Vale El Prado

Our great friend and travel mate El Prado passed away suddenly last week. He was unwell at our Xmas caravan club muster at Maryborough, Vic on the weekend but on Sunday night a bunch of us shared dinner and he was laughing and enjoying a red in true El Prado style.

Monday morning, he was putting on a brave face, so Elle took him to the hospital on the way home. What was first thought to be minor and just requiring an overnight stay escalated. He passed away from a massive heart attack.

Regular readers of this blog will know that our El Prado was quite a character. He had a curious mind and loved people and travel. Be it on cruise ships or caravanning El & his wife Elle were travelling for most of each year. El Prado was in his element finding small insignificant towns, those that barely made it onto the map, then finding a seat on the street he would wait for someone to stop and say hello. He loved talking to people. He’d wander back to tell us all about the place, where to go, and what to see. He called this his Forrest Gump thing.

Always up to mischief, I probably should apologise here to the farm stay in the Western District where he stole eggs from under the chickens, the caravan park in Far North Queensland where he nicked passionfruit from the fence and the residents of Mulambin, Qld who each winter mysteriously lost the passionfruit from their overhanging vines.

Our mate Toothless always called El Prado and Woody Tweedledee and Tweedledum for their lack of handyman skills. Like the chilly morning in Theodore when the power failed and they both looked on in wonder when a neighbour strolled over and flipped the circuit breaker.

But El Prado was very good at lighting fires. So good that he would get excited and light them far too early. Like the time we camped on the foreshore at Gillard’s Beach, El Prado burnt all the wood before it was cold enough for us to sit by the fire!

In Mylestom Caravan Park we suggested that he should visit Specsavers after he left the toilet cubicle and wondered why a woman was brushing her hair in front of the mirror.

In Peterborough, SA with Toothless and his Missus, he blissfully filled not only the car with petrol instead of diesel but the diesel heater tank too.

There was the time that he removed the toilet cassette while Elle was on the loo and if that’s not bad enough, up on the Murray River he drove off, towing the van, down a bumpy bush track while Elle was still clinging to the toilet seat. Then there’s the, at least 5 times that we know of, when the Prado’s locked themselves either in or out of their van.

VeeWee recalls the night in a tropical downpour when El Prado raced out to help her with her awning. Absorbed in the task at hand they were both running about in the dark in nothing but wet undies!

I can’t not mention here El Prado’s love of food. His passion for Jimmy Wong’s dim sims, pies, vanilla slices, pizza, pub parmies, gourmet sausages, Panama passionfruit, and acid-free pineapples. Oh, the list goes on and there’s barely a roadside stall, butcher, or bakery in this country that he hasn’t stopped at.

Travelling with El Prado there was never a cross word or a bad mood, just his love for Elle, his family, and friends and the sheer excitement as to what the next adventure would bring.

We’ll miss that smiling face popping into our van each morning and planning what’s on for the day.

“This is Ukulele Lady and Woody saying “See Ya Brown Rice Boy and thanks for the ride.””

Waiting for his mates.

26 thoughts on “Vale El Prado

  1. I’m so sorry to read your news. We have also travelled with El Prado through your blog and your memorial to him is a beautiful tribute. What great memories of your adventures together. My sincerest sympathy to you and Elle.


  2. Oh no. I’m so sorry. It was clear from your posts what an important part your friend was in your adventures. I know you’ll miss him so much. But of course his wife is in my thoughts too. It’s too early to say whether she’ll have the heart to continue her adventures with you I guess. It’ll be the last thing on her mind just now. Sincere good wishes to you, his widow, and all your ‘team’.


  3. Your tribute to your friend has brought tears to my eyes. The sagas of your travels painted him so vividly. My sympathy is with you, Elle, and the rest of your travelling group. I suspect his memory will be keeping you company around the campfires of the future.


  4. Such sad news to hear but good that he was travelling and enjoying life right up to the end. He will, no doubt, live on in many tales around the camp fire for many years to come. My commiserations to you and all his friends and family. Travel safely, and well El Prado!


  5. Sorry to hear of this loss of a traveling mate… but it it is your time, better this way than a long drawn out illness, I suppose.
    As hubby and I age, we are far more aware that each adventure with a friend might be the last. That thought makes us a lot more appreciative of friends and family!


  6. El Prado was a regular character in your stories and I noticed his great ability to connect with people. As a reader I will miss him but I understand that beyond the character there is a man who will be missed by those who were dear to him. My sympathy is with you.


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