(This is an abreviated part of my story from my book)
Courier, Sundowners, Europe 1982
I finished my 3rd 8-weeker trip after company collapsed.
London office asked me to fund the rest of the trip, with a promise of recompense, from Madrid - London out of my own pocket.
Alan McKeachen and Brenda Newman were the driver and cook on this one.
I did that, but the re-imbursement didn't happen.
Went to India, with Allan Crane, to learn Khatmandu - Karachi tours, but as the Asia operation also started to fold, I still didn't get paid for the whole season.
Returned to London Dec.82 and took my camper van to Kitzbuhel, in the Tirol, Austria, worked for the ski school there.
Within a month, the lack of further snow saw the sacking of all the new instructors, me being one of them. I used most of my remaining funds to pay a bond for a unit in Gundhabing, for the season, and paid rent in advance.
I couldn't get anything back, so I set myself up to illegally stay in my camper van for the rest of the season, and taught privately.
I parked and lived in my camper van in Brixental Strasse, in Kirchberg, next to the railway. I was soon covered in a wall of snow-plow blown snow and had to dig out the back door of my snow-caved, luton top, Transit van, every morning and night.
The snow cave made it a lot warmer, only minus 10`
Here, in Kirchberg, a mate and fellow Kiwi, Kevin Jarvis and his wife managed Club Habitat.
I borrowed £100 from Kev, to buy fuel, gas and food stocks.
The londoner Pub in Kirchberg was my "office" and 2 good value ex-pax worked there. I gave them a kick-back for every ski lesson booking they initiated. Other lesson bookings came out of Club Habitat guests where I would have a meal, once a week.
Another good-sort ex-pax Aussie, Christine, was allowed to invite a friend to have a meal at the gasthoff she was living/working in, one night a week. Schnitzel, peas and mash never tasted so good.
No hanky panky, she and these people, were just loyal friends.
I paid Kev back in 2 weeks. Employed another ski instructor in 4 weeks. A second in 5 weeks.
We all had work visas for Austria.
With the end of the Tirol season, this 2nd ski instuctor and 2 of her friends, went back to Val D'Isere, Savoir, France, with me.
We went via the Nthn Italy ski areas, Mont Blanc Tunnel, Bourg St.Maurice.
This was my 2nd Nth hemisphere winter, my first being in Val D'Isere. My 3rd and 5th were also in Val.
Cutting a long story short, I worked for Autotours for the next 2 touring seasons, and worked for Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, Covent Garden, London, in the pre-ski season (Ski shows).
Then Goway Travel in Sth America and Nth America the next 18mths.
My 4th Nthn Hemisphere winter was mostly in Sth America, though I did work some UK ski Shows, flew to NZ for Xmas and some business and skiied in Val before I went to start in Sth America, in Rio, after the Carnival.
Returned Downunder Dec.86 and tried to buy into a travel business and develop NZ inbound.
Got stuffed around by Star Travel International, Auckland. Gave up and went back to Oz.
Married a good-sort Aussie Dec.87, in Manly, Sydney. Bought a sewing machine business in Dee Why. I did a trade certificate in sewing machine mechanics at Strathfield Tafe.
We had 4 beautiful daughters.
Separated Dec.05 and Divorced Dec.09
I still live in Mona Vale, Sydney Northern Beaches. Still single, not looking.
I'm working part-time for Spirit Safaris, at present, doing Aussie Outback 4WD tours.
Wow! you haven't sat still for too long. It is quite amazing how diverse our lives have been after we shared common ground.
I try thinking back to the early 80's and it would have been impossible to guess what awaited us.
Just reading about your story and Vicar's story.
It's amazing how we found ourselves moving from country to country and state to state without feeling any fear of doing so. I think that back in the 70's and mid 80's the world was as relative safer place and I found jobs were easier to get in most cities in Australia.
Glad that you are writing a book Adrian as I also have been just writing a short booklet about my life and my families life......to hand it down eh and hope someone reads it.
I've also done a huge "travel" scrapbook on all the places that I've been.
I left Sydney 1974 with the then current boyfriend and got Greyhound bus to Darwin..took 4 days via Brisbane.
When we left Mt Isa (or somewhere) the air conditioning broke down, so we had to smash the rear window and a few of the side windows so that we could breathe. We left Sydney in the July, so it was pretty cold, and then we had this happen while heading towards Darwin and it was so hot. We got there OK and Darwin was a funny place then as women weren't allowed to stay in the "backpacker" digs..(men only).
However, this was in the July, which was just 5 months before cyclone Tracy hit..so we were lucky eh.
We eventually flew on a Focker Friendship to Baucau in Timor (then Portuguese Timor). We slept on the beach and on concrete and hitch hiked down through to Kupang. Got on a barge in Dili to Batugade (which was a Portugese army camp) and stayed there on the concrete floor of a big open shed with about 16 of us.
All sorts of issues occurred along the way, but eventually flew to Bali. Bali was good then...3 of us rode a bike around the place....all good but had a few mishaps .
Eventually, we hitch hiked up through Indonesia, via Singapore, Malaya and Thailand and all over the place and eventually flew via Egypt Air to England where we stayed for about 2 yrs.
Came back to Sydney and flatted for a few years and then bought a house in Balgowlah Nth.
After being together for about 7 yrs, we split up and I bought out my share of the house and eventually met my future husband (good idea at the time). So we both took up residence in my house and had 3 children then we divorced sold the house and the same old story....I'm now living in good old Brisbane and it's not bad here although I miss the Northern Beaches and always will.
I was brought up all around the Sydney suburbs and spent 11 yrs in the Blue Mountains. I still have many friends there and in Sydney.
People's lives are rather interesting and mine seems rather dull compared to the stories that I have read, especially your story and Vicar's.
Whilst living & in England during 1974/5..my friend and I booked a NAT tour Oct 1975 to North Africa via France. I have to thank Simon Arms for sending me the photos of some of the places where we went and showing the NAT bus in Meski. Not many photos of New Zealand and Australian Tours (nicknamed Never Again Tours).
Look after yourselves and perhaps you may read this one day.
Just goes to show everyone has a story. I sense there is a lot more to your story but I realise it is some of the highlights or low lights you have given us. Thanks for that and if you have any of your own pictures, by all means share them with us. I don't recall seeing any from you, and then again, it is a while since I visited the picture section. My most recent visit was to post a reference given to me when I left Sundowners in 1980.
I actually only have three photos that I have in my scrapbook. Two of which I am in Marrakech looking very unsure and one of me and a girl named Diane in Monaco.
The chap who I travelled with seems to have disappeared off the planet and I cannot contact him. He retired from the police force in Sydney 2 yrs ago and has now gone, and he has most of the photos of our NAT trip.
He was a great photographer and it is such a shame as I feel these pics have gone forever....hopefully, Jim hasn't.....so there isn't anything worthwhile uploading eh.
Got heaps of our other trip though.
I couldn't even begin to comprehend to do that stuff again.
And yes, there was a lot more to the story.