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AND SO IT BEGINS - The Great Australian Crawl.

Posted on February 10, 2014 by
Raymond
on the road at
Megalong Valley

 

The GREAT AUSTRALIAN CRAWL, months in the planning, years in the dreaming, commenced yesterday like all big adventures, with anti-climatic last minute details and multiples versions of "oh shit I forgot the charger". By the time I got out of the city it felt more like I'd been expectorated from a giant's throat than the military exit I had envisaged. In whatever state of readiness - I AM ON THE ROAD!


No! ... WE are on the road because that is the nature of this expedition. It's Tommie and me and there is a spare passenger's seat on the Swagmobile, a metaphorical space to be filled with people who wish to explore this journey, whatever it becomes. It is a heartfelt invitation!

 


Our plan is to return to Sydney on December 6, 2014, 300 days from now, older if not wiser. We travel north with certain benchmarks like getting to Cooktown around mid-April, Darwin and Kakadu mid-May, Broome in June. We will start the southern descent to Perth via Karijini National Park around July and then turn east across the Nullabor in August or September. We have to arrive in Burra at the end of October for the Burra Festivale and then complete our eastward crawl to Melbourne via the Twelve Apostles [or however many have kept their faith by then], until finally swinging north to Sydney.

While the boundaries for the trip are flexible the core intention is not. It's covenant is stated on the posters that will invite people to join me for evening chats and which will adorn the walls of country pubs and halls. It reads:

 

The Electronic Swagman is traveling Australia collecting and telling stories.


The first of those story-collecting talks happens this coming Saturday, Feb 15 at the Megalong Community Hall. It is a place where much of my personal story resides and where the past imbues the daily conversation; where horses, eucalypts, mountain mists and occasional swollen creeks still determine the pace of life. It is a living library for the Australian experience and the perfect place to start out on this journey. You are welcome to join us at 7pm as you are welcome to join us in any town through which Tommie and I pass.

As we travel along our first segment of the Great Australian Crawl to Brisbane, we will pass through Gulgong, Coolah, The Warrumbungles, Dorrigo, Nimbin & Lismore.  It might be that you have friends in these towns or you know where great stories lie buried or living, waiting either to be exhumed or broadcast. Let us know because that's our mission. 

But enough. To the road. Glad you are with us. The first page is about to be turned.
c ya

Raymond & Tommie

Read Tommie's daily WUFFINGTON POST on FACEBOOK

Send your thoughts and stories to swag@electronicswagman.com.au or call Raymond on 0414 929768. If you wish to speak to Tommie just leave a message.

Comments
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Ingrid Petersson
Reply
Hi you two, This will be very intersting to travel with you on this great tour, which I think many Australians would like to do once in their Life. I'm from Sweden, but have been to Australia several times and your country has a special Place in my heart. I'm going to follow you on my maps and via google. You and Tommie are a great team, your photo's very good. Enjoy your Saturday in Gulgong. /Ingrid
Raymond
Reply
Hi Ingrid .. thank you for that. I am exploring interactive maps that let people follow us easily. In the meantime if you go to the homepage - www.electronicswagman.com.au - you can click on the map to see where we are at the moment.
Ingrid
Reply
Thank,s, I've seen the map. I have a map for each state which are very good, so far I have found the villages you've mentioned. Warrumbungles looks very nice, and I look forward to see your photo's. I like to use my camera, Sweden is Beautiful but not so colourful as Aussiland. In my trip 1988, I took over 800 photos. I have a lot of nice memories in my albums. A pat for Tommie.
Laurie
Reply
Hi Raymond, good to hear you are on the road. Have fond memories of desert walking with you and Jan Cornall and Tony Backhouse and a bunch of great people. When you get to Far North Queensland look us up - you're welcome to roll out your swag on our farm near Mission Beach, between Townsville and Cairns (ask Jan Cornall what a lovely hidden secret Mission Beach is!) We have loads of room to park your swagmobile and for Tommy to flex his paws. I'm sure the locals would love to hear your stories (and tell you some of theirs). You may even get to meet a cassowary! Happy trails, Laurie.
Raymond
Reply
Hey Laurie .. thats exactly what we want to do. I have looked up Mission Beach and it looks perfect. The Far North Queensland is a new place for me to explore, a world of powerful stories I suspect. 
Cisco
Reply
Hi mate. Good luck on the adventure. See you at The Apostles. Cisco
Raymond
Reply
Thats sounds very biblical Cisco but then again I think you have always wanted to know me in a biblical sense.
Cecilia
Reply
All the best on your journey, Raymond! And when you are near the apostles have a little prayer for me, please. I may be out in the sticks in the Simpson with four-legged friends and no shower.
Raymond
Reply
Hey Cecilia .. Off on another camrl adventure huh. You are unstoppable. Its given me an idea though to do a camel trip some time.
Cecilia
Reply
Some are trekking, others are surveys, which should be very interesting.
Hamilton Downs Youth Camp
Reply
Hello Raymond,Wish you all the best on your journey.When you come through Alice Springs why not look up our camp. We are a heritage listed site run not for profit by Apex, we cater for all campers. Its just beautiful surrounded by the MacDonald Ranges. We are on the Tanamai Road, and there are many stories to tell.
Raymond
Reply
Hi there. I have stayed at the Hamiltown Downs Youth Camp many times when old Morgan Flint was the caretaker. I love it. On this trip though Ill be swinging north from Isa along the Carpentaria Highway below Katherine. Or thats the plan anyway. c ya Raymond
KimberleyDave
Reply
Hi Raymond, all the best with the trip. Is the talk at Megalong this Saturday (Feb 15) at 7pm or another time? The offer to stay along the Tanami sounds like a good one - there is a great Tanami road resource from the 1960s at http://av-relay.hcshire.wa.gov.au/docs/Public/Heritage%20Information/Old%20Tanami%20Road%20distance%20and%20landmarks%20list%20[2012.06.22].pdf 
Cecilia
Reply
Wow! I like that pdf! Must have been an exciting trip back then. I thought Rabbit Flat has closed down in 2010, or thereabouts, no fuel any more.
Raymond
Reply
Hi Dave .. as above I wont be going along the Tanami but the Gibb River Road I think. More up your way. Yes the Megalong Talk is this Saturday 15th Feb, 7 pm.
Raymond
Reply
I like the Tanami instructions Dave.
Linda
Reply
I wish I was brave enough to do what you and Tommie are doing, but I'm not, and life has other plans for me at the moment. But I'll be living the journey vicariously through you both, travel safely and I'll be following you with interest (and envy) :)
Raymond
Reply
Hi Linda .. Must admit I am feeling less than brave at the moment. Always a moment at the start of a big trip when you think "what the.."
Jo Holden
Reply
Hi boys, have a great time,I vivsited the Blue Mountains last year, but didn't get down to the Megalong, unfortunately....
Raymond
Reply
Pity - it is a rare and beautiful place
Rosa Christian
Reply
Hey, Ray and Tommie, How exciting for you. I'm sure you will collect as many stories as you tell. Look forward to seeing you on your way through. Email me and let me know when you will be in the Townsville area. Sinbad is so looking forward to meeting his hero, Tommie, because unlike his namesake Sinbad has not travelled very much. Cheers for now, Rosa
Raymond
Reply
Hey Rosa .. be great to see you in Townsville. I havent been there since I was a hippy fishing in the harbour for a feed. 
Rosa Christian
Reply
You will find The Ville quite changed...all grown up, well almost.
David
Reply
There might be an interesting story if there is some connection with your Lismore to ours. Lismore, Scotland.
Raymond
Reply
I'll investigate David. It is beautiful country up there with green rolling hills.
Tricia
Reply
Lucky you two.  Don't live in Australia but would love to do it.  So will follow and enjoy.
Raymond
Reply
It will be quite a ride Tricia
Glenda
Reply
Yep - Chinese Year of the Horse....enjoy the ride xxx
LEE bruce
Reply
Delighted that you are on your way. I am envious and wish you both adventures,stories and great experiences.I love the idea of an interactive maps. My son,Sholto is a techie int he theatre and comes to adelaide for two months int he winter to work at holden street theatre,he went to the 12 Apostles and sent images back stunning place to be aiming for.I think saving stories and hearing of folks lives iss so so important and I look forward to hearing them and travelling with you too as you go.Good luck for lee and breagha
Raymond
Reply
As usual you "get it" Lee
Jutta Gläser-Ziemendorf
Reply
Hi, good you two are on the road again and your goal is just great! I hope you´ll tell all your stories to us who can´t follow you on your great crawl in a book and I´m so looking forward to your pics! God bless!
Raymond
Reply
Yes Jutta .. we are creating The Great Australian Crawl book of photos and stories.