I like this photo – it brings back memories of being young and stupid.
As previously recounted, back in the mid-1970s I followed the lead of my friends and bought an aged and decrepit Series 2a Land-Rover. Having driven around some of the bush near Sydney, my friends and I – the “Famous Four”, also known as “Not Them Again!” – decided to drive to Swansea near Newcastle, NSW, for a day of beach driving.
The day was perfect – mild temperatures, clear blue sky, with that sharpness of contrast in the shadows which is brought about by recent rain. We arrived at Swansea fairly early, and found that the rain had left some beautiful puddles in the dirt track leading to the beach. I’d just finished waterproofing the ‘Rover’s electrics, so friend Ron climbed a tree to take photos while his brother Chris and I barrelled through the biggest puddle. The idea was to test the waterproofing in the most enjoyable way possible – so I got a good run up, planted the right foot, and charged through the puddle.
That was fun! So I did it again. And again. And apart from the windscreen becoming completely blind (extremely ineffective wipers), a good time was had by all.
After the last run, it was time to go beach driving; so I pulled over and waited for Ron to climb down.
“That was great!” I said.
“Yes,” replied Ron. “You came a bit close to that station wagon on the last run, though.”
What station wagon? Well, it seems that somebody coming the other way had the same idea as me at the same time. We’d come rocketing through the puddle in opposite directions, blinded by the spray, missed each other by a hairs-breadth and only Ron had noticed. Yes, we were young and stupid. And somehow, some of us survived.