Travel on a shoestring..ancient history

Submitted: Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 14:47
ThreadID: 55039 Views:3738 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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When I look back at our second trip around Australia in 1991, I am both amazed and horrified.

It took us 6 weeks as we had work to get back to.

It cost us around $6k all up.

We thought that a caravan park with green grass was 5 star.

One tent for us, a small tent for the kids.

Tourist activities were mostly confined to those that didn't charge :)

Food was basic, but occasionally we "splurged" on a meal (with kids its hard not to)

We had a motel room around every 4 days on average.

There was a lot that we didn't see, a lot that we didn't do. But back then tourists were still almost a rarity in many places. Plane flights over the Bungles ? Fishing charter in Broome? Dream on!

I worried constantly about mechanical breakdowns, especially when we were on the other side of Australia. It was so far away, and so expensive to get home by commercial means.

My series 60 had 275000km when we started!

We had little in the way of epirbs and satphones etc.. so we stayed mainly on the tar.

Fuel costs were seen as high. One place in WA charged us 73cents a litre of diesel!!!

We joined the Big 4 caravan parks mob because we knew that they didn't have any houses of horror.

We slept in the car on a few occasions, not for economics but because we got in so late.

The air con broke down in the north of WA. So who said superheated air pushed up your nostrils from the window vents is bad for you?

Oh and no fridge.

The tyres were retreads. One flat in the main street of Albany.

We never felt that our security was threatened at any time.

We must have been ruuly poor..nobody pinched anything from us.

I have vivid memories of watching black and white TV(6" screen) on the car bonnet in Perth, while fiddling with a wire (!) aerial. But it seemed pretty civilized at the time.

Both my kids grew up with the travel bug. Son is now planning a 12 month trip o/s, daughter has been o/s about 4 times. Both still remember their times going around Oz with a great deal of pleasure.

I'm amazed that we did it. Actually we did it twice, (but that's another yarn).

And in retrospect, I'm horrified. Not even a camper trailer, no sat TV, little emergency gear,nowhere like exploroz to get advice, we went by guess and by God. How did my kids exist without Maccas and DVD machines to keep em quiet?
Would I do it again? I'll let you be the judge of that!
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Reply By: Squizzy - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 14:53

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 14:53
Well put together footloose.

Things are different nowadays. But in answer to your question, I bet you would still do it all again.
We are.

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Follow Up By: Footloose - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 14:56

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 14:56
Geoff, thanks. And you're right, I a heartbeat!
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Reply By: Vince NSW - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 15:35

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 15:35
Your right. We have been camping with the kids for last 25 years. Well not the last 5 years as they have moved to the ends of the earth, but we will all be together for a camp out at easter.
Again you arfe right about not needing all the U bute thing we now have and think we need, but any silly bugger can be uncomfortable.
My kids laugh at me in the CT with all the comforts, and go on about how thought I used to be, but after years of sleeping in mud & the wet with the Army, I no longer feel i HAVE PROVE MYSELF.
Like you I am looking forward to getting together with the family in the bush, only problem they now want to bring Husbands / wife's etc.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 16:27

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 16:27
As the aches and pains become more numerous, and it becomes more difficult to get up and down, I have to admit that a bit of comfort is in the pipeline.
There were few CT's back then.
I now travel with a fridge and all the emergency stuff.
I would never contemplate anything but new tyres
I've learned to stop and smell the roses as often as I can
Why speed ? We're all going to the same place eventually.
But Oh...the price of fuel these days :))
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Follow Up By: Vince NSW - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 16:36

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 16:36
The other big difference I find is that I can now afford the little comforts. 25 years ago with young kids and house loans was a different story.
Now the CT with the innerspring
Hot water & the unheard of shower.
not to mention the epirb, HF GPS Computer & all the fun bits AND for my birthday I am getting a sextant so that when they shoot all the bits of space junk down, I will be able to get lost the right way.
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Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 16:55

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 16:55
Hey Vince

Was that a miss- spell, You are getting a SEX TENT, you are a lucky

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Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 17:55

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 17:55
Good on you Sir Footy!! I not only reckon you would do it all again, but I have a suspicion that your memories of that particular trip are your fondest
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 19:16

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 19:16
With no mod cons, how did you not get Lost?
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 20:55

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 20:55
Twas a miracle, smart ass :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 22:32

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 22:32

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Reply By: Member - extfilm (NSW) - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 19:58

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 19:58

My first trip was round about then. Put my backpack in the back of the subaru and headed north from Sydney.
Was gone for 3 months. Remember leaving Brisbane with enough money for one more tank of fuel. Flipped a coin to see if I should travel north or go back home.......... Went north and found 3 days work in a mechanics shop...... That got me to cairns. Had so much fun during the 3 months and think I only spent 800 for the whole trip. Have great memories. Now is defianetly a different story.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 21:11

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 21:11
It was actually our second time around the big apple. The first time took us 3 weeks ! We wanted to see what was there and what we'd go back to. In the space of 5 years everything had changed.
Yes, things were different back then. But at least we have the memories :))
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Reply By: happytravelers - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 21:23

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 21:23
My wife and I did the trip around Australia the same year as you. We had an old 72 model Kombi and lived in it for 14months while we traveled around Australia. ( yes we are still married ) We picked up jobs on the way which paid our living expenses. We used to look longingly at all the 4wd's and caravans but the old Kombi got us to most places we wanted to visit. Have to agree with you about a caravan park with grass seemed like five star. We also had a 6" black and white tv but couldn't get reception in too many places. A great time in our lives, we now have a 4wd and all the gear but too many comitments and not enough time for a long extended trip. However we're looking forward to a four week trip up north latter in the year.
Thank you for sharing your memories with us.
Regards Jon
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 21:29

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 21:29
Thanks, Jon. I'm pleased that I could bring back a few happy memories for you. It makes my day.
Yes, we've been married now for 36 years. When we got married our friends and family said it wouldn't last six months as we were both so different :)
Good luck on your forthcoming trip.
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Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 03:10

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 03:10
Good post Footy. I'm sure you would do it all again. Wer'e currently in the Pilbara working now to save money to travel around. We have a CT, good tyres, hand winch, gps and uhf.
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