Just showing Bruce and Mark around my hometown (Geelong) and Victoria before heading back to the UK next Thursday. More news about the Oldsmobile in a few days’ time. (Exciting!!!) I have to work out a way to get sponsorship.
The Oldsmobile arrived in Darwin at 12.30 today, under her own steam, intact and sounding perfect as always.
What an emotional time – Over 2,500 miles and she drove every inch of the way.
She is a fabulous 110 year old horseless carriage and I am proud to be her owner.
The Team did a wonderful job, without whom the results may have been different. Mark and Bruce looked after her every whim and Lorraine looked after our every whim.
More words later…..
Today we travelled through Kakadu. Lorraine and Bruce went on a early morning boat trip to look at the birds and crocs so Mark and I left at 7.45 arranging to meet up whenever possible.
I was expecting to see tropical rainforest type trees and vegetation but I was surprised to see a variety of eucalyptus and palm trees. As we were driving along I started to consider why there weren’t more tropical type plants and I suddenly thought that the area must have been logged at some point and I am aware that delicate tropical vegetation does not grow back again as it was. The area becomes drier etc. When we had our first oil check stop a Kakadu Ranger stopped to photograph the car. He gave us considerable information about the trees and vegetation and when I asked him if the area had been logged he replied that it had but years ago but without expert knowledge I came to the conclusion that this was the reason. Please correct me if I am wrong. I’m only an amateur!!
We arrived at our destination at 2.30. I’m glad because the temp. now is in the 30’s. Not complaining but my face is looking somewhat like parchment even though I’m wearing 50+ sun block.
AND the Oldsmobile? Absolutely wonderful. She has been running a bit hot at times on the longer climbes but she arrived all intact.
Yesterday was a day off and we visited Katherine Gorge. Wonderful trip.
Today left Katherine at 7.45am. Wonderful day, beautiful scenery, interesting company. We are now in Kakadu. Sorry guys – I’ll write about this later. Just enjoying the company as our trip nears its end. I know you’ll understand.
Just one more thing – the temp was 32 celsius when we arrived. It’s hot but that’s not a complaint!!
AND most importantly – the Olds was purring wonderfully today over some fairly steep climbs. I was told I would have to change down a gear to get up but Hey – I didn’t – she pulled wonderfully just dropping to 18 mph.
Today was to be the longest day – almost 180 miles. The intention was to leave early but it was 7.45 before we managed to set off.
It became obvious before long that we were emerging from the drier terrain to the northern part of Australia where more rainfall falls. The most disturbing part is the amount of road kill which is indicative that now there are kangaroos and wallabies about. During the dry season the wild-life travels to where there is water and return when the wet season arrives. I have been amazed at the lack of wild-life for the last couple of weeks but now with so much road-kill it is stressful – wish we could teach kangaroos some road sense.
At one point we could see smoke in the distance and then we came upon a fire burning by the road-side which stretched for miles. This was a control fire, lit to get rid of the undergrowth before the really hot weather begins and to minimize the risk of serious bush fires that spread so rapidly.
At Mataranka, the setting of “We of the Never Never”, Jeannie Gunn’s autobiographical account of 1902, we stopped under the trees to check oil and petrol in the Olds as well as lunch for the Team, when the local police pulled up and came to check my car as they had heard that the Olds was the oldest car on the Run. That of course attracted a large audience with cameras. One of the other participants said that quite a few people at Elliott the previous day were breathalysed then I chipped in and said, “We missed out on that”. The policeman then said, “We’ll soon fix that” as he rushed off to the car to get the breathalyser kit. I was then breathalysed, but he was just playing to the cameras as we were all laughing our heads off. In case you are wondering, the result was negative.
It seemed a long day but we arrived at Katherine at 4.10pm ahead of schedule. The Olds never missed a beat and is enjoying the attention she gets.