Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

2002 Xmas letter

"Edelweiss" 8 Newtown. Market Drayton. Shropshire. TF9 1JU. England.
Mobile No (In Australia) 0415 744340 until 5th March 2003. UK 07703 390086
Yes it’s true, time does seem to go faster as you get older and we can’t believe that yet another year has passed – our 6th on the road.  This could turn out to be the longest holiday on record!
We are both healthy, happy and loving our life especially being back in Australia which we think of as our second home.
Our Daughter Claire is still living in Haworth, her husband Daz at university where granddaughter Natasha (3) goes to nursery.  Daniel (5) has been at school for over a year and is making excellent progress.
Son David has stayed in Prestwich living happily with his girlfriend Donna and her 4 children.  Works most of the time but not always in the same job! 
So we’ll back track to last December and bring you up to date with our manoeuvres:-
December 2001 and January 2002 – Mum & John joined us in Cyprus for a lovely Christmas.  Sadly on 27th December Mum was hit by a car whilst crossing the road.  She was in hospital for 11 days, spent a further 9 days recuperating before Glen flew back to England with her to help out for 1 week.  Her worst injury was a fractured skull and blood clot.  Although much improved she is still suffering but putting on a brave face. 
February – Having had poor weather in December we had a glorious month in February. Sandra joined us for a week.  By the time we left Cyprus at the end of the month we could really appreciate the attraction of the island.  Steve particularly liked being able to go to the pub and drink cheap beer whilst watching the English football.
March – Returned to Greece to spend a month idling mostly on the delightful Elia Beach.
April – Took a ferry from Patras up to Venice passing quickly through Italy and France to return to England. 
May – Claire and family fitted in 2 mini breaks with us and David also joined us for 1.  Spent most of the time catching up with family and friends and making future travel plans.  Really got to know Daniel and Natasha better and almost made up our baby sitting quota.
June – Daniel and Natasha were christened with Steve godfather to Daniel and me godmother to Natasha.  Mid month saw us jetting off at the start of our round the world trip.  Picked up a 5th wheel and truck in Dallas.  Found the site of Kennedy’s shooting very interesting before we headed off through Arkansas.  Steve finally achieved one of his goals which was to visit Graceland.  St Louis Arch in Missouri was another highlight. 
July – Crossed through Kansas to visit Colorado then Utah with magnificent national parks.  Hit freak hot weather and a month of temperatures over 110F so at the end we shot up to Canada to visit Auntie Joan in Vancouver.
August – Continued over the Rockies then back into America to the fabulous Yellowstone National Park and the not so fabulous snow and hail stones.  Visited a few places whilst passing through Wyoming and Montana.  In South Dakota we liked the Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore statues and enjoyed wandering around The Badlands.  Drove south through Nebraska.
September – Continued through Oklahoma to return to Dallas for our 7th September flight to Brisbane.  Although we enjoyed the places we visited in America as a generalisation we didn’t find the people over friendly, found free camping limited and had a lot of problems with the vehicles we were borrowing.  Arriving in Australia was like coming home.  We bought a 1988 Toyota Hi-Ace pop top camper van from English friends and set off up the Queensland coast.  Christened the van "Billy" and gave him a cheap internal make over and invested considerably more sorting out engine problems.  Progress up the coast was very slow as we had so many friends to visit and new naturist retreats to check out.
October – After 6 weeks in Australia we had only made it 350km up the coast.  All down to the friendly and hospitable Aussies, wonderful weather and much back tracking.  We helped Noel in building a shed which will have a car port to store Billy then back tracked further to attend Jenny & Tony’s wedding. 
November – Got as far north as Rockhampton.  In true "Survivor" style we made an 11 day camping trip to the beautiful Humpy Island along with 5 other naturist couples.  Time flew by with plenty of  fishing, walking, snorkelling, sunbathing, playing cards etc and we didn’t get voted off!   Despite the severe drought we headed inland to the interesting Gemfields region.  Completed a 23km walk into the attractive Carnarvon Gorge and Glen backed 3 winners at the Roma Cup Races.  In New South Wales we settled onto the Running Bare naturist retreat which is so nice we decide to stay for Christmas and the New Year.   
Our next deadline is to be in Adelaide in February to pick up Mum & John who will spend 3 weeks with us in South Australia and Victoria.  In March we fly to New Zealand for 5 weeks then make our way back to England via Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.  Anticipate getting back to England at the beginning of June but as you know we often change plans!
Would love to hear your news and if you can’t E-mail us then maybe you can use snail mail with Mum acting as postman (it’s her address at the top of the letter), or if you are not too busy and can write quickly we shall be here until the end of December – Mr S.T. Swatman. C/O Running Bare. PO Box 683. Narrabri 2290.  NSW. Australia.  Unfortunately our phones do not work out here but in emergency the number of Running Bare is 02 6793 2169 
Lots of love from Steve and Glen xxx

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