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Life Happens The adventures of Nora Dunn & Kelly Bedford, Professional Hobos. Nora writes, Kelly makes music. Together, we are on a lifelong journey to...wherever.

Leaving Our Legacy

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 20 July 2008 | Views [4355] | Comments [3]

Having come through sub-tropical rainforests, learned to drive on the other side of the road, squished squeaky sand between our toes at beach towns, slept in the chilly high-altitude tablelands, fossicked for treasure in opal mining towns, driven through the great outback, and hiked through yet more national parks, before seeing the ocean again along the great ocean road, we feel we’ve managed to see a small but pretty diverse chunk of this wonderful country of Australia.


And having seen the critters at night, gone into the opal mines, caught some yummy fish for dinner, listened to the mining bells chiming through Broken Hill, toured the inside of a Royal Flying Doctors emergency plane, and enjoyed the hospitality of oh so many people we have come across, we also feel we’ve managed to meet a few of the characters that live here and get a feeling for the pulse of the place.


So when set with the task of leaving something with the van; something that characterizes our trip and says something about us, we were torn.

Do we leave a chunk of opal we fossicked for? Nah. It’s mostly potch, and if you don’t look closely you’d think it’s just a rock with some shiny blue stuff.

Do we leave some fish? Nope. Caught it and ate it already.

Do we leave sand from our squeaky beach? Rather not. Gets between your toes something fierce.

How about a kangaroo, since we got close enough to pet one? No can do. I doubt that future ambassadors would appreciate this furry friend as a travel companion in the van, despite its cuteness.


If we had to choose a place or activity that was a true highlight for us in our six-week adventure, that place would be Lightning Ridge. With its quirky characters and artistic-yet-gruff feel, we were delighted every minute of every day of our visit. Among other things what made Lightning Ridge special for us were the amazing people we met at the Rotary meeting and the subsequent whirlwind of new friends and great times that ensued. We would have stayed a week if we didn’t have about 3,000 more kilometers of ground to cover in a limited time.


The culmination of our Lightning Ridge adventure took place while immersed in the Black Queen experience. Not only do we now count Gale and Roger as friends of ours, but their home and the brilliant show they put on struck a chord in us. We don’t know how or when it will come to pass, but we don’t feel we are finished with Lightning Ridge just yet.


And so the legacy we leave with the van, the little bit of character that future World Nomads Ambassadors can enjoy as they create their own adventure, is a memento from the Black Queen: a handy magnet, featuring none other than the Black Queen herself. This design is also apt I might add, since many a dark evening was passed playing cards in the van by candlelight.


The Black Queen stayed with us in our hearts long after our departure, and now it can stay in the van too!

We would like to thank all our sponsors for giving us such a unique opportunity to see a slab of Australia for free, and we look forward to our remaining 10 months in this amazing country. We won’t be as easy to spot without our trusty colourful van, but we’ll be around.

As the Australians say: No worries.

Tags: ambassador van, australia, black queen, lightning ridge, world nomads



It is great reading all you blogs. It appears to me that blogging is rather one sided. You have said many nice things about Gale & I and the other special people you met in Lightning Ridge. Let me say that it was/is a great pleasure for us to have met both you, Nora, and Kelly. We will continue our friendship and you will always have a special place with the "Friends of the Black Queen"
God bless you and protect you in all you travels

  Roger Collins Jul 21, 2008 12:46 PM


I found your blog while we were in Hawaii this past January (Lai'e) when I was googled for "centipedes" -I've been following your adventures ever since and an expecially enjoying Australia since we spent a month there two years ago. Can't wait to see what your future travels bring - I know you will have lots of fun.

  Susan Jul 22, 2008 2:45 AM


Hey, me and my Boyfriend are taking over your van in a few days! im still in Ireland at the minute, flying out to meet him in 2 days, very excited! Did you love it? How is the van? Looks like you two had a great time :-)

  Deirdra Jul 22, 2008 4:54 AM



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