Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Southern Odyssey Part 2: Scone to Canberra

Day 2 (Easter Sunday) started off with cold morning, a noise in the alternator and a battery light. This was solved with a deft squirt of God's own nectar (WD40) into the alternator and voila, no more issues all the way to Melbourne. Soon down the road we drove into Hunter Valley coal country; coal in the ground, coal on the trains and coal fed into the coal-fired power stations choofing away outside of Muswellbrook. 

Mmmm, sustainable

As per my post on Part 1 of this odyssey, the map below indicates the stops made along the way where we considered there to be a reasonable possibility of typewriters. Considering much of the distance between Scone and Canberra is covered by dual-carriageway motorway and because we were keen to catch up with Robert M in good time, there was not a great deal of stops along the way, however stop [1] below was rather memorable. 

Before that stop however, we paid homage to Australia's biggest city and traversed a rather well known landmark. Although it is a bit quicker to skirt around Sydney via the western motorways, we decided that we may as well see the sights and fulfill our aim of 4 capital cities in three days. So we drove into the city and right over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I was driving at the time and thus I have to rely on an artist's impression of our crossing in order to capture the moment.

You can just make out Scott's red Nissan X-Trail in this photo

Some distance south of Sydney, near Goulburn, we made the one stop before Canberra where we considered there was a reasonable expectation of spotting typewriters. After passing hand-painted signs along the motorway such as "Garage Sale" and "1,000 items", we thought we'd better investigate.

1. Somewhere not far from Goulburn, NSW: Dave's Garage and Lawn Sale. A short distance off the motorway was Dave's house. This was a somewhat delapidated dwelling, where more stuff than could possibly have once fitted inside his house or in the ajoining carport was strewn haphazardly around the front lawn. To one side was a number of cars for "wrecking" as well as a motorcycle which was for also for sale. Dave stood proudly near the carport, sun glasses and a bandana around his grey hair, chain smoking cigarettes. I asked him whether he had any typewriters. "Mate I don't think I do. And even if I did, if they're not on the lawn, I wouldn't know where the **** they were". 

In short, no typewriters.

It did not appear that Dave was married

Some distance on and we were passing Lake George and the "Welcome to the Australian Capital Territory" sign. I lived in Canberra for six months in 2006, however hadn't returned properly since, so driving down into the "bush capital" once more brought back a lot of fond memories of the place. This time however, Canberra brought lots and lots of typewriters and an enjoyable afternoon and evening with Mr Typewriters himself, the wonderful, the one and only Robert M.

2. Canberra, ACT: The Australian Typewriter Museum. TYPEWRITER 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14........400.......500.....*Passes out*

The afternoon took an enjoyably impromptu political twist when we set up shop and briefly typed-in on the benches of the House of Representatives in Old Parliament House. Not having any of my own typewriters on me I got to borrow Rob's Vendex. One of the joys of any public typewritering is the children who come and see what's going on and soon find themselves typing away themselves. This afternoon was no different and after one young boy tried his hand at Scott's typewriter, his mother pushed him aside and proved herself to be as fast and proficient as someone straight out of a big-business typing pool.

After we soaked up the last of the gorgeous afternoon outside we retired to a local restaurant and thence back to the Australian Typewriter Museum to talk about..... This is not a hard guess.

Two of the best minds in the business talking shop

"In joyful strains, then let us sing, Advance Australia Vendex"


  1. What an explosion of red at Robert's! This looks like great fun.

  2. Hmmn, I think Robert has a bit of a Typewriter Problem. They're like Tribbles! :D

    Nice trip report on your hunting expedition (:

  3. Be careful not to put two typewriters close to each other without proper protection. They might multiply!

    But without kidding, wonderful trip! I already read about the Old Parliament at Robert's blog and it sounded like a terrific day. Can't believe you got the typewriters in! And to be walking around his collection... A-MA-ZING!!

    1. Yes, we did get them in, however security did keep a very close eye on us! To wander around Robert's collection is definitely an experience everyone should have at least once.

  4. I love Robert's red corner!

  5. AH! Dave's lawn sale. Man... that whole thing was weird and wonderful. Great write-up. The photo of the X Trail on the bridge is the best photos I've ever had of that car.

  6. Thanks for the comments all. Yes indeedy, the red corner is downright stunning, but there's also a yellow corner and a Blick corner. It's quite the experience. The concluding chapter of this odyseey will be forthcoming some time in the (probably) distant future.

  7. I think you missed an opportunity to actually drive over the Opera house in that x trail!

  8. All those red typewriters as well as all the others - ridiculous! what an experience!