The tent!

The tent!
Two men!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Finale

It's me, Pappa Smurf back ( minus the beard ) to post my final blog.

A poignant moment in my life.


My heartfelt thanks go to :

   *   Uncle and Jenny Merrick for lending us many things including the best tent in the world
   *   Ellen and Rob Wade for lending us sundry items and giving very useful advice
   *   Granville and Yvonne Taylor for lending us snatch straps, compressor etc etc.....
   *   Roger Perkins for the use of a most necessary fridge that worked like a charm
   *   Geoff Green for hosting us on his wonderful farm at Tamworth
   *   Melanie and Narelle for their wonderful hospitality on their farm at Taroom Q.
   *   The Gatkowski clan at Bowen for their generous and warm hospitality
   *   Chris & Val Miesch for their hospitality at Lake Tinaroo ( great set up they have there )
   *   The whole Paspayley team - Nick, Richard, Cap'n Cook, Dace and his entire crew on board the MV
        Christine ( we had a ball ) - we were quite reasonable honorary deckies.
   *   Malu and Mari Barrios in Darwin - your hospitality and hosting abilities were world class.
   *   Rod and Wendy Carter ( Rod is my cousin ) for their hospitality on their wonderful sheep and wheat
        wheat property in Cunderdin W.A.... I am surprised that they can run that farm without us........
   *   Vern and Liz in Fremantle - your hospitality was fantastic as was the dinner party.... you can see that Mr Dear and I were quite successful spongers and , on reflection were adept at identifying unsuspecting targets; although, to be fair, we did, in many instances earn our keep.


The trip, for both of us was a once in a lifetime blast from start to finish. Everything went right, nothing went wrong, we met some extraordinary people ( Pete the tyre bloke at Weipa probably gets the man of the match ), saw some extraordinary places and were blessed with the weather. The highlihght?....working on the MV Christine, a Paspayley supply boat for 19 days.


 We are blessed to live in Australia - it is 10 countries in 1 and I reckon we saw most of the 10. The people are interesting, funny and really a likeable bunch. The scenery is world class.

I love this country.


For a 10 year old Prado with 200k on the clock our little buddy did us proud. By the time Ian rumbled into Sydney it had done the 15k without missing a beat. Diesel and manual helped the 11 litres per 100k average fuel consumption. If anyone is interested in making an offer, it is a very reliable and sound vehicle.


Thank you for stepping into the breach for me for the last few weeks of the trip; it was appreciated by both me and Ian. He has difficulty eating tangellos alone.


To those of you who have donated go our sincere thanks; many of you have been very generous, thank you.
We do not have a final total figure yet but it is the thousands not hundreds - a wonderful effort.
If any of you would still like to make a donation, simply go to ' or '. We will be forwarding receipts to those who have made donations.


To Ged and Christine go our profound thanks.

To get a leave pass for 3-4 months is a rare but wonderful privilege which we both have appreciated and we have both agreed that you are a couple of top sheilas. Thanks.


..........and they said it wouldn't work.

Spending 24/7 in a car or a tent with someone is a big ask. Spending 24/7 in a car or a tent with me is an extraordinary ask. Ian's intelligence and stoicism allowed him to be impervious to my idiosyncratic whims and all too rare companionable silences.

A good driver, a great travelling buddy and, someone who, whether he likes it or not will be a lifelong friend.

Thanks Ian - it was an unforgettable experience.

John from Singleton

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