Australians and New Zealanders it seems, have an inbuilt wish to do at least one ‘Big Lap’ of Oz. It’s almost as if one can’t meet one’s maker without having first done the ‘Big Lap’.
Not that long ago we found ourselves only a day away from home and enjoying lunch in the Gift Hotel in Stawell, Vic. It’s located right opposite the sports ground that hosts the famous Stawell Gift foot race. I was on crutches due to a recent stumble (a different kind of trip but more on that in another post) and we were enjoying an excellent roast. There was a huge map of Australia on the wall and we couldn’t take our eyes off it. “Scary isn’t it?” said Brian. Yes it certainly was we had just driven half way around the country! In four months we had done 18,000kms, and due to the crutches we had done the last 3,500kms much faster than planned. At that moment it slowly dawned on us that we had also completed a figure eight of Australia in just 12 months and 2 weeks. Four months up the East Coast to the Gulf of Carpentaria and back down through Western Queensland. Four months at home planning the Western leg before taking off to spend another four months on the road, across the Nullarbor, up the West Coast to Katherine in the Northern Territory and then down through the Centre in fresh plaster and in a bit of a rush. What a trip!