Greg
Greg's diary
July 1970
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This page was entered manually from the paper originals between 24 February 2017 and 6 March 2017. The maps and some comments were initially entered in July 2013 and then modified.


Wednesday, 1 July 1970 Bow ⇆ Plymouth
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Up rather earlier for the long day that lay ahead of us - Sue and I had drawn up a rather long action list for the day, and on top of that we had an urgent message from Mike Hadden, who had rung round 0900, and wanted to see me. Into town pretty quickly and saw him, and got my cheque book back at last, then up to the Chem Eng building, where nothing much was happening, and there was a long queue, and so left Mike and went into town, and I to the bank to see about money for the trip, while Sue went to Lloyds to get a cheque for her passport application signed, the bloke in Barclays actually let me have a £48 overdraft, which surprised me somewhat and pleased me no end. Took Sue's stuff to post, then did some shipping and up to check out - did not have to see Prof. Lacey, but Mike Patrick's attitude was not the most reassuring one, and left me wondering if he knew something of disadvantage to me. Back home to find that Chris had removed all his belongings and bolted both doors from the inside; after a bit of examination discovered he had removed a pane of glass from the rear window and got in like that. Furious, to the cop shop in North Tawton, told them all about that and also, while we were at it, all about his drug pushing, which interested them somewhat. Then back, an they helped me get into the house, and had a look round - noted Chris had left on all the electrical appliances he could, and also appeared to have removed some things. Cops left eventually, then I off outside to see what I could do about the Old Grey Mare, which was still parked outside the poet's house; he came out in the middle of the proceedings and spouted a lot of bullshit, and I gave him some back to make him happy; poor bugger lives by himself, and must be lonely as hell, and I rather feel sorry or him.

His name was Martin, and he lived across the road from me, and though we had planned to accept an invitation to tea (or whatever) with him, he died before we managed to do it. My neighbour to the east (closer to him) was an ex-gravedigger, and he found him dead in his house one day.

Belted the car along in reverse for some way, eventually needed a push and got it from some mechanics up top by the Gospel hall, and back, where I promptly removed the bonnet and got down to attacking the gear tower, and with Sue's help managed to get the gears back together again, then adjusted the clutch, and as a result of that the thing went beautifully into gear without any problems. Cleaned up and to Plymouth, where we met the Dyers and the Fortescues, and had a drink, then off backstage, where I sat writing more editor programs. The concert was pretty deathly, and we were both glad when it was over. Off home, then back to Sue's place, and again stayed the night.


Thursday, 2 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Sue up to wake me this morning by a rather unusual but pleasant method, and subsequently got up and off back home, where I decided to set to and do something about the way the engine of the Old Grey Mare was behaving - even more than the misfire, what worries me is the amount of smoke that comes out of the oil filler cap almost as soon as it starts. In any case, decided to eliminate the possibility of a grotty carb by changing it - apart from anything else, my spare had a better throttle spindle, and the choke did not stick, so put it on, which in fact did cause it to idle more than slightly better, so off for a quick drive before doing anything further, to confirm that it was more than just a coincidence, and then to see Mr. Thompson for some ignition components, but he was not in. Back home and had a bite to eat, then into Okehampton for our jabs - no nonsense this time, just a matter of rolling up our sleeve and having it, then out again; mine was none too expertly done, and hurt somewhat. Then off to Thorverton to see Chris Manners, whom we found without any difficulty, and swapped cameras, then he showed us round his “cottage”, though I doubt it really merits this title - it is enormous, with 7 bedrooms and an old hidden fireplace in every room. Cris is at the moment excavating an enormous one in the sitting room - it is about 15 ft [4.5 m] across, and the chimney is big enough to park a car in. Magnificent thing, makes me really jealous of Cris. Eventually off, and straight back to the Fortescues' for makan, while gradually our arms began to ache; had makan, but decided that we did not want to stay all evening, so off home again after that, though we spent most of our time in bed - I was feeling rather crook, over and above the sore arm, and did my best to persuade Sue to stay the night, ostensibly to look after me, but eventually back to the Fortescue's, and stayed there, I spending a good deal of time reading Du Maurier, “The House on the Strand”, well into the night.


Friday, 3 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Woken up early by motions of the elder Fortescues, and then managed to get back to sleep and successfully ignore the pain in my left arm - these jabs certainly have something more than water in them. Woke up round 1030 and across the top of the staircase to find Sue still in bed, and so woke her up after her attempts of yesterday, [?] and eventually up and had a bite to eat, while I took my insurance down to the cops in North Tawton (finally!), and then off back home to mess round fora while before going in to Okehampton to see Mr. Fortescue about my teeth, and left Sue at Lloyd's to get some money for me, and then up, but by the time Mr. Fortescue saw me Sue had already come up, and so he called her into his surgery (or whatever) and got her to read some bumph from Oxford while he drilled away at me - at least he paid me the complement of saying that I took his drilling very well, which I did; more important, he did not charge me 30/- for treatment, which I thought very kind of him. Then into town to buy some food and contact breakers, also a rotor arm - had fun with these, because apparently Joe Lucas and mob have made more than one kind - in fact, for some reason, they do not seem to have made two distributors the same. Finally got these, but could not find any HT points, and so off without, and back home to fit said parts, and then set the gap and started her, which she was reluctant in the extreme to do, and so, after she had gamely struggled on on 2 or 3 cylinders for a while, had a look at the CB, and discovered I had set the gap the wrong way round, and the closest she was coming to closing was 0,4 mm. Rectified that, and messed around with the timing, then inside, where Sue was cooking up some makan, and hung about for a while, and finished off “The House on the Strand”, which was very good - surprising how much relevance it had to our position here.

The book was written the previous year, and my recollection is that drugs were involved, along with the police in somewhere like Launceston, only about 30 km from Okehampton.

Then out for a drive in UXO 80 (must stop calling her the Old Grey Mare - AA8860 would be frantically jealous), and she is certainly feeling a lot better of late - hardly any misfiring at all. Back home, via the Burston for supplies, and spent the evening as ever.


Saturday, 4 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Up rather later than we had intended, seeing as though we had planned to go to Okehampton round 1000-1100 to see the CID abut Chris and his drugs, but though we arrived at more like 1230, there were no complaints. We were both ushered up along hundreds of little staircases, and then told our story, what there was of it. After a while, another bloke came up with a few questions about what the cannabis I had seen looked like, and then spent a while dragging some out and showed it to us, then described how a joint was made, etc., and what the plant looked like - as Sue put it, “This is cannabis, this is what it looks like, this is how you make a joint, and this is how you smoke it!”. Then arranged to see them on Monday morning so that they could search the place (or whatever), and off into town to do some shopping. That took a while, while we discussed with each other what to do about Turkey, etc. - the time is coming close now - and then off to the Oxenham arms for a drink - unfortunately the people I know weren't there this time. Back home after that and cooked up something to eat, then settled down to our usual Saturday afternoon pursuit - it is funny, in fact, how we do sort of subconsciously fit into this routine, though there is so little about our present circumstances that would suggest it to us.

That contrived somehow to take most of the rest of the day - another visit to the Burston for further supplies (thank God Sue is going on the Pill! - I couldn't afford this for much longer), and then settled down to read another of the books I bought last Saturday, HeinleinThe doorway to Summer”, about time travel, and very good, as all Heinlein appears to be. Then back to bed again with our books - Sue had hers as well - and spent our time lying there together and reading, interspersed with bouts of the other. Makes me wonder sometimes just what the difference is between this and marriage.


Sunday, 5 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Up rather later than yesterday, and only then because Sue woke me; seems they had a big fight over there and over me, and Sue would have walked over here if Jane had not brought her in the car; Sue spent about half an hour getting over it and telling me how her parents disapproved of my hair and my table manners and my shirts and even less consequential things; maybe we should tell them what is really going on, so that they could really have something to disapprove of.

Reading this in 2017, I'm a little surprised about the reference to table manners. Doubtless the shirts were Batik, and long hair was of course a serious issue in the day.

Up, and Sue more than justified her presence by making me some breakfast, and then we hung around for a while and then off in the direction of Dartmoor in the Old Grey Mare, shedding bits of exhaust pipe in all directions - the exhaust pipe was made up of hundreds of sections, none more than 25 cm long, and once one fell off, they all followed suit. Gave it up a a bad job, and by the time we got to the middle of the moor had trouble also with the clutch again, and so adjusted that, then down to Sam Harris scrap yard to look in vain for an exhaust pipe. Back home along the Moretonhampstead road, and when we got back discovered we had lost the silencer as well, which rather disappointed me. Decided to change the water pump, which was leaking and use this as an excuse to have the head off. Removed same, which was in beautiful condition - wonder if it has anything to do with using Redex - but unfortunately the No. 1 and 4 pistons were looking a bit moth-eaten, and No.4 cylinder had bits of ring floating about in it, so thought of the DS pistons floating in the shed, and thought a bit further, and dragged out all sorts of things, and eventually decided to put the ID head on as well. Messed around there at great length, while Derek (the lorry driver) hung about and observed all with great interest, expressing an opinion that I should become a mechanic, and so started thinking - would not be bad at £30 - £35 a week.

Spent the evening trying to free stuck piston rings - have never seen anything like it. Will probably put them in like this and hope the Redex knows what to do with them.


Monday, 6 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Up late this morning, mainly because there seemed to be no call to get up early, and over fairly quickly to pick Sue up and discuss what we are going to do: suddenly, with departure date to Turkey little more than a week away, things seem dangerously close, and there is still one hell of a lot to be done.

Back home, and examined a rather interesting letter from Dad, which suggested I do my practical training this year rather than next, as next year I might not be able to get a job, and, even if I did, I might not be able to persuade people here that it was acceptable in standard or something. I don't know what he expects me to do about it, when arrangements really should have been made 6 months ago, but went upstairs and wrote him a letter, telling him the situation, and that I would go and see Mike Patrick. Also wrote a letter to Alison Sheldon of Endsleigh cancelling my insurance, and posted both of those. Out on UXO 80, did a bit of sitting at staring at gear rods and other interesting things, and came to the conclusion that my original idea of putting a U piece in them was still the best, so removed them (why all these taper joints? surely a rectangular key would be cheaper and easier to handle?), and down to the Bow Garage to see what they could manage, but there was nobody very helpful there, and so left them and went back home to try and overhaul an incredibly corroded 34 PBIC [Solex carburettor], and in the process learnt a lot more about what makes carbs work. Left that in pieces and tried to remove valves from the DS head, hardly helped by the fact that the exhaust valve guides had rusted up - had to use a hammer, but fortunately did not bend any valves, and they all fit nicely into the ID head.

The usual diversions were the order of the night, and Sue stayed quite a while.


Tuesday, 7 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Up a bit earlier this morning to see what I could do about an action list that was as long as my arm, but somehow I still did not manage to get us into town before 1430, and so straight to the bank and the rather disappointing discovery that I was £5 in the red, and there was no sign of this week's money. Across to arrange a temporary loan, and decided, after waiting a while, to go and have a chat about reopening an account with Lloyds. Did so, but did not get far, and so back and discovered that I could, in fact, already take advantage of my £50 overdraft. Did so, then moved the car and up to Halfords to buy some odds and ends for the car, and going down Paris St. found a travel agents, and so made some ferry reservations, and then did a bit of food buying, library book returning, (2/6d!) etc., which took a while - have more or less decided to get a lot of food before we leave from the Fortescues. Then up to the Uni, where I found John Boyle compiling a FORTRAN tape, and made me think how times had changed - no longer seems much, but John was obviously having fun at it, judging from the number of error diagnostics he was getting out of it; rather suspect he had several extraneous 211 [TAB] codes floating about, but he did not seem in a very receptive mood for advice. Up to see Mike Patrick, but both he and Prof. Lacey were tied up, and so off to the White Horse looking for cam followers, exhaust manifolding and oil piping, but somebody had removed this last, though I can't think why. Removed the screw from the head, was quoted 30/- for the water pump, and then off back the long way to Bow, on the way my exhaust pipe contriving to trail itself along the ground, so did an emergency repair, then to see Paul Thompson and show him the manifold and what to do with it.

Back home, and inside pretty quickly, and then, after the usual activities, back to Sue's place, where we discussed further activities at length.


Wednesday, 8 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Up very late today, at 1315, and over to find Sue in a great state, apparently rather worried about the fact that I had not shown up before, and that I might have met with an accident. Back home, and she cooked me some breakfast, which was nice of her, and got down to what work we had in mind for today, which in my case involved mainly messing on and with the car and getting it roadworthy for Turkey; accordingly down with a spare tyre and a bit of exhaust pipe to Bow Garage, where only Paul was present, and messed around for a while with things to do with getting a pipe section down to half its original size without noticably changing its section shape. Then put a spare tyre on the spare wheel, not helped by a bloody great hole in the tube, and an apparent total absence of any patching material. Eventually found some, while a copper wandered around looking suspicious and drunk, and asking silly questions, and then had Paul and his mother standing around asking what he had wanted.

It didn't occur to me at the time, but could it be that the Thompsons were “known to the police”? It might explain their planned departure.

Got that done, topped up battery and windscreen washer, then home and got out my soldering iron and checked up on all my under-dash joints, and, in the process, contrived to melt part of the speedo housing, which did not exactly overjoy me. Also wired up the accessory socket on the switch panel, which has been there, unused, for over 18 months, and connected up a bulb via an old DS wiring harness, which looked a hell of a sight brighter than its 18 W.

Then inside, where Sue was cooking a curry - Sue has been doing a lot of the cooking lately, in between bursts of washing and doing nothing at all, and I love her very much. She in particular makes me look forward even more to this trip to Turkey, which looks like being a very memorable experience

Upstairs as ever - this too is improving, and is certainly a hell of a good way of spending an evening, even if it might appear monotonous - but not with Sue and me!


Thursday, 9 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Up rather earlier today with intent to deal with an enormous action list, and over to pick up Sue, then almost immediately into town to see what we could manage. In the middle of town, looking round q for a billy, apparently not the easiest thing to find in Exeter; bought some spare tent pegs during the search, and then down to the junk shop in North St., where they had neither billies nor condensers, so then back into town to look for a bikini for Sue, and en route got a book on camping and caravanning abroad from the AA; bikini prices were exorbitant, but eventually found a cyan one at Marks & Sparks for under £2, so bought it - same type that Bev bought here last summer. Then paid for the ferry tickets, and got them, at the bank confirmed the amount I had paid to Endsleigh in respect of my life insurance policy: £35, which according to Alison Sheldon's letter this morning I shall recover in full in the near future. Then down Fore St., found an army interpretation (rather liberal) of a billy, complete with top usable as a flying pan and pannickins of some description; not cheap at 10/-, but might be more useful. In any case, then down to Pikes and parked the car up the back and got Sue to get a repair quotation, and in the meantime got some Jubilee clips and (across the road) a length of petrol pipe and a mini-sticker saying “I am a pheasant plucker”, which I bought for a consequently delighted Sue. Home, where she examined literature and material about the pill, which had arrived this morning, and then hung round, reading some magazines, for the electrician to come - Mr. Steer had arranged this in view of the fun we had had recently with one of the plugs in the front room. Tried to get Sue to put on her bikini, which she was singularly reluctant to do, but eventually put it on, and I was surprised how good she looked in it; so surprised that it was more than she could have done to prevent me from sexually assaulting her on the spot.

The electrician finally arrived, just as I had decided he was not going to, and looked around, trailing B.O. behind him, said little and did nothing. Out again with my own electrics to attend to, and took a bit off the alternator, which proved to contain the brushes, and which had been giving trouble; fixed that up, then looked at the exhaust system, which was still unhappy. Was overtaken by nightfall on that one, but got it fixed up a bit better; also connected piping up to the petrol pump.


Friday, 10 July 1970 Bow, etc.
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Rising seems to be set around midday of late, which will have to change before we set off to Turkey; mail in the morning included a rates demand with the note that I get 1⅝% off rates if posted before 8.V.70, and a letter from Mike Hadden asking what happened to me last Wednesday, and whether I had picked up his suitcase from Birks (what suitcase?). Over to pick Sue up, found Mary Cawthra there with Mrs.Fortescue - Sue is very puzzled about this friendship, but if it shows a willingness on the part of Sue's parents to be a little more broadminded, I suppose it should be welcomed. Was offered a bit of the Ploughman's lunch, slightly more than is served in pubs, and then set off into Exeter for what I hope will be our last loose ends to tie up. Went almost immediately to see Prof. Lacey, who, as ever, looked very concerned about it all, and put me on to Chris Trelevan, who told me all I knew already, and also that firms were very reluctant indeed to accept 1st year students, and that any reasonable work in Australia would be acceptable, as long as it was chemical engineering.

I finally did do a practical in Australia the following year. I had forgotten that the idea was so much older.

Into town to renew my driving license, found I was at the wrong place, so got some money from the bank, then out to County Hall and got a new license with different coding which cost me £1 anyway for 3 years, and then out to look for Jock Furgeson, who was out, so were ushered into the living room; Jock soon returned, but Sue stayed in the house while I went outside drawing pictures and taking measurements, and the next thing I knew was his wife telling us to come in and had some tea, which Sue tells me was bloody awful; it all tastes the same to me with milk in. Then off to Birks to look for Mike Hadden's barang, but could not find anybody in authority; off to Crediton to buy various supplies for the immediate future and for the trip; then back home and went to be, and then I up and started sorting out tools, etc., for the trip, and cleaned them up and eventually worked out quite a convenient packing for my old tuck box; back upstairs with Sue, intending to have a bath, until she remembered she had promised to bring me round for coffee. Round and had coffee, spoke a while, then Sue's parents to bed; messed further around, then I hope, diarywrote and finished “The IPCRESS file”, about which I am uncertain as to whether I like it or dislike it.


Saturday, 11 July 1970 Bow (⇄ Tavistock).
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Sue had a wedding today, so slept in even more than usual, and not up until 1330. Staggered downstairs to find a letter from Endsleigh, still wanting to know when the car can be inspected at Tedburn Garage - that mob must be staffed by a load of idiots, and to add insult to injury they did not send me my green card, for which I applied last Wednesday. Swore softly to myself and thought about what I could do, and so went out to the car and got out the improvised tent light, and connected it up to a socket I had found recently. Then got round to cooking some breakfast (at about 1430!), and then sat down eating and drinking for a while, trying to enjoy it a bit more than usual. Then did a bit of fiddling round with the car, cleaning the air filter (and not before time, either), and gapping the spark plugs; car was showing signs of reluctance to start first time.

Finally over to Sue's place, and found her there along playing the piano, and waiting for a double bed to arrive from Okehampton, which, in time, it did, and so helped the fellow from Reeves to shift it into the house, then set off back home and I almost immediately back down to the Bow Garage to try and get my DS water pump apart, and succeeded to a greater degree than hitherto, though it is still siezed, and I suspect an extractor would be neccessary to take the thing apart - which probably means I shall pay Barbarossa down at the White Horse 30/- for an operative one.

Back home again and had some tea, which Sue had prepared, then went to bed, after which we lay in bed reading for a while, and eventually decided (not too early, either, at about 0015) to take Sue home, as parents had once again decided on an early night. Back at home, found that they had been waiting up for her to return; that did not please me greatly. Hung around for a while, and in the process had an argument with Sue about the Poms; this worries me greatly, but it is just something that we are going to have to put up with. Half suggested that we should chuck it as a bad job, which upset her terribly; long talk about that, then off for a drive, and decided to stay the night to keep Sue happy.


Sunday, 12 July 1970 North Tawton, etc.
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Woken up round 0900 by the radio with interesting thoughts on an immenent dock workers strike. Thought about this for a while, then it occurred to me that it just might mean that we would not be able to get our boat on Thursday morning if it starts, as it seems likely, on Tuesday.

Accordingly up and downstairs, where Mr. Fortescue found me, which surprised him more than it dd me, as apparently they did not know I had stayed the night. Sue down eventually and I discussed the matter with her, so decided to ring the AA in Exeter and find out if they knew anything; they did not. Decided against ringing up British Rail; they don't know anything at the best of times. Instead did a little snooping around in the phone book and came to the interesting discovery that there is a branch of the Alliance Insurance Company in Exeter, and thought it might not be a bad idea to bypass Endsleigh and see them tomorrow. In the meantime, had a bit of toast and some coffee, and then Sue had to help move the new bed into her room; I contracted a severe bout of sneezing in the process, and quickly retired into the garden, feeling like death warmed up. After a while, all was over, and so we set off home and had it off, then had breakfast and started packing, mainly to see how we could fit everything into the car. Got some way before lunch, then back with a pile of washing to Sue's place, where we had lunch, and then, having been roped in to help with the washing-up, set of to the Laundrette (or Washeteria, to use local parlance) in Okehampton, where I re-read “How to live with a calculating cat”, and then back to Sue's place, picked up her sleeping bag, and off back home to continue packing; I spent a while fiddling round with gear knobs, which are really more trouble than they are worth, and then packed up the remainder of what we had to do, and put it (tightly packed) int the back of the car, then off to bed, after which I went to sleep, and Sue cooked some makan. Ate that, more asleep than awake, then back to Sue's place for ice-cream and berries and a talk about the trip with Sue's parents. Left early to get an early night and do some last-minute sorting; I will probably not stay another night here for quite a while.


Monday, 13 July 1970 Bow, etc → North Tawton
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Had difficulty sleeping this morning, lying in bed worrying about everything I could possibly worry about; finally to sleep at 0330 odd and then the alarm went off only just after 0800, leaving me wandering about in a daze. Two letters: reminder from the AA about their Book of the Car, and one from Dad to the effect that, though he thought that I was (as usual) pulling the wool over his eyes, Mum thought I deserved to be able to take Sue to Turkey, and so they had sent me a TT for £90 - this means that, if we felt so inclined, we could take £200 with us to Turkey, though I rather suspect that £125 will suffice. Had a bite to eat, then to Sue's place, and in due course off to Okehampton for our second TABC jabs. Hat to wait for hours there, but eventually got things sorted, including a quick medical by Dr Dan, involving him asking all sorts of questions and sticking his stethoscope down her blouse; in the meantime she had done a bit of shopping in Okehampton, involving purchase of meths, flipflops for Sue, and getting Sue's traveller's cheques. Then off to Exeter, and I enjoyed myself immensely by bypassing Sticklepath through South Zeal, thus overtaking a wide load, and having the best part of 10 miles of clear road in front of me; more of same in Exeter, greatly pleasing myself, and then to the Sun and Alliance people in Cathedral Yard (which most people incorrectly call Cathedral Close, which is, in fact, further down), and had a bit of a discussion about the matter. Then to Barclays, where I took great delight in cashing a cheque for 100 £1 notes, though I am a bit worried about what I am going to do with them to keep them safe. Then back, and had a bit of an altercation about the price of a Green Card with Endsleigh by telephone; eventually paid £5 for a 36 day card which was supposed to be 34; who cares? Off to the Uni for lunch, then back into town to cancel my last cheque to Endsleigh and get 30 condoms (“What, 10 like these?“; “Wait a minute, I'll get them from the stores”),

My later recollection was that they said “You know there's 3 in each pack”, to which I had wished that I had had the presence of mind to say “Oh. In that case you had better give me 15”.

and then a pair of sunglasses (Polaroid, after considering Zeiß Umbral), and then to see Jock Furgeson, who wanted some cigars in exchanged for the T-piece, and clapped me heartily (and deliberately) on the arm, causing me to double up in agony.

I forgot to mention why: it seems that this causes the swelling to diminish quickly, as it did. So it was another guise of the Russian proverb.

Off to look for Mike Hadden's barang, but there was little that could be done, as the Warden felt like playing silly buggers with us. Off home, and almost immediately to sleep until 1915, when I set down to get the car loaded, by no means helped by the condition of my arm and the way I felt generally; got the T piece in with no trouble at all, though had a bit of leakage; filled the tank about ½ full of 2 star from the Old Grey Mare, and subsequently off, not pinking at all, rather to my surpise. To Mr. Steer, gave his wife my key, and then to Sue's place, where we had makan, and then sat around, grinding coffee and talking about demonstrations; did little else, and got a fairly early night after a bath.


Tuesday, 14 July 1970 North Tawton → Camberley → Horsham → Tun. Wells
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Up with Sue's parents this morning and had breakfast, after a fashion, namely the fashion chickens adopt when their heads have been chopped off. Weather was lousy, miserably raining, and I kept having to run out to the car and put extra things into an already overladen boot. To add to the general confusion, Sue's mother somehow became conscious of the fact that Sue was going away for a long time. Accordingly had to slow down our movements and give Sue's mother a time to take her leave (or something). Then set off, got some petrol in Bow, picked up this morning's mail - letter from Sandy Schaedel [really Semmens] telling me about her version of married life, and do please drop in soon [in Adelaide]. On through to the A30 and 303, and rang Corinne from Ilchester, but her grandfather answered, and, in his typically rude manner, hung up on me - that fellow needs a lessor to be taught.

On to Camberley, roads abominably heavily trafficked - thank God we are getting out of this place! - and there met Sue's uncle and aunt, the latter of whom gave us a large lunch and then sent us on our way to Horsham with full instructions on how to get there - on the way, the exhaust system fell apart, and spent a swearing half hour fixing it up. Arrived at the Shipley's to find Stella recovering from a migraine, but she invited us up to makan, and so took Jane up to buy some more food, in the middle of which the starter motor gave up, which more than slightly annoyed me - on removal, proved to be something to do with the sliding gear coming off its slide. Eventually rigged up something to prevent it (like a piece of wire) and later on to Tunbridge Wells to look for Annette Box and some petrol to syphon, and drew a blank at each. Annette's mother suggested that I come back later, which we did, unsuccessfully, then to come tomorrow morning, so pitched camp on Southborough Common, then to sleep.


Wednesday, 15 July 1970 Tun. Wells → London → Oostende.
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Up early this morning and down to Annette's place, on the way rather confusing the issue by running out of petrol, so syphoned some out of a mini-van, then back, ran out again, and pushed it to a service station. Finally back to the tent,

I didn't mention it, but I think that it was on this occasion that we did find Annette, and (finally) got back the camera, my father's old Canon (probably a Canon IV SB2, but maybe a IV SB):

 

and had just finished the business in hand when the chairman of the Southborough Town Council arrived with the news that his breakfast had been interrupted by hundreds of phone calls to the effect that people were tenting on the common, which made me feel very sorry for him - seems there is a local by-law forbidding this.

More likely is that tenting is generally prohibited on common land, but that wasn't the opinion I had at the time.

Packed up, as we were doing anyway, and off into London, parked near Haymarket, and to the AA, who gave us hundreds of leaflets, etc., on the road to Turkey, and then we set off in the direction of Lisle St., where we bough a couple of condensers, then caught the tube to Edgeware Road (highway robbery at 1/6s - cheaper to pay for a parking meter!), and bought some nameless Ferrania film of about Pan F sensitivity [i.e. black and white, about 17° DIN, 50 ASA], and some [film] cassettes, and then back and tried to get some information about ferries, but could not, and so set off out of town and to Dover, and eventually got to Canterbury and bought some food to cook with all our wonderful camp cooking stuff. Stopped in a layby with a howling gale blowing, and tried to cook some spaghetti, an attempt doomed before it was started, and we could not even get the primus stove to light - swore violently and had bread and butter bolognese, then on to Dover, where, despite our bookings for the 0030 ferry tomorrow morning, we found ourselves in the queue for the 1830, I surveying the rather low aspect of the right front wheel, which looked as if the suspension had collapsed. Eventually loaded, but only slept a couple of hours (on Sue's lap) - she was not feeling too well, despite the seasick tab she had taken. Weather got even rougher towards Oostende, and Sue started feeling even worse. Had to wait until midnight, until our green card became valid, then off to look for a petrol station, where we ...


Thursday, 16 July 1970 Oostende → Hannover → Würzburg
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... filled up, and set off along the Autoroute, where I became gradually convinced that my suspension had collapsed, and that it did not seem to matter either to the comfort or the safety of the car. Carried on very rapidly towards Brussels and Antwerp and pitched the tent in a lousy place with lots of rocks, which hardly made for comfort, but somehow managed it nevertheless, though we pitched at 0200 and got up again at 0645, and had to put everything away wet. Carried on towards Germany, and, as usual, stopped to fill the tank at Frechen, a habit which I must break. Then on, feeling considerably refreshed by a cup of coffee, and along the well-worn (and is it ever!) autobahn to Hannover. Eventually tiredness got the better of me, and I had to pull in at a Rasthof and get some sleep, though not for long - the weather had finally cleared up, and to make up for it it got extremely hot inside the car, and in any case it was too cramped, so on to Hannover and first to see Grete, who was again delighted to see me, asked lots of questions, asked about Sue, said that she looked a good girl for me, and we could always do with another dentist for an in-law.

Her daughter Ursula was also a dentist.

Took Wolf's stuff round to his place, but left most of it in the cellar, as it was far too heavy to take upstairs - let him work that out out himself. Had a bite of soup to eat with Grete, then on with intent to make it to about Göttingen; first to the Hauptbahnhof to buy some money, food at Kepa, then set off on the Autobahn and thought what a good idea it would be to make München by tonight, especially as the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Carried on until Sue got so frustrated that we had to stop and have it off in a motorway layby, and after that ran almost immediately out of petrol, so messing around in some little village, swearing violently - this after a bit of pump rerouting (thought the pump had packed it in), and then topped up on the Autobahn again. On to Würzburg way, and set a new record mileage of about 680 miles [1095 km] (not quite sure what mileage was at Oostende), and set up the tent in another Rastplatz.


Friday, 17 July 1970 Würzburg → München → Radstadt
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Up later - this was more comfortable than last night, and in any case we are probably getting used to it - and packed everything up, then on in the direction of Nürnburg, feeling decidedly scruffy. The weather had in the meantime improved, and was quite warm, and possibly due to this and possibly because it was Friday, the traffic on the Autobahn was a lot heavier than usual. Saw a couple of nasty accidents after we joined the Nürnberg Autobahn - one 4-car pileup in the fast lane, only a couple of minutes before we came upon it (3 cars were Mercedes, showing admirably their cellular construction, equally admirably how little it helps in an accident).

At the time Mercedes advertised their construction, designed to take up the impact of an accident without impacting the passengers. A few years later I saw the result of a frontal collision between a Mercedes and a Citroën DS. Both cars were badly damaged, but the Mercedes was far more badly damaged than the DS, including damage to the passenger compartment, while the DS passenger compartment was undamaged.

Weather deteriorated again near Nürnburg, and so did the road; the rest of the way to München was sheer torture. Finally arrived in München, and Sue had the joy of directing me to the Marienplatz; finally found that, walked round a bit, and homed on the Hofbräuhaus, where beer has reached an all-time high of 1.60 DM a litre.

As of March 2017, it's 8.40 € a litre (16.43) DM, a little more than 10 times that price. But it was 40% more than the 1.14 DM that I had paid (but forgot to mention) only three years previously.

Had a couple nevertheless, along with equally expensive Bratwurst and accessories. Then round Múnchen town, which, if anything, is in even worse condition than it was in 1967. Bought some film, looked in vain for a gas cooker, and then to the car to sleep off the effects of the beer. On the way out of town, found we had sprung a petrol leak, and lost about 7 litres; as a result, swore violently and tried to do something about it. Then off on the Autobahn to Salzburg, again very slow, and the queue at the border was about 3 km long, so I decided to take a diversion to the North, where we got through very quickly; then off in the direction of Villach an der Drau over the Klatschenbergpaß. and had some coffee in a little place called Eben near Radstadt. Going through Radstadt, a sudden squealing noise and smell of burning rubber started coming from the bonnet; on inspection proved to be the alternator, which I presumed burnt out. By this time it was 2330, so I went inside the little pub outside which we had stopped and got a room - only 120 Schilling, which seemed remarkably good. Kipped down almost immediately, revelling in the luxury of a bed.


Saturday, 18 July 1970 Radstadt → Villach → Zagreb
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Up not quite as early as I should have liked, and had breakfast despite the later hour; then down through the rain (which once again had caught up onus) and asked where the nearest Citroën agent was; this was in Salzburg, to the north, and nobody knew to the south. Decided to take out the alternator and see what was wrong with it; it proved to have siezed up completely, which somewhat surprised me. Tried to take it apart, but, though quite easy normally, on a raining Austrian roadside is, I have decided, not the place to repair alternators. Removed the belt as well, and to the post office to work out their complicated STD system (nothing like the German) and ring up the ÖAMTC, who neither knew nor cared where the nearest Citroën agents were, so back, washed my hands, paid the bill and set off over the Tauernpaß and Klatschenbergpaß without any charge (no, not that!). Weather got better the other side of the Tauern, and good the other side of the Klatschenberg, and so on through Spittal, where we found a deserted Citroën agent with a crashed Ami round the back. Looked inside for a dynamo, but the engine was missing, but we had the started motor out (practice makes perfect - only took about 3 minutes).

Clearly the motor had been taken out, but the gearbox was still there, and the starter motor fits into the bell housing, part of the gearbox assembly.

On to Villach, where we asked after the Citroën agent, and were told that the Citroën agent would not be open until Monday, so decided that we might as well continue into Jugoslavia, and see what we could get done there. Went over the Wurzenpaß, which is apparently not so steep as the Loiblpaß (though you could have kidded me), and more direct anyway, but there was an almighty queue halfway up, and after about a half hour wait overtook them all, got blown up by an Austrian copper, whom I fed some bullshit about my battery (which was, in fact, getting unwilling), and got past, down to Ljubljana, where we found a Citroën agent, but no campsites on the way out, so continued to Zagreb, where we finally checked in at a campsite, and found ourselves a nice secluded spot to cook some dhall in total darkness, and once we had done that we were joined by an Ami 8, who rubbed salt into the wounds by blinding us with his lights. Finally off for a walk, then back and to sleep.


Sunday, 19 July 1970 Zagreb → Belgrade
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It was really warm, almost sticky, when we got up this morning (once again late, and half the happy campers, including our Ami 8, had already left), and we spent quite a bit of time cooking up some tea and having breakfast. Then I off to the showers to put paid to my lack of washing since we left North Tawton, and came back to discuss with Sue what we should do; decided to press on to Belgrade if the car would start, and so Sue set off to the showers, and I messed around with the crank, and the car started quite happily, so turned it off and started packing up the tent. Got most of the stuff back into the car by the time Sue returned, and so off (started first compression, which impressed Sue), collected our passports and noted how 7.58 D had grown to 11.20 D.

The AA Eastern European Handbook that we bought on 28 May 1970 included a currency conversion table: £1 was about 30 Din, so using my rule of thumb (£1 in 1967 == Australian $50 in 2017), the Dinar might correspond roughly to $1 Australian in 2017.

Set straight off and got about 100 miles before I noticed the battery reading well below 12V, so tried to find somebody who could charge it for me, without success; eventually passed a French Ami 6 Club 2 Break and stopped him, and persuaded him, on deposit of our passports as security, to lend us his battery until Belgrade, and thus kill 2 birds with one stone; keep our battery charging, and get to Belgrade tonight (not to mention getting it for free). Stopped some while further on for petrol - I am getting more and more baffled: this car has recently been running quite happily on 88 octane petrol, when it should run on 95, and I have been getting incredible fuel consumption - over the Alps it was 49 odd [mpg, i.e. 5.8 l/100 km], and this last stretch was 52.6 [5.36 l/100 km, the lowest I had so far recorded], despite the fact that I was not really trying. Coninued to Belgrade, and to a Camping Site near the National Hotel, for which they wanted 20 Dinars, which I thought a bit much, but our French bloke told us that the other one was even worse, so we went there, changed batteries and pitched our tents, then went looking for food (in vain!) and so ended up, after being offered bread at 8 Din for 200 g, cooking our own out of all sorts of things - tasted remarkably good for what it was, and then we went down to the café thing and bought a litre of wine, also for 8 Din - these people must have odd values. Drank most of that (finished it in the tent) and spoke at length to each other.


Monday, 20 July 1970 Belgrade → Erdine
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Could have got up earlier, but, of course, we didn't, and so off to see the Citroën people at about 0900. Sue is obviously getting a lot better at this town navigation - found the place in comparatively short time, to find several Serbo-Croats (or whatever) barring our entry, and uttering odd sounds which were obviously their equivalent of “renovation”, for the place was full of builders. They showed us a place right at the other end of town, so swore, drove about 100 m until I saw a Citroën sign, so went in clutching an alternator (alternating a clutch?) and found somebody who spoke bad french, and who immediately pounced on my alternator and, with remarkably few tools, pulled it to pieces, telling me a new one would cost 800 Din, which seemed a bit steep, and found a siezed front bearing, which seemed reasonable enough, and he said he would look round and find a new one, and fit it by lunch time, so off back to the campsite and packed everything up, and then decided to go back and get them to charge up the battery while we explored the dubious sights of Belgrade. When we got back, found a kid waving the reassembled (and cleaned!) alternator at us, and verified that it had, in fact, been repaired, and got into the car to replace it, only to find that the casing had been put on wrong, so back to the workshop to rectify same (rather than risk trying to explain to them what was wrong), and was joined by an English-speaking Yugoslav, who seemed somewhat distressed about everything, but made him happy, replaced the alternator, and started up - and it worked! Paid our 200 Dinars, and set ff on the Autoput to Nis - or so I thought, though it seemed more bumpy than I remembered. Finally did a check and found ourselves well and truly on the wrong road, so did a cross-country diversion which the car's lack of suspension did not like at all. Finally joined the Autoput, belted on to Nis - noted another consumption of 52.6 mpg - where we blew the last of our Dinars on some bread and sausage, and then proceeded to the Bulgarian frontier and ate same. At the frontier, had a bit of a wait, also a cup of coffee, and then set off for Sofia along roads that were much better than I remembered - belting along a 4-lane highway, which was completely deserted, I was flagged down by a policeman who fined me 2 Lev [about 8/- or $20 in 2017 Australian currency] for speeding - speed limit of 30 kph [km/h] (yes, 30!).

From memory, he was waiting round a corner just after beginning of the limit, which only lasted a few hundred metres.

Swore violently about that, then on to Sofia, and on the way out was stopped for the same thing - noticed they were only stopping tourists, though everybody was doing much the same speed. Did a bit of talking in Russian,

This was stretching it. I used a few Russian words that I remembered.

picture drawing, etc., and somehow managed to get away with it.

I think the police found me too irritating, and they had other fish to fry. One other tourist got quite angry (not surprisingly, but not a good idea), and they had more fun with him.

On through thoroughly uninteresting and unpleasant traffic/country to Plovdiv, then the road and traffic improved, so kicked on in the direction of Erdine, but was stopped some 5 km from the border by the queue of cars waiting to get across. Pushed forward, and eventually was stopped by the soldiers about 500 m from the border, and after a lot of talking with a Turk as interpreter (Deutsch - Turkish) was fined another 2 Lev and allowed to join the queue at that point. Spoke at some length to a ...


Tuesday, 21 July 1970 Erdine → İstanbul~
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... German gentleman who had been doing his best to get in without paying the fine, and eventually moved forward to the border, where chaos was the order of the day. They were letting people in in batches of about 50, getting them all to fill in hundreds of forms, not able to handle the paperwork - just as I was going in to get my last form done, the fellow stamped my passport, wrote a bit, then walked away. Tried to get through on that, without success, so pushed some Turkish officer around until I got through - total time 3½ hours, but the people I had met had been there 9, and some must have taken 12. Belted on through Erdine, and round 0430 kipped down on the side of the road.

Sue, who had been awake for hours, woke me at about 0930 to tell me that it was stinking hot, which was no revelation, and so got our stuff together and set off for İstanbul. On the way, came across a particularly inviting-looking Sea of Marmara, and so went in for a swim, though the water was rather cold for my liking (though Sue found it warm), and was crawling with jellyfish of unknown intentions (though there were so many other people swimming there that they could hardly have been malignant). Carried on to İstanbul and decided to stay at the YMCA, so got there without any undue difficulty, and found nobody there, so had a surprisingly cheap lunch at their cafeteria, and then tried to check in, but they would not let us have a double room without proof that we were married. Off to look for the Citroën agent about the suspension, and eventually found him - there are now two across the road from each other,

I had been here before a few years before.

and a bloke got at the other one speaks English, and said he could do it tomorrow, and that it would cost about 400 TL. Set off back towards Aya Sofia and bought a watermelon on the way, and sat guzzling thereat in a most uncivilized manner outside Aya Sofia. Then cleaned up and went inside, which does not seem to have changed since last I saw it. Decided to head out towards the Black Sea coast, which we did, buying some rather expensive jagong [maize] on the way. Got there (same route as Dad and I took 3 years ago), and found that one had to pay to go to the beach, so after a lot of trying to get round, searing, being followed the whole time by a bitch on heat and entourage, lay down in the car and went to sleep on Sue's lap. Woke up after ½ hour,

Sue didn't sleep, and reported after I woke up that they bitch had finally let one of the dogs have her.

then had some coffee nearby and headed back into İstanbul, with great thoughts about going on to India, which, however, we had dropped by the time we got to the bazaar. Bought a local pizza each, walked around and were complaining at the price of roast jagong when an aged Turkish gentleman gave us one, broke it into 3 pieces and started feeding it to us. Fed some back to him, and next thing we knew we had been dragged back to some chairs in a nearby courtyard, and an audience was gathering from all over the place, and we were having great difficulty communicating. Had some tea, then Sue dragged out some recorders, and we played something for them, then this bloke (called Aziz) suggested we took him for a ride in the car, which we did (3 of us across the front seat), and he ended up taking us to a posh hotel for coffee (exactly the same stuff as in the bazaar), then returned by a route which I still have not fathomed out, and had some tea, and were shortly joined by a sleek, fat arab who had been there earlier (came from somewhere between Syria and Iraq). Was suggested we cross the Golden Horn for something to eat, but this time Aziz sat in the back, singing as seems to be his wont, and this Arab sat on the other side of Sue, pawing her somewhat. Eventually stopped this, but we seemed to be going on for ever, and it was getting late, and I was beginning to doubt their intentions, so eventually told them that Sue was tired (like of being pawed), and so went back, though not before having another cup of tea and exchanging addresses. Took them back to the bazaar, then off Yeşilköy way, and found a field suitable for camping, and pitched tent there.


Wednesday, 22 July 1970 Ístanbul → Tekirdag
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Up later than intended, as ever, and as quickly as possible went into town to take the car to the garage, but did not get there before 1030 as it was, and were told to come back at 1800. Even at 1030 it is stinking hot in İstanbul at this time of the year, and there is absolutely nowhere to go. It might be different in KL without a car (though, come to think of it, I wouldn't like to walk from Yuen's to the Dog or anywhere else at that time of the day, and that is closer), and there is a singular dearth of kedai kopi [Malay: coffee shop] places here. Messed around in a little park for a while, then decided to walk to the gardens of he Seraglio (Sue once did an essay about the Siege of Constantinople of, and knows her way around Constantinople quite well), and so set off, stopping every mile or so at a lemon juice hawker. Eventually got there, not completely dripping with sweat (it is quite dry here), and found a) we had to pay an entrance fee and b) when we got in we were not allowed to sit on the grass - when we tried, we were approached by a guard blowing a whistle which seem more part of Turkish official's lives than of an English copper's. All the benches were covered in Turks, and when we finally found one, it was as uncomfortable as hell. Finally out and had a reasonable Şiş Kebab lunch, bought a little flute thing which probably has more to do with the tourist trade than Turkish tradition. Was then approached by a money changing tout who promised me 33 TL,

According to the AA Eastern European Handbook, the exchange rate (to the £) was 28.8 Lire.

but the two blokes he took me to seemed more interested in removing 40% of what I had than changing money, so left. Saw a suspicious looking fellow following us, so set off by taxi to Delapdere (like dilapidated), where all the garages are, and had to pay 20 TL therefore, which somewhat irritated me. They were, predictably, having trouble with my car, as for some reason it wanted a different size spanner (50 mm for further reference) from the 2CV. Finally they got everything out, found the front spring shattered, and sent somebody of for stocks thereof. In the meantime went up top again and sat in a café drinking and writing. Down, found they had a spring, and up to look for a bog, etc., which we eventually found at the Hilton (!).

I was quite at home in hotels of that calibre, but it brought home to me the extent to which we were roughing it.

Hung about there until the car was ready, nice bouncy and on an even keel again, and then set off to cross the Bosphorus, until we saw the queue waiting. Set off instead in the direction of Gelibolü/Çanakkale, and got the other side of Tekirdag before camping on a really grotty piece of road (no, on the side, actually).


Thursday, 23 July 1970 Tekirday → İzmir
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All the cowboys and cows in Turkey today found it amusing to arrange themselves round our tent at dawn, as if to augment the wakening effect of the lorries falling to bits on the road; nevertheless managed to sleep until about 1000, after which it became far too warm, so got up, muddle round swearing at the tent and each other, and then set off in the direction of Ipsala and Thessaloniki, but fortunately found the road we were looking for, which took us (via a very unlevel surface) to the Marmara coast, not without a few interesting clonking noises on the underside on the way. Stopped in the middle of it to eat some watermelon, then on towards Gelibolü, on the way coming to the conclusion that the 'A' type has nothing on the 'D' type when it comes to rough road - decided to have a look and find the damage later on, but for the time being rejoined the main road and belted through Gelibolü to Eceabat and the ferry across the Dardanelles. Got there to find the boat having just left, so wandered round Eceabat looking for a little man to take us across, arousing no small amount of attention, as we were dressed in sarongs. Found a little man who sold us some sweet corn, and posted some postcards, but there was very little to be seen in the way of ferry men, and so had some Şiş kebab (or something), and then across, where I was more than a little annoyed to find I had been charged 1 TL for parking in the queue. Across to Çanakkale, and hit the road to İzmir (a little to hard for my liking), and carried on to Troy, where we paid 3 TL to walk round some rather depressing ruins - I had really expected a lot more - and noticed how compact the whole place seemed to be; somehow they seem to have been able to build the whole ten cities on a site smaller than our plot of land in Syers road.

It was extremely hot, so we quickly retired to one of the many souvenir shops, where we were served with Efes Pilsner and Coca Cola, and noticed that the car had developed a lean again, and also that the suspension had gone very hard that side - further investigation is obviously required. Belted on to İzmir - never realised how far it is - and let Sue drive for a while (like 35 miles), at which she did not do badly. Arrived in İzmir exhausted, thought about going to a hotel, decided against, and out of town about 20 km to a very useless site, where we fell to and went almost immediately to sleep.


Friday, 24 July 1970 İzmir → Kuşudasi
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Sue tells me we had an audience in a school on an adjoining plot of land early this morning, but as ever I earned her undying envy by sleeping through everything and not coming to until round the 1030 mark. Packed things up, and set off back to the main road, and then on to Selçuk - apart from the suspension, the voltage regulator seems to be playing up of late; doubtless only needs adjustment, but it is only charging at about 13V. At Selçuk headed off towards Ephesus/Efes (which I am sure used to be a lot further from Selçuk), and past down to Kusudasi, where I finally managed to change some money, though the Turks manage to take an interminable time about it; this time it was 8 minutes 40 seconds, most of it spent typing out forms in triplicate and minutely examining the notes.

Off after that and had a look at Kuşadasi, which seems to owe its existence to the proximity of the island of Samos and the tourist trade; noted the prices of postcards (75 Ku!), and looked around with little hope for something to eat at a reasonable price; in fact, we were pleasantly surprised, and at the other end of the main street found a little kebab house where we had a large meal to make up for what we had been missing, and spent all of 12 TL on that. Then carried on a bit further to see what the coast was like further south, but all of it that was accessible was full of ubiquitous french 2CV's, which helped but little, though it heightened Sue's resolve to get one.

Finally back to a bay we had seen early, the wide expanse of beach (about 4 miles [6 km]) broken only by a small motel in the middle and a 2CV at one end.

After comparing descriptions, maps and recollection, this must have been Pamucak beach, also called Ephesus beach and referred to in the Wikipedia page on Selçuk. There it is claimed to be the longest beach in Turkey at 12 km, double what I estimated. We had camped pretty much at the south end.

Drove up ourselves, bogged down in some soft sand. An off-duty policeman in a Bel Air came along and towed us out, and then we went swimming for a while, after which again into town and bought Sue a Turkish puzzle ring and had a bite to eat at another cheap turkish restaurant; then sat in the car writing up my diary while Sue tried to put her ring back together; finally got it done by a passer-by, and back to the beach to camp for the night - early to sleep.


Saturday, 25 July 1970 Kuşudasi.
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Sue apparently once again early awake today; I am beginning to feel that it has little to do with the presence of an audience, and is probably more likely due to her discomfort sleeping in a tent; I can sympathise with her, and quite possibly our next holiday will be a little more civilised or a little shorter. In any case, I was woken up round 0930 by a Dutch Fiat which came along the miles of beach and parked about 20 m away from us, leaving Sue and me discussing once again the gregariousness of the average camper. In a very short space of time, they had disgorged an improbable number of passengers and begun to erect a totally inadequate and saggy looking tent, and made us wonder just how long they intended to stay.

Got up fairly soon after; in this weather it is impossible to do otherwise, and soon tried to go for a swim, but for my liking it was far too cold, and so lay around for a while reading “The Smile on the face of the Tiger” by Hurd and Osmond, much the same in character as their other book, “Send him victorious”. One of these blokes has obviously been in Malaya, probably during the emergency, to judge by the description of same.

Into town for lunch, moving round to the next of the little food shops with which this place is dotted; food much the same, and though not bad, it is certainly getting monotonous. Back to the beach again for the afternoon's sun and sea, and gradually it is dawning on me that, though I may tan very easily, etc., etc., I am not really cut out for this sort of thing, and rapidly become bored; I wonder what I will think of lying on the beach as on a spit when we get back to Australia. In any case, carried on reading the book, and after a while Sue reported an attack of squits and gut-rot, which somewhat distressed me, so gave her a couple more Entero-Vioform and hoped for the best. Finished off the book, what was left of it, and then, rather late, set off into Kuşudasi for makan by myself - not too much fun, though I had some of the roughest wine I had ever tasted to improve it (hah!), and ended up paying 5 TL for that alone. Back to the tent, where Sue had been visited by one of the Dutch people there asking if she was sleeping alone - as suspected, they were staying the whole night. Sue felt better, anyway.


Sunday, 26 July 1970 Kuşudasi, and around
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Today arrived another car early, an Anadol full of Turks, any one of whom could have been Matin Tatari, and, as if to correct the imbalance of our situation, stopped about 20 yards on the other side of us. Swore, but on examination discovered that the whole beach was rapidly filling up, and that we could probably expect something like this all day. The prospect did not attract me, so suggested to Sue when we got up that we should go and see Aphrodisias, which Sue tells me is opposite Ephesus, and the former sounds a more interesting sort of place to go to. Got some stuff together and set off in the direction of Selçuk - never realised how close we were; must be about the same distance as Kuşudasi. Got to Ephesus, but did not see the sign Sue had previously seen to Aphrodisias, so drove up and down the road a couple of times, and eventually, closer to Selçuk, saw a sign to Artemis something,

This must have been Artemis Tapınağı, located in Selçuk. And in fact there is an Aphrodisias about 200 km inland, clearly not what Sue saw.

so decided that it must have been this that Sue saw, and pushed on further south to a place called Maryenana or something, I wondering about the future. Got to Maryenana and discovered that we were on the road to Priene, and being on the lookout for beaches rather than ancient Turks who knew Homer, turned round and went back again. Bought a watermelon on the way, and stopped in Kuşudasi (we were coming through it), for makan, but the greasiness got the better of me, and I could not eat one of their dishes, which is rare, indeed. Back to the beach and lay around, swam, etc., until the evening, when a load of soldiers disturbed our love-making, and gave to me in sign language that it be dangerous to stay the night here, as there be robbers about. Told them that I had a knife, or something, and eventually satisfied them. Went up to the motel thing in the evening and had some kebab things that, strangely enough, were no more expensive than elsewhere. On the way back to the tent, decided to push off for Germany tomorrow morning, as the weather is a bit enervating, and we are sick of camping.


Monday, 27 July 1970 Kuşudasi → İzmir → Keşan → Erdine →
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Up much as usual, having not slept very well hearing imaginary robbers all over the place. Packed everything up pretty quickly - certainly putting tents up and down now means nothing to us - and tried to set off, but the car stubbornly refused to start, and occasioned much swearing thereby. Finally got it going after cleaning the ignition leads - rather suspect that it was fed up with all the salt it has been inhaling of late. Set off from Kuşudasi (finally!) at 0915, mileometer reading 49230, and decided to carry on until we (read I) dropped. Arrived in İzmir and looked in vain for the Black Market, which now looks well eradicated, and so waited a record 15 m 30s waiting for the obviously blunt knives to cut through the red tape between me and my money. Posted a couple of letters, and then carried on, trying to teach Sue some German in anticipation of a stay in Germany, while it struck me what a hell of a long way it is between İzmir and Çanakkale (like 340 km), and gradually plodded it out - stopped in the middle of nowhere, 20 km this side of Pergamum, for petrol and water, then on, and eventually arrived at Çanakkale to find an enormous queue and a full ferry, and it looked as if we were being routed into a queue for the 2nd ferry after this one, so found a little man to take us across - prices have now gone up to 20 TL -

This was to cross the Dardanelles. We crossed in the same manner on 30 May 1967, but on that occasion we only paid 15 TL.

and got across before the ferry, and the fellow on the boat forgot to charge me, which amused us greatly as we sat in the restaurant in Eceabat watching the ferry unloading. After having a bite to eat, had a look at the largest crankshaft I have ever seen (must be 8 ft [2.4 m] long), and then off north, this time in the direction of Keşan, which I think must have been the way we went last time. Carried straight across on a very varied road, which contrived to give the Ami a thump such as it had never had before, which severely worried me, but saw nothing on looking underneath, and so carried on, and eventually through Erdine, where chaos was still the order of the day, and it took us an hour and a half to get through this way. In the process picked up a thumber called Stine Larson, and on ...


Tuesday, 28 July 1970 → Sofia → Beograd → Ljubljana → Klagenfurt
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... into Bulgaria, where we were greeted by the guard with whom we had had the fracas coming into Turkey. Going back was not so bad, though we still had the headlights of all the oncoming Turks in our eyes, not helped by the dust and dead insects on the windscreen. Measured the queue - 5 miles [8 km] tonight - I pity those waiting at the end.

Carried on, getting tirder [sic], towards Plovdiv, where I had hoped to find some place open for a bite to eat, but everything seems dead by midnight here, so carried on a bit further, then got an hour's rest (can't really call it sleep) in the car, and on towards Sofia, where we arrived at 0400, and further towards the border, where it was just dawning and surprisingly chilly. Somehow made it to Niš, but by this time I was exhausted, and went to sleep for about an hour and a half in the first layby on the Autoput to Beograd. Slept for about 1½ hours, then on, and passed the 50000 mile mark, which caused Ami, presumably by way of a celebration, to jam her throttle cable; pulled in a few kilometres further on and changed same, and had breakfast, then on, though the cable was too tight, and would not close properly, which made our subsequent entry into Beograd a bit of a nuisance, and I was really snaky by the time we pulled into a little filling station on the other side and did all adjustments - then on, and in the course of replacing a rubber stopper in the bulkhead, Sue noted that the gearbox had raised itself about an inch, which sounds very bad indeed. Belted on another couple of hundred miles, then stopped because Sue and Stine were exhausted and hungry, and noted a crack in the chassis - this looks like the end. Drove on, and lost half the tread off a tyre between Zagreb and Ljubljana, denting the wing and petrol filler pipe in the process. Changed the tyre, which deflated itself in a matter of minutes, which nearly drove me mad, had a fracas with the miliča into the bargain, but eventually got off and into Klagenfurt, where we found that, owing to some trade fair, there was no accommodation, so off, pumping up our tyre (which had a slow flat), had some Goulasch at a pub, and camped in a little wood a few kilometres from Klagenfurt. Days mileage was round 740 [1,190 km]

As I re-enter this day (on 5 March 2017), Google Maps tells me above that the distance was 1,320 km. And previously I had noted 1,339 km, presumably from Google Maps' claims at the time (revision 1.1 of 13 July 2013).

Wednesday, 29 July 1970 Klagenfurt → München → Mannheim
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Up this morning after several wakenings by Stine, who however had left by the time (nearly midday) that we finally got up and went to look for some spring which he had assured us was about, but did not find it, and so found another, washed and pumped up the spare tyre. Then set off into Klagenfurt to look for a bank, but was feeling a bit fed up by the time we arrived there, so pushed on in the direction of Villach a.d. Drau, and en route stopped at a bank with a Wechselstube sign only to find that they were shut until 1530, so swore and went on to Villach, Spittal, etc., stopping every so often for some air for the tyre, which, however, did not seem as bad as it had been. In Spittal, tried to find a garage which would accept Sterling, but to no avail, and so on towards the Katschbergpaß,

Finally got the spelling right!

and eventually found a place where they would accept sterling at 58 Schillings to the £1, and so filled up and paid £2 and got a lot of changed. Then over the Katschberg, and the weather got worse again - Sue was leaning all over the place taking photos of the mountains, and seemed to enjoy herself. Then across the Tauernpaß, for what that was worth - after such as the Loibl, we did not even know about it until we were at the top.

In those days, the Loiblpass had a maximum gradient of 31% and was the steepest main road pass in Europe.

Down into Radstadt, and a bit further on got some food, Badedas and stuff on which we spent a further couple of pounds, then on to Salzburg, and across into Germany with a bit of a delay, and to München, where we eventually found our way to the Hauptbahnhof and changed some money and bought some cigars for myself and Jock Furgeson. Then out again on the Autobahn, with little else to do but drive until we dropped - the thing that gets me about all this is that Sue gets more tired than I do, though she has nothing to do but sit there and watch. I wonder what she would be like having to drive herself.

Carried on past Ulm, still worried about whether the car would hold out, though it was becoming apparent that at any rate the slow flat was getting evern slower. Tried to find accommodation round Mannheim, but everything was full, and ended up pitching a tent in a layby.


Thursday, 30 July 1970 Mannheim → Köln → Dover
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The gift of being able to sleep any time, anywhere seems nearly [? or misspelt “really”?] mine, if I can sleep soundly in a busy autobahn layby for 10 hours at a time. Such, in any case, is what I did this morning, and it was not until 1015 that we finally got up and continued on our way, slightly baffled by by no means disappointed that the tyre was not flat; on checking at the next Tankstelle it only seemed to have gone down 0,3 kg cm⁻³ since last night.

Carried on towards Frankfurt to the Frankfurter Kreuz without anything madly interesting happening; this is much more like the Germany I remember, and the weather was rather pleasant, but beyond that it was all rather monotonous, and radio reception was rather hampered by the noise my exhaust system made. Finally got to Köln, and left the Autobahn at an appropriate point and went to an Imbiß for a Currywurst for myself, though Sue was only thirsty, so to a Supermarkt to blow the rest of my money on Wurst, Brot and Apfelsaft. Then on to Frechen and had some coffee for Sue's benefit, and on, ever on to the Belgian border, and again through without having our passports examined. Then on to Antwerpen and down to Brussels along the same way as we came, stopping for nothing,

In those days there was no freeway between Liège and Bruxelles, so we had to go via Antwerpen.

and arrived in Oostende at the car ferry terminal at about 1740. There was a great queue, and we were placed at the back, so out to find out what was going on; proved to be a boat leaving at 1900, and we would definitely get on, so bought tickets for the car - bloke put it down as a 2CV, but nobody, least of all I, cared,

The difference was significant, since the fees depended on the length of the car, and the 2CV was cheaper than an Ami 6. But in all likelihood I had said that it was a 3CV, which it was, but this was deliberately misleading.

and soon we were loaded, and upstairs - these ferries certainly do leave a lot to be desired. Tried to get some sleep, but this, as usual, evaded me;

Compare the first sentence of today's entry.

Sue bought some cigarettes and sherry for her parents, and we sat around reading “Stern” and doing very little else; I wish there were more to do on these boats. Finally we were called down to the car decks and waited there for an interminable period of time while they docked, then trough the usual farce of immigration and customs, which as ever got me in a bad mood, which did not help the fact that Sue was not ...


Friday, 31 July 1970 Dover → Bow
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... feeling too good. Got out of Dover and headed through Canterbury to Whitstable, then up the M2, where I stopped to find out what was causing one of my headlights to flicker; did not find out, but had a drink anwyay, while Sue was having her problems in the bog, and took an Entero-Vioform; but something to do with that or the cold ganged up on me, and made me puke all over the place. Then on through London to the M4, and stopped at the Heston Services (about which I had been reading only on Saturday) and had a drink, which was about all I could manage, though by rights I should have been ravenous. Filled up with petrol and carried on, having ascertained that the bulb of my headlight was defective, so put on the fogs as well, and carried on down the well-known route to Staines and the A30 - by this time I was feeling exhausted as well as everything else, but wanted to get home before I stopped, as much as anything else because I was feeling so grotty. Stopped for a squit on the Andover bypass,

Somewhere round here I saw a sign for a service station with toilets, just what I needed. But the service station was closed, and the toilets were locked. I didn't the option of looking elsewhere, and relieved myself in front of the locked door. That should at least have given them cause for thought about the merits of locking their toilets at night.

where it was very foggy, and I was glad to have my fogs unsheathed, but before I got much further I had to stop, and slept a couple of very uncomfortable hours in a layby not far before Stonehenge. Woke up and continued shortly after dawn, and felt rather better after a while as gradually we approached Devon and home again; saw an ID for sale in a place just before Ilchester, but no price was given, and in any case I don't like the idea of a pre-1963 ID. Got home, finally, round 0815, mileage 51641 - in 96 hours we had done 2411 miles [3,879 km], rather over 25 mph [40 km/h] since we left Kuşadasi. Had a squit, then straight off to bed, and stayed that way until the late afternoon, when Sue woke me and suggested that we get up and do something, or we would find ourselves unable to sleep tonight. Up, and she went down to the village to buy some stuff to eat, though I still was not feeling up to much; Sue spoke to the old bag next door, who said that Dave Rozalla had been here, but apparently had said that he may not be coming here after all, but getting a job. Just as well; Mike seems definitely returning.

How far did we drive? In my diary I noted the distances of 2,411 miles, or 3,879 km. But the first time round with the maps, Google Maps gave me a total distance of 3,649 km. The second time round we had:

Date       From       To       Distance
27 July 1970       Kuşadasi       Edirne       658 km
28 July 1970       Edirne       Klagenfurt       1,320 km
29 July 1970       Klagenfurt       Mannheim       705 km
30 July 1970       Mannheim       Oostende       541 km
31 July 1970       Dover       Bow       415 km
Total                   3,639 km

The distances are variable. In the map above the distance in England is noted as 270 miles (434 km), but click on it and it changes to 258 m miles (415 km). Which is correct? The difference is significant, because my mileage on 28 July 1970 was only 70 km short short of my all-time record of 1,407 km. If I adjusted all distances in proportion to 3,879 ÷ 3,639, that distance would have been—coincidentally—1,407 km. Based on previous Google Maps info, it would have been 1,423 km. But probably most of the discrepancy occurred elsewhere: the roads through Jugoslavia haven't changed that much since we were there.


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