Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book of Me, Written by You: Prompt 54

A word cloud for the Book of Me Written By You - the words are family history legacy memories writing journal genealogy you written discussion me prompts book by enjoyment the reflection of

This post is part of the Book of Me, Written by You meme created by Julie Goucher of Angler's Rest.

This week's prompt is - 
School Trips
Did you go on any school trips?
Where did you go?
Memories and trinkets of those special days?

An open suitcase on a bed with a pile of clothes behind

Okay - yes I did go on a school trip in what was I guess the September holidays when I was in Grade 10 in 1976.

The photo above is taken at 54 Wright's Road Drummoyne.  Looking at the map, I think this building must have been knocked down now because I remember it being an older style building, like the ones across the road.

My parents had moved to Sydney to look for a house and my father had started working at Sydney University.  The flats at Drummoyne were owned by the University and were somewhere for staff to stay until they found somewhere more permanent to live.  I was getting ready to board at Canberra Girls Grammar in Deakin.  I was very excited about seeing the desert and going on this big road trip.  

I remember working really hard to try and lose lots of weight because I was starting at a new school the next year and thought I would make more friends if I was thinner.  Ah yes - the teenage years.  Don't they just bring back great memories?

I remember that we flew to Cairns from Sydney. It's a distance of about 
2,417 kilometres and the flight probably took at least three hours.

A little island on the edge of the Barrier Reef

We took a boat out to Green Island.  We probably swam a bit but I think I found it all a bit too hot and ho hum.  I remember looking out the bus window in Cairns and seeing school girls running around playing hockey in unbearable heat.  Such a contrast to cold old Canberra.

Then we went up to the Scenic Railway at Kuranda and the bus trip really started.

I can't be certain but I think we went to Normanton, then down to Mount Isa, to Birdsville and then to Cooper Creek, the Burke & Wills Monument. I know I had a photo of the Birdsville Hotel somewhere and Mrs Shaw on the boat going to Green Island but they've got mixed up in another album. Sigh.  Oh to be organised.

Here I am trying to impress a young man I was a bit keen on...for the life of me I have no idea who he was.  I want to say his name was Barry but I can't remember.

A young man watches Alex expertly levering out tent pegs with a mattock

 Innaminka rings a bell so I think we went there and I suppose we must have gone to Cameron Corner and stood on three states at once - Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales.  Then to Broken Hill and back to Canberra.

You can see a rather badly drawn map of the trip that we took here.

Group of children pulling out tent pegs

We had to be on our very best behaviour though as our headmistress Mrs Shaw was one of the teachers on board.  What a stalwart she must have been to put up with all of us boys and girls.

I'm not sure where this is but I suspect it is a view of Mt Isa. I'm happy for someone to advise me one way or the other.  Broken Hill is a bit flatter I think.

View of Mt Isa with student photo bombing

Here we are having dinner somewhere in the desert.  Which desert?  I'm thinking the Sturt Stony Desert.  I remember being told that if we went to the loo in the night to make sure that we didn't stand on scorpions.  Great!

Group of children sitting in circle having dinner at dusk on camp stools

I would love someone to tell me where the photo below is taken.  I'm ashamed to say that I can't remember.  I think it's Innaminka but I can't be sure.  That's friend Judith with her back to us in the foreground with the dark top on the left.

Children standing near ruin of house on hill

I suspect that this is the Burke and Wills Dig Tree monument.

Two people standing next to monument

And that this is Cooper Creek.

Base of tree trunk beside creek

We had a lot of fun on the trip and the bus driver must have been enormously patient.  Remember that this is in the days before we had DVDs on buses so there was long days of driving in difficult conditions.  Photo bombing is not a new concept and this driver had a well developed sense of humour as I remember.  

Two girls and bus driver photo bombing photo

Here's a picture of the kind of terrain that we traveled through on a daily basis. My memories were of drifts of red sand - endless horizons.  At first you mentally fought the sheer size of the landscape and longed for variation.  Then you embraced it and never wanted to go back.  I remember feeling that this was the real world and the rest was a fiction.

Bus on side of road on flat terrain

I'd like to experience that again.  What a country we live in!


The Enthusiastic Genealogist said...

I'd love to visit your country! I haven't seen these "Book of Me" posts and think I might have to join in the fun! I have several 'school trip' memories I could share. But, I don't have photos for most of them!

Alex Daw said...

I really encourage you to join in the meme if you can. Most prompts trigger lots of memories. I'm surprised how difficult it was to remember this trip, despite having photos. It was a long time ago now I suppose but I thought it would be easier to remember. I'm not even sure how long it took. I think it must have taken two weeks at least.