Participating in the State Rally in Australia

Kiyoko Fukuda
Japan Auto Camping Federation

Paging through the Asia-Pacific News No. 5, Mr.Brian Kelleher's calling "Join our state rally" caught my eyes. I talked it over with my husband. He had also wanted to go to Australia in the South hemisphere once. So we and two fellow members started for the Victorian State rally held from March, after having contacted and got enough details by e-mail from Mr. Peter Hay.

The flight from Nagoya to Melbourne was nearly ten hours long. The just two-hour time difference was not too bad to our body, except leaving the snow and rushing into the summery climate well over 30 Celsius. Mr.& Mrs.Thomas had been waiting for us at the airport holding up our name card. From then on, we counted on them for very enjoyable four days. Mr.Thomas drove us to the rally site in two hours tour at the speed of 100km/h. After passing Melbourne city, I began to feel "Australia" when a relaxed herd of cows and a flock of sheep came out in turn. We didn't either miss the road mark "koala".

When we arrived at the Lardner park site, Australian fellows welcomed us very warmly. Every morning everyone passing by asked me "Do you enjoy?" which touched me deeply. We were glad to meet the kind and friendly Australians. Mr.& Mrs.Thomas took us to the well known penguin parade and the sanctuary center in order to see kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and so on. Those outing made our memories of Australia more impressive.

I could point out particularly two things that impressed me most in this camp. The camp site was unforgettably beautiful like a picture. We loved to spend time sitting in front of this picture and watch sheep gazing grasses in the rolling hills, colorful robins flying under favorable weather and black swans on the lake. I've never seen such a picturesque landscape before.

The second thing is that especially, I would like to say, the elderly looked vivid and cheerful. We might live among those someday. It still makes me happy when I remember a door. After a delicious diner was finished, the lottery started. I was told my number won and walked to the front. Three stout men carried a big old door from the outside and put it before me. In a moment I thought sincerely how I should bring it to Japan. I knew the phrase "door prize" after consulting the dictionary.

On the closing ceremony, Mr.Kelleher gave us thanks for joining in the rally and presented a memorial gift one by one. I couldn't find the word except thank you very much to the all participants.

We all were sad to leave Mr.& Mrs.Thomas, organizers, and campers, but we promised to see them again at the Australian tenth national rally to be held in Perth next year.

We all hope Australia will join the F.I.C.C in the near future.

January 2001(Asia-Pacific News No.6)

Mark of Asia Pacific Commission

Japanese Site