Uncle Archie’s Australian Adventures

If you’ve read Horizon Fever 1, you’ll know that my Uncle Archie was not just a famous explorer but also a bit of a rogue. In fact, as Joe was going through Archie’s old scrapbooks, he discovered that Archie was sentenced to three months hard labour by a judge in Innisfail, Queensland.

Horizon Fever 2

It seems that in 1924, according to court records, Archie helped himself to a motorcycle and side-car, then took himself and a mate on a road trip. He was caught, and incarcerated as he couldn’t pay the fine.

We don’t know exactly what actually happened, but we do have Archie’s scrapbooks which provided the material for Horizon Fever II, now published on Amazon.

In Horizon Fever II, the irrepressible Archie describes how he came to perform reckless feats as a buckjumper in a circus rodeo, and embraced the opportunity to become a jockey, photographer, actor, hotel representative, pilot, car-salesman and pearl diver.

Of course, there are many more adventures, like his expedition into the Nullabor (meaning no trees, an arid plain in south Australia) with a partner who went insane.

We had covered about 700 miles [1126 km] and were now on the Plains of Nullabor, an endless desert of sand, scrub and desolation, and, of course, waterless.
It was there I had a real shock and a narrow shave for my life. I was cooking breakfast and prodding the eggs and bacon with a large skewer, when my eye chanced to roam to my shaving mirror on the ground. In a flash I saw a black box coming down from the sky behind me. I sprang aside and discovered Jake bringing down a large cooking pot in an attempt to brain me.

Chapter 6 Horizon Fever II

Uncle Archie died before I was born, living only 43 years, but he crammed more into every day of his short life than most of us do in a lifetime.

It’s almost a hundred years since Archie first set foot in Australia, and I doubt he’d recognise the places he visited then if he saw them now. I found his adventures fascinating, and I hope you do, too.

Amazon Link: http://bit.ly/2HVwiJL

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