Friday, January 1, 2010

Good Roads and Bad Roads

Many people are saying it is the bad road which caused the horror truck smash on the Princes Hwy the other day, the fact is that about 80% of the people of today never seen or imagined the Old Princes Hwy of about 1975, I try to tell some and the reaction of all is unbelief, "it could not have been that bad impossible" but all of you except Melissa would have seen a Princes Hwy which would have been a horror stretch to even bring the cows along to be milked let alone use for cars, trucks and tourist coaches, I well remember the 2 Cortinas of my young days and the Toyota Corona literally falling to pieces on the horrific corrugations, in some cases you would be praying that the car just held in one piece until Narooma was reached!!! and then you would take a break for driving on this rough dusty horror stretch for more than 100 kilometers without a break was impossible, a far different story to the autobahn we have today, things were not to bad to Batemans Bay but once past that it was gravel at least half the way and in about 1975, I remember being on a Tourist Coach and they stopped at the Bodalla Cheese Factory which I had been through many times, the gentle westerly was blowing the dust from the "HIGHWAY" straight across to the factory, I said to an English Tourist "Look at the dust we are eating" as we came out, he laughed and agreed and said "this would not be even a farm track in England" and he was amazed that in Australia this is actually a highway, in Eden once I stopped for a bite to eat in the then couple of houses and shops and turned right at the main intersection where the highway turns and straight ahead is the main street, I drive 1 kilometer up the hill and then the gravel right on the doorstep of the village, for the next 60 kilometers to the border it was just pray as the car either the Toyota or the 6 cylinder Cortina just about fell to pieces and we crawl along dodging the 18 inch deep wash outs and rocks sticking up a foot, "watch out for that one" Brian would scream "if we hit that we take the sump out of this." Most of the roads around Kangaloon were likewise and in the winter you would often need chains or get bogged to the axle, even the Illawarra Hwy at the Moss Vale Caravan Park 5 kilometers out of town was likewise, Jamberoo Mountain now a good bitumen Road was a 4 wheel drive job as I would even call the Princes Hwy that from Eden to the Victorian Border where it became a autobahn like it is the whole way today, the majority of the people today would either not have seen 1980 or have been only babies, they will not believe us, it is a pity that when Mums house was cleared out a lot of photos of this era are lost forever.

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