Bob had been travelling Australia for about two and a half years, having returned home in Sydney twice only for very short periods. Driving a 2009 Toyota Landcruiser 79 series cab chassis with a custom made canopy, Bob explains his set up. Inside the canopy on one side is set aside for sleeping, the other side is for ‘stuff’.
An ARB 47 litre fridge/freezer which most importantly holds 72 cans is an essential and of course fishing rod racks attached to the ceiling. I have dual batteries to run the ARB and cabin lights and 80 litres of water capacity in a compartment under the tray plus two x 90 litre fuel tanks. This set up has served me well and has been successful in taking me to Perth, Adelaide, Tasmania, Darwin, Melbourne and the whole east coast of Australia."
"I was heading from the Northern Territory to Cairns and decided to take a detour from Cloncurry to Longreach and on to Rockhampton. Proceeding from Rocky to Cairns I passed the turnoff to Airlie Beach when Jane sprung to mind and I found myself detouring. I had not physically sighted Jane for more than 20 years yet had this sudden spontaneous idea to call in and say hi. I didn’t even know if she was still living there! I was with Jane 24 years ago when we had parted. At the time we lived as a family with her two sons. When we first split up we kept in touch over the years but then we had lost touch over the last 15 years.
Janes last known address for me was Airlie Beach. I went to her old place of business and asked if they knew if Jane was still a local. The answer was yes and the best time to catch her was on Sunday morning where she frequents a favourite cafe of hers.
Not being very patient I looked up the local telephone directory under her maiden name and her married name then I rang her. She answered the phone and I made some sort of smart comment which led her to believe I was somebody else that she didn’t want to talk to, she politely told me ‘goodbye’ using a different term and promptly hung up on me. When I tried to ring her back she wouldn’t answer the phone.
The next morning I decided to try and intercept her at breakfast. It was one of the rare occasions when she didn’t go there. She instead was taking a friend shopping at Mackay for the day. Not knowing that, I persisted with a couple more phone calls in the afternoon with no answer and at that time I thought I would give it one more try only."
"She answered the phone and I quickly announced myself before she could hang up on me to which she asked if I had rung her last night. So we made arrangements to meet for dinner that night, as I was staying in a caravan park she came and picked me up.
We went to a hotel, shared a bottle of wine, there was lots of chat and catching up. We invested in a second bottle of wine, forgot to order food, and found ourselves back to her place where we then enjoyed more wine and a spa. From there the friendship reignited along with the passion.
We spent the next three days reacquainting ourselves but I had made arrangements to meet my family in Cairns who flew up from Sydney. I departed vowing to return shortly after. We’ve been happily enjoying our relationship once more recognising that we had our own problems back then but now life’s good. Since catching up with Jane I have re-established relationships with her sons, one in Melbourne the other in Perth, and have shared numerous memorable trips all around Australia with Jane catching up with mutual friends and family.
It has now been 18 months since rediscovering Jane; I’m happy that I took a detour and found love."