On our travels around this great land, we have been fortunate in meeting a great many people who live and survive in the most inhospitable and hostile environment imaginable. Coupled with the remote environment, one can only admire the resourcefulness, humour and goodwill that pervades the outback character. Water is gold, so its no surprise that rivers like the Darling are held in reverence by those that need it and use it.
Enter Tony Pritchard, a character we met at Pooncarrie, wrestling his canoe from the clutches of the Darling to return north after another paddling adventure for a couple of hundred kilometres. It turns out he is a veteran of Darling River paddling, having completed a number of trips resulting in the run away success of his best selling books ‘Drifting Down The Darling’, then ‘Paddling Down The Darling’ and now ‘Canoeing Down The Darlin’.
Little did we know we were in the company of a world famous author, wordsmith and humorist. We gave him a lift to Menindee to rescue his truck so he could drive back to his boring life in Brisbane somewhere.
The two hour drive to Menindee was uneventful except for the stories banter and good humour of first time exchanges between new friends.
Turns out Tony is a teacher, writer and explorer preferring exploring over everything else, but we need to fund our adventures before everything seizes and stops working. A fact acknowledged by all.
Read the books, they are hilarious, a subtle good humoured look at a region in strife and bloke hooked on exploration in a sometimes bastard of an environment where everything is what it is, locals included.. He occasionally get sidetracked in his stories, we forgive him for that as us blokes often get side-tracked mid- life by all manner of things. Let’s face it, it’s all about the journey anyway.
Tony’s book are available from:
Mike Briggs, Margate, February 2019:
Note for Tony, forgive the journalistic licence.