Monday, January 4, 2016

Travel 1970-77

A post on Facebook talked about this being the year to travel more.
made me think about all the travel I have done 
So decided to look at the time line of my travels.
I had planned just a chronology but details kept creeping in!
As a student nurse (on a wage of $18.09 a fortnight, board study and lodging paid for ) we went to Sydney one holidays, South Molle Island another and Tasmania on the 3rd one.
Marcia and I had grandiose plans to go to Japan (always a dream trip) so we were working out how much we needed to save each fortnight in 3rd year.(I think wage was up to $42.
Turned out we didn't earn enough to make a 1/3 of the fare!!
After 10 mths post grad at Royal Children's Hospital (1970) I went to work in Halls Creek in the Kimberley for 2 years with Australian Inland Mission
What an adventure! The Wet season, beautiful scenery and great nursing experience 
and from there visited Alice Springs, Darwin, Tom Price, Karatha, Wyndham, Derby, Perth, Katherine and travelled home on the Ghan for Alice to Adelaide.
China Wall out of Halls Creek 
Lived in Sydney for a year in 1973 doing Midwifery at Crown Street and having acquired a Mini travelled in NSW a bit, while saving for a year overseas with Jo Pile (later Edgar) 
Our flat in Randwick
In 1974 Jo and I booked a trip to Europe via USA where her sister (and a fellow Mid Graduate) worked. 
Planning travel in those days was not like today!!
For a start Jo lived in Adelaide and I in Melbourne in days with no way to communicate other than STD phone calls (had to ring in evening for low rates) or letters. We could not afford to make long calls from home so I rang her on the phone at the Concourse using coins!!
We had done most of our bookings in Sydney and were planning to fly to San Francisco, meet Alex, and then on Greyhound Bus Pass meet Hilary (with husband Ross) in New Hampshire . Then leave by the QE2 to London. and we had booked a Europe Camping tour with Adventure International. Winging it from there.
Not long before we left, the QE2 trip was cancelled, so our dates for the camping trip were off. The company didn't have any other Europe trips at that time so we booked a trip to Scandinavia.
If we had been able to talk more we would have realised we should have looked for another company, but refunds and payment (no online banking) etc at that time was an issue.  
I travelled in to the city to buy some duty free things (can't remember what) and when I got home I realised they had left my ticket ( a thick bundle of carbonated pages) in their photocopier.
I rang them and they apologised and said to drop in and collect it.
DROP IN from Beaumaris on public transport!
So I headed off on the big adventure. A year overseas was a common practice then I guess you could call its  gap year, but we had already been working.
The photo at the airport shows me in a pale blue pants suit with 2 suitcases!!!!
I met Jo on the flight in Sydney and she was similarly garbed !
Arrived in USA and Alex was unable to be contacted (seemed she'd moved to Dallas but hadn't let Jo know!!!!)
In the west we travelled overnight, but too short distances in the east 
So we spent 3 months on a Greyhound Bus Pass staying at Super 6 and Super 8 chain motels ($6 and $8 a night) and travelled over most States of the US.  When Celia and I were in Santa Fe a few years ago it was $36.99 a night.

We also stayed at the Inn of the Governors in Santa Fe as the bus got in late and there were no Super 6 or 8 near the bus depot. So the taxi took us to the Inn of the Governors a historic and beautiful place, where we had no choice and had to pay $20 a night!!
Inn of the Governors 2013
Met up with Hilary and Ross and we went camping in an out of Canada and Northern border of USA. Singing songs if all the Sates we went to! Great!!
Mount Rushmore
Then off to London (delayed as our connecting flight just didn't turn up!) but settled in London and started our travels, later staying with Marcia's in laws in Surrey.
Then off to the trip. Jo had become engaged to Paul in Sydney, so only stayed 6 months and when she left I used the Eurail Pass to Europe. 
Vigeland Park Statue. Oslo
On return to UK we hired a car  for a 2 week trip up to Scotland and the Cotswolds. What a treat were the villages and country side.
Cotswold villages
It took much longer to get around than we expected. Just when you got up speed you hit another village and slowed down. (No real motorways then). Nothing like driving from Sydney to Melbourne as we did in 2 days.
Unable to go to Greece, Eastern Europe or Russia then on Rail Pass but did all other countries and back to London
I then worked as a nanny in Wales for 3 months (a housekeeper really while the mother had surgery) I took kids to school, cooked, cleaned, and, daily fed, milked the cow(Bramble) and led the two cows Bramble and Blackberry, to new fields  !
This stock picture of Meifod. The house looks like the one where I worked.
We visited Sophie's (the mother) family in Norfolk for Christmas, where I found her father was the Earl of Glemham and lived in a BIG house!
Great Glemham House (now a wedding venue)
Having earned some money, then I decided to see about travelling to JAPAN on the way home.
Cost didn't seem too bad and I had a YHA card.   
No direct flights then so booked a flight home with a stop over in Bangkok, and a return to Tokyo.
Getting there at last!
The London agent who had done my bookings did them OK, but when I got to Bangkok and was confirming my onward arrangements turned out she hadn't confirmed any seats except London to Bangkok and Bangkok to Tokyo !! But I could go tomorrow (I'd just arrived) or at end of the month  (wedding was in 3 weeks) After a scene (un-japanese like on my part) I was put on standby and eventually got home.
I was in Japan on $20 a day and arriving home with about $150.The ticket he said, was only made out to Sydney and the agent on the phone said "that's OK just say you wanted to go to Melbourne!!!"  In the end he changed it to Melbourne. 
No longer just in Books!
There was no Rail Pass then, but I was heading home for Jo's Wedding so just had 2 weeks and had a travel card  6 days travel in 2 weeks. So I went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nikko and Sendai.
The youth hostels were very clean and organised and I got a Japanese YH book that had the locations on maps all in Japanese with bus routes etc . Great for asking directions once I was close. Some people just saw the book and directed me.
People were very helpful often walked me that last block / corner. 
Had Japanese breakfasts; fish, rice, soup and on one morning raw egg!  The other students were very friendly and wanted to practice English conversation. Seeing I had no Japanese that as good! 
In the 2 weeks I was there I saw no other foreigners (even in the hostels) except one tour group in Nikko (along with 50 school group tours there!)
I had planned to lash out on a Japanese style hotel, but my 2nd hostel was Japanese style and I discovered the pleasure of the Japanese Bath.
we had futons on the floor and a screen 
the Communal (women's) bath
I was there on the Emperor's birthday and went with the students into the Imperial Place grounds (not accessible normally) and saw the Emperor Hirohito and his family when they came out (hourly) to wave to the masses. 
I had not realised it was a public holiday so had planned to cash travellers checks on the Friday, but ended up with a weekend with no money! But hostels had meals I could pay for later.
I then arrived back in Melbourne in April 1975.
I worked at Frankston Hospital; had a job a week after I got home, (Celia and my first shared house) and in January 1976 started a part time Community Health Diploma with Infant Welfare, working shifts at Frankston to make money. 
After graduation in January 1977  that I went on a trip to New Zealand a Coach tour camping in the South Island  
Milford Sound New Zealand 
To be continued. 

1 comment:

Cecilia Meehan said...

Wow I need more time to read this but you certainly have been sorting out the research and photos :)