hit the road heading towards Gawler. Our journey took us through the Barossa Valley stopping at a few wineries on the way. This was a first fine day travelling which was really terrific. We camped at Centennial Park in Nurioopta. We had a walk through the town as we did most times if we were staying a town.
16 May 1971 - Gladstone - 124 miles
Lazy start today heading out of town about 11.00. Unfortunately we took the wrong road and after 20 miles we realised it and had to turn back to Nurioopta and this time headed out to Greenock and across through grazing (sheep) country to Kapunda to Tarlee to Auburn and Clare. From here we were in wheat country. The fields were all newly tilled and the scenery was simply beautiful with the rolling hills as a back drop. At Gladstone we found the camping area around 4.30. We had dinner by an open fire then sat till it burnt out. We walked down the town and back and the sat in the Laundry to do some writing. Today was another beautiful day.
17th May 1971 - Port Augusta - 74 miles
Up at 7.30 and half packed before breakfast. We were on the road about 9.30. We rode through mainly wheat and sheep country all day. We went through Murray Town to Wilmington where we stopped for a coffee before heading into Port Augusta through Horrocks Pass which reminded me a lot like Scotland hills. We stopped coming through the pass and took a couple of photos. We finally arrived in Port Augusta about 12.30, pitched out ten and caught up on some domestic duties like washing. We walked into town which was absolutely dead not a shop open.
18th May 1971 - 20 Miles of Kyancutta - 132 miles
After breaking camp we went into town and did some shopping before finally leaving Port Augusta about 11.00. At Iron Knob we got water and stopped to take photos. About 10 miles after Iron Knob we went through Kimba then stopped off the road about 10 miles from Kyancutta. We made a fire and cooked dinner then sat by the fire for a couple of hours. We decided not to pitch the ten but to put the tarp across us for the night.
19th May 1971 - Ceduna - 159 miles (1 month on the road)
We were up at 7.00 to fine the tarp and sleeping bags wet from a heavy dew so hung all out to dry whilst we had breakfast. We were all ready to go when my scooter wouldn't start so had to change the spark plug and eventually got on the road about 9.15. At Kyancutta we stopped for petrol and Agnes had her battery checked and spark plugs cleaned. I found the bakery and got some buns for lunch. We had lunch just out of Wirrulla then road into Ceduna. We arrived about 3.00 and the lady who runs the camping area wanted to chard us $1.00 each as we had 2 motor vehicles. We went to the Council and complained and got permission for the 2 vehicles to go in with only one charge. The woman who ran the park wouldn't believe us so we camped near the perimeter fence with one scooter outside the fence and the other inside next to it and out tent. We were driving around the camping area and found a couple we knew who were on the road heading back to Queensland. They had heard the put put of the scooters and thought it would be us. So we had a good catch up that night and went to the local pub.
20th May 1971 - east of Nundroo - 75 miles
We were up at .10 and got organised before breakfast. Today we were heading across the Nullarbor so we had to go into town and get some food before leaving. Today was a nut and bolt tightening as we were heading on the rough road. About 1 mile out of Ceduna we hit the dirt road. The first miles to Penong were pot holes and bull dust then the road was hard surface and managed to drive in top gear at about 25-30 mph. We eventually stopped for camp about 4.20 - left Ceduna at 12.15). We had 2 unscheduled stops, once in Penong to fix a leading container Agnes was carrying then not far out of there we had a comfort stop. When we decided and pull off the road had coffee then pitched camp. After work was done we sat in the sun and wrote a while. We had a few spots of rain but nothing much. We built a fire and cooked dinner then sat by the fire a couple of hours before bed.
21st May 1971 - 10 miles east of Ivy Tanks - 82 miles
Today up at 7.30 tightened up all the nuts and bolts before breakfast and on the road about 9.40. We had good road into Nundroo where we stopped for petrol then the road deteriorated with corrugation and gravel. We were just inside Yalata Mission when we stopped for lunch. About 5 miles each side of the Mission gates were aboriginals trying to sell boomerangs etc. Our destination was to Ivy Tanks however we never made it. Just outside the Mission Grid about 16 miles from Ivy Tanks I came off in the bulldust. Fortunately I didn't do too much damage.(I always rode in front) then I got bogged in bull dust and Agnes had to push me out. We eventually gave in as we were too tired to ride any longer so we stopped for the night at 4.00pm, hence we never made it to Ivy Tanks. We pulled off the road and pitched the tent out of the sight of headlights. During the night the wind got up and Agnes got up and tightened the ropes of the tent as some of the pegs had blown out of the ground.
22nd May 1971 - 38 miles from WA - 115 miles
We had a bit of a sleep in today and didn't leave camp until 10.am. We went to Ivy Tanks along a terrible road and filled up with petrol and had a drink. We couldn't get water here so sent out again. The road was just like bitumen and we managed to get to the water well about 1.30 and stopped to fill up with water and have lunch. The surround was mainly saltbush today though we did see some scrawny sheep. We passed Koonalda and decided to drive till 4.30. We eventually found a spot to camp about 4.40 and pulled in off the road again out of the sight of headlights.
23 May 1971 - Eucla - 52 miles
We were up and organised ready for the road by 9.15 and then realised that we hadn't changed out watches and it really was 8.15. The road was pretty gravelly and we eventually made it to the border where we stopped and took photos. From here it was bitumen to Eucla which was 7 miles. Agnes had to change her spark plug 2 miles out of Eucla. We had hot chocolate and toast at the road house then went down to the old telegraph ruins on the beach covered in sand dunes. We went right to the Great Australian Bight and felt the water. There were 2 beach houses there. We then came back up to the road and filled up with petrol and went back to the camping area to pitch the tent in strong winds. After we pitched the tent we had a bite to eat then tightened the nuts and bolts on the scooters and went for a most welcomed shower even if it was salt water. Fortunately Agnes washed her hair and it ended up like straw so I didn't wash mine. We sat in the shower block where the lights were and wrote a while. We went up to the motel and had a drink before having dinner in the Dining Room. Both of us had local fish which later we found out to be shark. This was followed up by Apple Strudel and ice-cream. It was nice to have a slap up dinner after campfire food for a few days. We then went to the Pub and had a couple of drinks before going back to camp. The wind was really howling and the sand was everywhere.
24th May 1971 - Rest Area from Eucla - 47 miles
It was still blowing when we got up so we had a shower and found out that they had no fresh water. Agnes has poured the last of our fresh water out the day before thinking we could get some fresh water here. We decided to pack up and to and have a cup of tea at the Motel before hitting the road. We eventually got going about 9.30. The old man at the motel gave us 1 gallon of water and 2 flasks of water to help us out. The wind was very strong and after about 30 miles we stopped to put our wet gear on and give the scooters a rest. We eventually made it to the rest area and pulled in, pitched the tent and had something to eat. We sat about hoping that both the wind and rain would pass over but no such luck.
25 May 1971 - Caiguna - 163 miles
This morning we up and ready to leave just after 9.00. The wind was still blowing a gale however the rain had gone. We could only get 30 mph out of the poor scooters and rested every 30 miles during the day to cool the motors off and give ourselves a rest. The first stop for the day was to fill up with water then on to Madura where we had a pie and tea and filled up with petrol. We stopped at the top of Madura Pass where you could see for miles and took a photo. From here we were on a very flat plateau with hardly any vegetation. Our next stop was in a rest area and then Cocklebiddy where we had a short stop for a chocolate break. We could see the rain building up ahead of us and decided to look for a place to camp. There were neither bushes nor suitable humps. The rain came down about 5 miles from here so we headed to the garage, had hot soup and coffee then decided to stay the night in the motel as the weather was pretty crook. We unpacked out things and had the rest of our dinner in our room.
26 May 1971 - 49 miles from Norseman - 181 miles
This morning we were up and breakfast an o the road 8.45. We rode for 90 miles without a bend in the road. We had still been stopping every 30 mile for a 10 minute break and seem to make better time as the wind had dropped considerably. At Balladonia we tried to get a hot pie or soup but couldn't so settle for dried fruits and chips and a chips and a cup of coffee under the trees in the sun. Over the last couple of days we had been seeing 3 boys in 2 cars and they pulled in at Balladonia and we had a chat with them and had a drink before heading out. We gained another 3/4 hour and we are now on WA time. We decided not to go all the way into Norseman so pulled into a rest area for the night. After pitching the tent we built a fire to cook dinner and sat by it.
27 May 1971 - Norseman - 49 miles
We packed up and were ready to leave when Agnes had to change her spark plug eventually getting on the road about 9.15. After 30 miles we stopped for our break. The wind had dropped considerably as we drove through ranges to Norseman arriving about 11.15. After checking into the camp site and pitching the tent we had a most welcomed shower. We want to do some washing however the clotheslines were full so we went to the local pub then came back and spent 1 1/2 hours scrubbing our cloths trying to get them clean. We went for a walk after washing and when we came back to camp there was a bus load of people in. After dinner the bus driver came over and chatted for a while. He told us that the people on the bus wanted to know how we fitted into our tent. He introduced us to a Scots chap Ken and we decided to all go to have a drink later. Ken, Agnes and I went over to the pub about 8.30 and Ken bought us a couple of drinks. The bus driver joined us later and we sat and chatted until closing time around 11.00. We went back to camp and had a cuppa eventually getting to bed after midnight. This was our latest night since leaving Sydney.
28 May 1971 - Norseman - no travelling to day
We were up at 7.20 and after breakfast said goodbye to the bus load. The lady in the next caravan came over to us and chatted to us for ages. We eventually settled down to write letters. For lunch we went up to the shops and had a pasties and milkshake then walked up past the Gold Mine to the top of Beacon Hill where you could get a good view of Norseman. We eventually got back to camp about 3.30. All our washing was dry. After a chat to a chap in the camp and sticking on or stickers it was time for dinner. After dinner we showered and went to the local drive- in to see "Carry on Camping". Another late night.
29 May 1971 - Coolgardie - 141 miles
Up at 7 showered and packed before breakfast. It seemed to take ages as people came up chatting to us and we didn't get away till around 10. First stop was for petrol then out of town over a causeway over the lake and headed towards Kalgoorlie. We stopped every 30 miles for about 10 minutes. We took the Kambalda Road and came into Kalgoorlie along the "Golden Mile". Once there we parked the scooters and walked the main street seeing Paddy Hannan's statue and the tree where gold was first discovered. We left there about 3.30 and arrived at Coolgardie 4.20. We had and ice-cream and went to the Youth Hostel. The sign on the door said the key was at the local garage which turned out to be wrong. Agnes eventually found a door open so we went in and had a look around. It was a big house with hardly a thing in it. We lit a fire and cooked tea then went for a walk. When we got back we sat in the lounge writing by the fire. A chap came in who wasn't the Warden. Apparently the Warden was out and wouldn't be back that night.
30 May 1971 - Coolgardie
We were up t 7.30 showered and dressed then had breakfast. We sat in the sun till 9.15 then walked out to the Cemetery where a series of plaques start of the Old Gold Town. It took us a couple of hours to read only half of them. When we got back to town we had a drink and lunch then finished off the other plaques on the Main Street except for 5 which we never made. We then went back to the Hostel and had a cuppa. The Warden came in half stoned. He gave us a key and bought the electric jug back for us to use. After an hour's rest we set off again down to the Museum in the Main Street. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to go through it. We wandered around some of the back streets then heard music coming from the pub so we went and investigated. It was about 3.45 then. We had a drink then the Warden sighted us and called us over to join them (The chap who was playing the organ and his wife and mother, the Warden and a young girl and a mate of his). It seemed that in Coolgardie the objective of Sunday afternoon was to drink as much as you can before closing at 6.30. It turned out to be a really great afternoon. Agnes and I went into the cafe to have a meal and whilst we were there 2 chaps came over to chat us up. Ages won a Pom who wants to take her out in Perth. After dinner we wandered back to the hostel and found the Warden, the Girl and his mate all full as googs, plus another mate sober (nurse maid). We were asked to join them so sat by the fire listening to the Old Yarns of Coolgardie. The girl was out of it. The mate apparently was suffering from losing his brother on Friday and so the evening went on and on. Agnes and I went to bed about 10.30 however the noise got louder and was still going about 3.30am.
31 May 1971 - Merredin - 133 miles
After a broken night's sleep we got up at 7.30, cleaned up the mess in the lounge, showered and had breakfast eventually leaving about 9.15. First stop was the petrol station to fill up. It was raining steadily and did so till late in the afternoon. We stopped after 30 miles then continued without stopping till Southern Cross. Here we got some badly needed money from the bank then had our first fresh meat meal in a week. It was simply lovely. We did some shopping then headed on the Merredin. I just made it to the service station along the road. When we arrived at Merredin the rain had stopped and we pitched the tent then went for a walk down town. We cooked dinner in the Laundry out of the rain and did some writing before going for walk up town and back to camp.
1 June 1971 - Perth - 159 miles
This morning a woman came over to us and asked me if she had met me up North Queensland 2 years ago and sure enough she had. She gave me her address and had a chat. After breakfast we packed up and filled up with petrol and were on the road by 9.25. We rode all day through farming country stopping every 30 miles. We had lunch in Northam then headed into Perth. We found our way the Maylands then asked where Kelvin Street was. We found it OK and Ollie (my friend) greeted us with open arms around 4 pm. We had a cuppa, shower then diner and sat about in a home watching TV and talking.
June 1971 - Perth
We spent time in and around Perth with our friends then both were lucky enough to get jobs and also found a flat. During this time we found the Lambretta shop in Perth and actually went to one of their Lambretta Club meetings. So it was back to a normal working life and exploring Perth and its surrounds.
We eventually left Perth 14th May 1972. We were offered a lift to Alice Springs with some friends in their car so we took it. We were unable to ride our scooters up the West Coast to Darwin as there was not enough places we could get petrol and a lot of the roads were Bull Dust so we put our scooters on the train to Alice Springs. We eventually arrived in Alice Springs 11th June 1972 and had to wait until the 14th June for our scooters to arrive. Whilst in Alice we were fortunate enough to meet up with a friend of a friend who was a coach driver and he asked us to go with him and his people out to the gorges for the day.
When we took delivery of the scooters I had trouble with my scooter and ended up having to go to a motor cycle shop to have it fixed. It turned out that the gear lever had almost snapped inside the rubber casing and was able to get it fixed in 2 hours. We changed the oil in the scooters and bought another petrol container. We also bought a few more tools.
17 June 1972 - North of Alice Springs - 106 miles
This morning was bit of organising as we were out of practice packing up and getting ready for the road. We finally ready to leave around mid day after calling into to town for more straps and filling up with petrol. Our friends that we had travelled with up the West Coast followed up for about 10 miles the stopped for lunch and said our goodbyes. It was then back into the routine of stopping every 30 miles or so to stretch. We ended up camping off the side of the road and had an early night.
18th June 1972 - 10 miles east of Frewena - 163 miles
This morning we were more organised and were able to get on the road by 9.15 after a rather large breakfast of savoury mince jaffles. We stopped at 30 miles and had coffer and our next stop was Tennant Creek where we did shopping and had an ice-cream. We filled our petrol containers at Three Ways and also filled the scooters. Lunch stop was about a mile down the road. When we arrived at Frewena we had a cool drink and unfortunately we had to pub 1/2 gallon of super in the tank. We camped about 10 miles from Frewena by the side of the road. Today has been fairly hot and we even road without our windbreaks on. There are hundreds of flies about so it will be a late dinner tonight.
20th June 1972 - 3 miles east of Camooweal
This morning we were up at 6.45 and on the road by 8.30. We rode 30 miles then stopped and at the second stop we had a coffee. At Barry Caves we got water and talked to 2 chaps on motor bikes. We had lunch about 9 miles out of Barry Caves when my spark plug fouled up. After lunch we changed it and filled the scooters with 1 gallon of petrol. We stopped twice this afternoon and again at the border. The countryside was very barren, hardly a tree in sight and very little traffic. We had an ice-cream in Camooweal then headed out of town to make camp.
21st June 1971 - Mt Isa - 117 miles
This morning we set out hoping to get to Mt Isa by 1.30 however things never worked out. Firstly I thought my spark plug had gone so I change it but it still wouldn't fire up so we cleaned the carburettor and Agnes, to the top off her finger. Liz (the scooter) refused to go. We eventually struck on the idea that the muffler may have blocked up and tried to find some wire but were unsuccessful. We ended up poking up one of our tripod legs (cooking tripod) and a large piece of carbon came out. Two chaps pulled up and gave us some wire. Liz decided after a little tickle of the wire all was well. We ended up getting to Mt Isa around 3.30. We had trouble finding a camping area but ended up in the Council Caravan Park. We went into town after a clean-up and had tea. Agnes persuaded me to ring home to find out about my Brother's Wedding. All went well. We did the washing in a Laundromat and then started to head home when Agnes found out she never had her keys to her padlock. We walked back to camp hung the washing out and then walked back to town and rode home. A Scottish chap (Jamie) came up to us and talked for a while. We are to have lunch with him tomorrow.
22nd June 1972 - Mt Isa
Today we slept in a while. I did some washing and Agnes did some things on the scooters. We went into town on my scooter and after filling up we were just in time to meet Jamie in his working position outside the Post Office doing pavement drawing. We had lunch with him and his mate then went on a tour of the mine for the afternoon. We finally did our shopping and met up with Ian and Anne again. We had just loaded the scooter when a girl I used to work with in Sydney appeared on the scene. She is working in Mt Isa. Back to camp we cooked our dinner and had it with Jamie and Roger then Ian and Anne came along for a chat thus ended up in a late night.
23 June 1972 - 42 miles south of Cloncurry - 119 miles
This morning it took us till 10 before we were finally packed and ready for the road. Our ride took us through hilly country to Mary Kathleen (a ghost town ready to open any time). We had morning tea and headed on to Cloncurry where we had lunch and filled the scooters. A couple of people came up to us and it ended up that they had seen my friend Peg and me on one of our trips to Queensland in 1968. We left Cloncurry at 2pm and after 8 miles of bitumen we were on the dirt again. The first river was bulldust and terrible. The bulldust is hard to see and I ended up coming off in a patch about 8 miles away from here. We pulled off the road at 4.45 and and wrote a while before getting dinner an organised.
24 June 1972 - Dick Creek Road near Winton - 119 miles.
This morning we were up about 6.45 and on the road about 9. We rode no stop to McKinlay where we had morning tea. The road improved greatly to Kynuna where we had lunch on the put step and then rode on to 4 pm before stopping. We took the Dick Creek road as it was 27 dirt and 40 bitumen. We should be on the bitumen tomorrow for a while. First thing was to boil the billy and then sit and write before dinner. We had an early night.
25June 1972 - Longreach - 173 miles
Today was about 25 miles of dirt then morning tea before we started on the bitumen. Our first stop was Winton about 40 miles where we filled up with both petrol and water and had lunch before heading out. The road was very good and we found we were nearing Longreach so decided to make it our target and a hot shower. Arrived at Longreach about 5pm, had a hot shower then walked into town for dinner which ended up being fish and chips followed by a walk down the town and a coffee before heading back to camp and bed.
26th June 1972 - Blackall - 134 miles
This morning we check the scooters before filling up and a milkshake. It was 11 am when we left so we did 30 miles and had lunch. All seemed to be going well. We had a couple of other stops before finally arriving in Blackall. At Barcaldine we had an ice-cream and a walk around own. On arrival at Blackall Agnes shock absorber broke. We took it to a garage and he welded it but Agnes rang Sydney to make sure all would be ok. We were told that there was a gas barbeque in a park which turned out broken so we ended up back at camp and still had a barbeque with some people on a lapidary expedition. Agnes and I walked around town for a while, had a cup of drinks and ended up bedded down in the laundry as it was cold.
27 June 1972 - Augathella - 138 miles
This morning we were woken up by a camping party pulling out. We were up and about 7 am and had breakfast and packed by 8.30. We drove 30 miles and rested then our next stop was Tambo and morning tea. We did another 35 miles before a break again then headed along the road. We had a late lunch at Augathella when we arrived and then did some washing. I went down the road to do some shopping and we just spent the afternoon sitting about. Sat and read in the shelter shed till about 9 pm and finally bedded down again in the laundry.
28 June 1972 - South of Wyandra - 124 miles
This morning we were on the road by 8.30. We were supposed to stop at 30 miles however my spark plug needed changing about 20 miles out of town so we just went on the Charleville. We had walk around town and took a photo of "Weary Willy". We did some shopping before having morning tea and leaving. About a mile out of town we were on dirt road again. It was the worse that we had been on. We could just manage 15 mph in parts. It took us 1 1/2 hours to ride the first 20 miles before lunch. We both had had it by then and were willing to hitch if possible. Agnes managed to get stuck on one of the grids. We saw some bitumen so hopped the roadway and rode along it till we were stopped by the road workers and then found we had only a couple of miles before we had to go back on the horror stretch. The road did improve slightly and we became weary at Wyandra so had a drink in the pub about 4.15pm. We went a couple of miles out of town and camped, cooked our steak and sat by the fire till time to go to bed.
29 June 1972 - 30 miles North of NSW - 109 miles
It was 8.30 after breakfast and packing up we were on the road again. It was still terrible. We had only gone about 10 miles when we came across a chap who had smashed his bike the day before on the road. He was waiting for a truck and whilst we were talking to him the truck came along and with the help of another 2 chaps we finally lifted the bike on the back of the truck. We had morning tea before heading on again thinking we would reach the bitumen but we didn't. The road was absolutely hell. We had lunch and headed on. There was only about 9 miles of bitumen before Cunnamulla. We stopped there and filled up then headed off again towards NSW. It was very cold and ended up here where we are camping. The first thing we did was have some soup then light the fire. After dinner we listened to the radio before going to bed about 9 pm.
30 June 1972 - Girilambone - 212 miles
This morning we were on the road at 8.25 am. We stopped every 30 miles till we reached Bourke where we arrived at 1.30. We had fish and chips for lunch as it was very cold. When we went to the petrol station we found that Bourke was like Cunnamulla and shuts down between 1-2pm. We managed to get a garage open and headed out of town to where we camped the night. We stopped at 4.45 had coffee then after dinner read and wrote and coffee for supper.
1 July 1972 - Orange 226 miles
We were woken by rain about 2.30 am. Pulled up the covers and tried to sleep. We got up just after 6am had breakfast and packed up. We thought we would surely get wet during the day. It was very cold and after a 28 mile ride we filled up at Nyngan. At lunch time in Dubbo we were frozen. We walked through the town and had lunch in a cafe. We put all our wet gear on for the afternoon ride to Orange. We stopped at Molong for a hot chocolate. At Orange it was very cold and going on for 5pm. We found our way to the Youth Hostel and Wardens. They gave us a drink of tea before going over to the hostel. When we went out to go to the hostel we found that it had started to snow. It really was cold. Agnes and I were the only 2 at the hostel so we got the fire going and thawed out before cooking dinner. We sat by the fire reading till about 9pm then washed and set up the day and night to sleep on by the fire. I got up a couple of times to stoke the fire during the night.
2 July 1972 - Sydney - 165 miles
This morning we were up at 7 am stoked the fire and had breakfast before packing up preparing to go. It was 38 degrees (f) and there was a frost on the ground. We left about 9 am. First stop was supposed to be Bathurst however I had to change a spark plug just before Bathurst. We had a coffee at Bathurst and just outside I had trouble with my scooter but found out It wasn't much. W e went into Lithgow for lunch but couldn't find anything and ended up at Mt Victoria before we got something to eat. It was home then in the thick of Sunday traffic. We got home to my parents house about 4pm. Judy (my sister), Jim and the kids were there when we arrived.