Serendipitous moments and six degrees of separation

I’ve often mentioned in these pages that on our very first freedom camp foray, the first person that we met turned out to be a member of the caravan club that we obliviously later joined. We had travelled many thousands of kilometres with our mate Veewee before realising through Facebook that she was a friend of Woody’s cousin, then discovered that she and Woody were distantly related by marriage and have since found another genealogical link.

I’m constantly amazed at how many people we meet on the road who have in some way crossed our paths in life before. There are 25 million or so people in this wide land and yet somehow, we meet in the strangest of circumstances.

Over the years several members of our caravan club have turned out to be old school friends or distant relatives, but it was quite a surprise when a stranger sat beside me on a riverbank in Dartmoor, Vic and after a long chat in the afternoon sun we arrived at the fact that we too went to school together.

Prior to one winter trip up north I rang a friend who was concerned that her brother in law was seriously ill. A few months later while birdwatching on a riverbank in Wagga I got chatting to a chap who was returning home from attending the funeral of …you guessed it, my friend’s brother in law.

Then there was Kandanga, a place we’d never heard of until a friend we’d met on a cruise recommended it. In the area and stuck for somewhere to stay we thought we’d give the Kandanga Bowls Club a try. We loved the place and enjoyed the company of the two couples parked beside us. We stayed on for four days before we realised that they were old friends of our mates back home. We then all travelled on to Kenilworth and met up with our cruising mates. Thanks for the tip M & D.

To add a little more excitement to our day on one trip we decided to fit a clothesline under our awning:

One can’t rush into these things and after having had the gear for ten months we felt that now was the right time for the installation. Ah, no more hanging wet towels on the awning arms now, we can hang our washing under the shelter of the awning. And while raving about this great new clothesline and how we’d bought the ‘hook thingies’ from a guy in Kenilworth, Qld our mate M said “He’s my cousin.”

Quite possibly the quirkiest of all was when we were staying in the Cape Range National Park in WA. Our mate Double or Nuthin’ suggested that we drive up to Vlamingh Head lighthouse as the information plaques up there were well worth reading. We did. It was a place I’d wanted to visit for a very long time as we had learnt about the exploration by Vlamingh at school, but when I read a plaque of a firsthand account by a soldier who had been stationed there in World War Two I nearly fainted. The soldier was my old school friend’s father.

More than river reflections, Dartmoor, Vic

9 thoughts on “Serendipitous moments and six degrees of separation

      1. Having grown up in Melbourne, and having very little to do with the Tasmanian family until an adult, I found the Tasmanian way of identifying people by their antecedents most peculiar……As you say: :she married a —” and “She was a —–and they were related to—–“. And the way they knew that information for everyone. My head would swim with it all….


  1. It really is a small world!
    A few years ago my husband crashed his motorcyle (the bike was written off). Much later we learned that the bike was purchased by the father of a man who lived next door to my husband’s father. The bike was taken to a location in Arizona where it was rebuilt – at the same time my husband was in Arizona recovering from the accident. The bike returned to our hometown and was sold to a guy who later sold the bike to our son-in-law…


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