Tuesday, 30 June 2020

the australian 4x4 driving plan that grew

 Excitingly there are so many of us who now enjoy  the luxury of travelling in 4x4's. Under Maurice Wilks the 1948 creation of the Land Rover came into fruition within the once British marque. 

 All makes and models, over the last 60 plus years have now broken int the Australia  'vehicle of choice' since the 1940's and early 1950's.

The 4x4 LandRover is a vehicle of discovery.  Hence the 4x4 discover model.

What started with an idea from two young men in Newcastle New South Wales challenge the normal day to day existence people had settled into post hippy 1960's to mid 1980's time.  That daring plan took on  something that never had been done before.

Like all adventures many little things accepted at the time were dealt with.  These first were forgotten along the way of newer, more daunting challenges. Imagine the bush-mechanic styled repairs that would have happened as the beginning of the cross-country journey across the 'Big Redreally got happening.

The group consisted of 5 people: a mechanic, a botanist come naturalist, plus one wife who set up this journey of the life time. A journey of immense risk. One that has around 1100 sand dunes. As the path taken a few weeks ago can become completely different than the path about to be taken tomorrow. 

Experience would be a terrific teaches re the setting of the psi Tyre pressure ratio's. when Tyre pressures aren't set popper rough congregations late the viability and response times within even a town car. set the Tyre pressures right in the 4x4 Discovery, even at home , the response time alters.

Navigating was by basic map reading skills. Sextant calculations that found their location where exactly were they in the Australian continent

Rationing of just one cup of water per day. That meant no showers or bathing would exist. Nor any swimming as the Simpson Desert has less than 20mm through out per year. One of this group wore the same shirt for 21 days straight.

No power steering or air conditioning existed.  Nor any adjustable suspension

That journey would take 21 days just to cross the Simpson Desert. During which day was day and night enclosed you like a blanket. 

Stars visible up above is such amazing clarity that ever, single, pieces of detail would have been seen to be believed.

One of the participants, Mike Leyland [At 68 years] donated the original Land Rover to Birdswood Motor Museum 


Tuesday, 2 June 2020

To Say Goodbye To That Type Of Friendship

Susan, what are you doing? Sorting my emails out, Why?  Pick you up after four. Were going!

After eight months the travel out of the Latrobe Valley was truly welcome. We all needed a break from each other's company. The borders between states had lifted. Grab the time before something else happens.

Somewhere at the periphery of my brain the "you've got to say goodbye that past friendship Susan."  Leaving here at 4pm would make it dark by the time Bairnsdale rolled past. In all my sixty years this would be the first friend to have past away. Thirty-three years had gone with the bridge of friendship now just not humanly crossable. Cindy knew this and therefore, of the two routes possible, this was the one that she chose to drive. 

Between the last three months of 2019, and the first four of 2020 there had been the massive bush fires that raped the Australian countryside.

We were to travel East, then Northeast.  Most of this nearing a full moon and through the countryside where so much changed from the last time our own family had traveled along those roads.  Even the roads had changed.  No longer was there those stone-filled two-laned dirt tracks that we'd traveled along.

Instead, Martin Meyzies, the friend who had passed away, had been one of the crew who'd help carve out the federal roads through and around the continent. Sitting at the kitchen table last year I'd listened to some of the antis of a life at times behind the dozer crews.

Martin had helped me laugh and smile again after so much had happened in my own personal life.

Travelling along these roads and in the moonlight seeing what was described by a four-year-old after fires had ripped through the countryside where I still live [in early 2009] as bush fires raged through memories of a healing came.  A young girl had been with her mother  and seeing the new growth she'd been so honest...." Look mummy the gum trees have sleeping bags".

And so they did. 

As the moonbeams coming through the clouds the harsh realities of the bush fire's a few months ago, and the loss of Martin was intertwined. The cushion of "Moonbeams, and sleeping bags" around this " roughshod gentleman of the bush" precious Gum Trees was exactly as it was needed to be.

To say goodbye to that type of friendship sometimes you need a friend to take you there.


contrast people with a spark of lead potential

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