19.02.1965 - 26.02.1965
Coming to this journal some five months after the last entry, I finish the story. That night in Ceuta I shaved off my moustache and slept comfortably in a pension. The next morning we crossed the Straits and landed at Algeciras in Spain, opposite the enormous up thrusting Rock of Gibraltar. The Canadians and Americans were still with us. We had our first customs check ever at Algeciras - they took everything out of our packs and even gave us a quick body search. They were looking for drugs. We then took three agonizingly slow days to get 125 miles to Granada.
Hitchhiking in Spain is really bad. Two places stand out in my memory - Antequera, a lovely old Spanish town, and of course Granada, a beautiful city.
It was there that we decided, finally, that the trip was at an end. We sent for more money from the bank and bought through train tickets to London. We left Granada late at night and the next morning we were in Madrid. We had to get a taxi between stations and that was all we saw of the capital. It was a cold, misty and wet morning. We spent a full day on the train, travelling through snow covered countryside, and were at the Franco Spanish border at Hendaye late that night. Another night on the train and we were in fog bound Paris early the following morning. Again we had to change stations. We were only five hours in Paris. During that time we walked a long way with packs on our backs. Where, I don’t exactly know. We went to American Express and picked up our mail. At Gard du Nord, about 12.20 pm we boarded the boat train for London. At Calais we got onto the channel steamer and for the first time in three days the sun was shining. Those great White Cliffs came closer and became clearer and then we were setting foot on England at Dover. We boarded the Pullman for London, and about 7.00 pm we arrived at Victoria Station. The first railway station we encountered in India had been called Victoria and the last of the trip was named the same.
We were finally in London, and the journey was at an end. We went to our friend Tony’s flat in Earl’s Court. It was the 26th February, 1965, just over 6 months since we had left Sydney. It had taken less time than we had expected.
Many things have happened since then, but all that is a different episode.
(Or maybe another blog. Ozac 2011)