13 Pairs of Boots by Mark Howison
Anticipating a hero’s welcome and free hospitality at every town, the pair soon discover that not only are they left to fend for themselves but that, in the bush, the bloody kangaroos don’t need saving and on many occasions angry farmers reminded them of this fact by firing bullets over their heads. Dirt roads, wild-driving semi trailers, feral pigs, crocodiles, snakes, rogue RSPCA officers and, eventually lack of food and cigarettes, makes this one heck of an adventure!
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In 1973 David Howison announced to his then 17-year-old son Mark that they were going to walk around Australia to raise money in order to build a wildlife sanctuary to protect kangaroos.
Once he got over his initial shock, Mark was up for the adventure. Thanks to the local Kangaroo Protection Society they were kitted out in boots, hats and sunscreen and given a sponsorship with Hanimax cameras.
After leaving Sydney with a huge farewell from a Scottish Highlander band, thousands of people and many media interviews, it was just Mark, his dad, and their dog Wendy on the road.
They fourth member of their team was a large cart carrying their belongings which they pulled behind them.
To make matters worse, halfway through the trip, not only have the locals turned against them, Mark and David begin to become heartily sick of each other. And that is when the fun really begins…
Frequently hilarious and written by a master storyteller with a very ‘Australian’ turn of phrase, this is warm-hearted, entertaining read.
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