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Travels with Bertha (Paperback)

Two Years Exploring Australia in an 1978 Ford Station Wagon

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Travel

Imprint: Liberties Press
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781907593420
Published: 1st November 2012



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Before the economy forced Ireland's youth to look to countries afar, Paul Martin made the decision to get out of a mundane job and 'see the world' throughout the 1990s. Thus began the adventure of a lifetime that took him 30,000 kilometers through Australia in a 1978 Ford Falcon station wagon.


In August 2011 it was reported that the number of Irish people who received working holiday visas for Australia increased by nearly 50 per cent compared to the previous year. In the current economic climate, Australia seems to be the destination of choice for the many recently emigrated Irish. With their tendency to stay in main cities, particularly Sydney, how much of Australia do they really see?


Travels with Bertha is the story of the real Australia. Extending a one-year working holiday visa into thirty months, Paul lived the colorful, precarious and occasionally solitary life of a 'backpacker' in various locations throughout Australia, traveling extensively through every State and Territory in Australia including a trip across the Bass Straits to Tasmania. In this and two other journeys across the continent, he traveled (and slept) in Bertha, encountering many fascinating characters (including the Queensland drug dealer-turned-miner who had blown off all his fingers in repeated work accidents; the Adelaide Aborigine whose Irish uncle, in revenge for Captain Cook, claimed the territory of Britain for Australia from the top of Big Ben; the ex-alcoholic in Tasmania who relayed that his bipolar condition could be traced back to his direct ancestor, King George III; the dying man in the Kimberleys who had witnessed a haunting aboriginal dance gathering in 1925...) and much of Australia’s hidden history and landscape.


Travels With Bertha is the perfect book for not only those planning on or dreaming about visiting Australia, but also those who have returned and want to relive their years Down Under. A lighthearted travel book with strong historical content, Travels With Bertha details Paul Martin’s two years spent traveling through the startling beauty of this most fascinating of continents in a 1978 Ford Falcon station wagon. Guaranteed to give you itchy feet!

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