* It’s "Over & Out" from Global Gypsies!
* A huge thank you to our clients, staff, suppliers, sponsors & business partners
* Read about our European Odyssey
* Check out our tour reports for Canning Stock Route Expeditions, Red Centre Safari & Tanzania Wildlife Safari!
* Visit our lovely Bush Cabin!
LAST ADVENTURE UPDATE - OCTOBER 2023 - BUMPER ISSUE!!
16 October 2023
HELLO, GOODBYE & SAFE TRAVELS!
Hello everyone! Our big news is that after 25 years of fabulous Global Gypsies’ adventures in the outback & overseas, we are retiring! Yep! As of December 31st, we will be shutting down our engines, lowering our tyre pressure, storing away our tent & putting our feet up!
We’ve run our last tour, delivered our last training course & taken our final bow on the tourism stage. It’s time to say farewell to all you fabulous people & to thank you – our valued clients - for your support, loyalty & friendship over the years. It’s been a wild & wonderful ride & we’re so grateful to you all for making it possible!
We’ve had some incredible experiences, made some terrific friends, worked with an exceptional & dedicated gypsy crew & thoroughly enjoyed it all. But now - as we get older & greyer! – it’s time to relax, reinvigorate & go exploring independently.
What will we do? Well, we plan to spend time at our lovely little bush cabin in Nannup (more details about this later), check out favourite & new Aussie destinations in our trusty Landcruiser ‘Gypsy’ (she’s got over 550,000 kms on the clock!), enjoy some outings on our almost-vintage Harley Davidson & visit mates in far-flung places here & overseas.
So this is our last official Global Gypsies newsletter! Enjoy it, then frame it! It could become a collector’s item!
However, before we drive off into the sunset, we’d like to report on our last few tours & thank the numerous very important people who have made Global Gypsies possible.
First, we’d like to acknowledge our wonderful gypsy crew for their commitment, enthusiasm, dedication, loyalty, friendship, great ideas & professionalism and, of course, for all the good times we’ve had together! A huge hug from us to you! Our talented, much appreciated support team over the years has included:
- Administration/Accounts: Peter Sommer, Di Gardner, Pam Vassi, Wally Harding
- Trainers: Ken George, Ross Healey, Eddy Tamlin, Andy McLeod, Bryan Mitchell, Geoff Couper, Richard Nicholls, Trevor Cox (dec’d)
- Caterers/Chefs: Jo Clews, Rebina Criddle, Cherie Toovey, Stuart McIntyre, Grec & Chocce Thomson
- Tour Guides/Assistant Guides: Terry Brewin, Andy Phillips, Grahame Edgar, Steven & Alison Melvin, Jonathan Howden, Pam Vassi
- Mentors: Tim Hantke; Honorary Emeritus Prof. Jim McBeth; Jeff Baylden (dec’d); Peter Cary, Scott Tanner, Rob Rocco (Core Wealth); John Muntz, Tony Hunt (Muntz Accountants); Don McLaren, Chris Kennington, Emeritus Prof. Ross Dowling A.M., Rod Quartermain, Mark Termeer, Richard Schaefer (Lab 385); Prue Pike (Talk Social Media), Anthea Horvat (Business Fusion).
We’d also like to extend a huge thanks to our suppliers – Wandering Star Trailers, Robsons 4WD, Red Arc, Boatfit, Geeks2U, ARB, Autospark, Trimmers WA, Adventure Offroad Training, Getaway Outdoors Balcatta, CAMEC, Muntz Accountants, Gallagher Insurance, RAC Travel, Snap Print Osborne Park; and a heavenly hello to graphic designer Dennis Tudor (dec’d) who created our distinctive gypsy logo with so much love & care back in 1998 – we hope we’ve done you proud!
Joint Venture Partners, Sponsors & Supporters
Our sincere appreciation to Stephen Scourfield, Travel Editor of West Australian Newspapers who has always been so supportive of our initiatives & so generous with his media coverage.
Also, our thanks to the many joint venture partners we have worked with over the years including Tourism Council WA, Caravan Industry Association WA, Department of Biodiversity Conservation & Attractions (particularly Keith Morris & the Wildlife Services division), Tourism WA, WAITOC, Perth International Arts Festival, Trackcare WA, Western 4WDriver, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Forum Advocating Cultural & Eco-Tourism, Caversham Wildlife Park, Xlibris Publishing, Coates Wildlife Tours, Pemberton Discovery Tours, Frontier Camper Trailers, New Age Caravans, Jayco Caravans, George Day Caravans, Crikey Campers, Ingo Helbig, Melangata Station, Perth 4WD Show, Red Sands Campers, All Star Campers, Five Senses Expeditions (Netherlands), Muthaiga Travel (Kenya), Miramar Travel (Uzbekistan), , Kipling Travel (India), Geo Tours (Germany), One Ocean Expeditions (Antarctica), SGS Safaris (Botswana), Self-Drive Adventures (Namibia), Coltur Travel (Peru), Alkans Travel (Turkey), Majestic Whale Encounters (Norway), HIT Indochina Travels (Myanmar), Triangle Travel (Japan), China Star Tours & All Around Tanzania Safaris.
WHEW! What a long & impressive list! Thank you all SO much – it’s been such a pleasure working with you!
Now please READ ON for the rest of our news!
CHASING THE VIKINGS!
March & April saw us fly off to Europe on an extended personal holiday & ancestral research mission – first to the remote Orkney Islands (in far north Scotland) to track down Jeremy’s ‘Baikie’ family history & fascinating Viking heritage; then to London to visit his sister and to Walton-on-Naze, Harwich & Plymouth to meet up with Jan’s cousins before we headed off to France. Here's just a taste...
Our next stop was Paris for some sightseeing, history lessons & decadent self-indulgence, then self-drive tours through the countryside to the ancient cave paintings of Niaux & the charming medieval walled city of Carcassonne. We then met up with friends Jim & Lisa Bond for a brilliant road trip through the stunning Basque country topped off by two weeks at their exquisite 400-year old French chateau, Le Grande Dame, overlooking the Pyrenees! What a treat! For more details, check out https://www.facebook.com/jan.barrie.94/ .
CANNING STOCK ROUTE TIMES TWO!
Closer to home, COVID lockdowns for three years had created a huge customer demand for outback adventures - so we decided to run not one, but TWO Canning Stock Route expeditions in 2023 – both of which were full to the brim with very excited gypsies!
CSR Tour #1
Our first tour in June was led by Jeremy who was starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms & was thrilled to get 'back on the track'!
He was assisted by friend Steven Melvin, an accomplished engineer, project manager, 4WD’er & bush mechanic (Steven & his wife Alison expertly led our second CSR tour in July). Both tours were south-to-north (Meekatharra to Halls Creek), of 22 days duration & covered almost 2000 kms & 1000 sand dunes - we're talking about one of the toughest 4WD challenges in the world!
Highlights included Jeremy's informative 'bible readings' at each well from his collection of CSR reference books; Steven's 'bedtime stories' which he read round the campfire from Hubert Trotman's biography (Trotman was Alfred Canning's 2IC in surveying the track & constructing the wells back in the early 1900's); meeting up with charity motorcyclist "Slippery" who was raising funds for cancer; & erecting a commemorative sign at Well 46 where in 2019 we participated in a 'dunny build' with Trackcare WA, the Ngurrara Rangers, a band of volunteer gypsies & major project sponsors, Jim & Lisa Bond.
Track & weather conditions were pretty good - that is until the very last night when a massive thunderstorm closed most of the roads in & out of our final destination, the town of Halls Creek. It was a race against time to avoid being stranded on the Canning - fortunately, everyone just squeaked through!
A big thank you to all the gypsies on CSR Tour #1 for being such good company & for making the experience so much fun - David & Anne Jack & Russ Connor (VIC); Rob & Marg Davidson (NSW); Tracey & Alan Hewitt (QLD); & Helen & Steve Durbridge, Sandra & Brad Gifford, Greg & Leanne Howell, Derek & Margaret Jones, David & Leonie King & Leonie & Dan Polain all from WA. Here's a peek at just some of the magic moments from this awesome adventure!
CSR Tour #2
The tour was led by Steven Melvin & his wife, Alison, a wildflower guru & experienced tour guide who runs Forest Explorer Tours in Collie – they make a great combination! All the gypsies had a marvelous time & raved about the tour leaders – well done, team!
A big thanks to John & Robyn Walker (VIC); Stephen Sanson & Steve & Cheryl Sydenham (NSW); Mark & Kathryn Bendotti; Craig Flowers & Melissa Brown; John Stacy; Dr. Roric Smith; & John Ripp & Hunter Gillies from WA for being such terrific company.
Highlights included the wonderful people that joined us and the personalities, experience & knowledge they brought with them to make it such a great experience for everyone; the spectacular & colourful wildflowers which added a level of beauty to the desert landscape that caught many gypsies by surprise; having our own in-house geologist (Roric) to explain the rock formations; our morning walks (on one we observed a flock of finches rising from the ground & then, to our delight, found four gnamma holes hidden in a large flat granite rock where they had been drinking); discovering the original Forest F41 tree at Windich Springs (with a bit of help from Phil Bianchi’s CSR 'Work Completed' book); Pierre Springs camp & the Ingebong Hills walk where we spotted an eastern Barn Owl showing off his gorgeous white breast; the peace & tranquility of Durba Springs & the challenge of trekking to the top of the plateau; meeting the Kunawarritji school kids at Well 33 which so thrilled Mark and Katherine that they gave them an impromptu tour of their campsite; swimming & lazing at Stretch Lagoon enjoying the birdlife; & reading aloud from the heart-rending "Last of the Nomads" book about the famous desert outcasts, Warri and Yatungka - what a perfect place to share their story! There were a few vehicle challenges (mainly electronic) & one couple had to leave the tour early due to family issues, but this tour was definitely a 10 out of 10 outback experience. Check out the pix below!
TREASURES OF TANZANIA!
Our wildlife safari to Tanzania in late July was nothing short of spectacular! We ticked off all the animals on our “Critter Wish List”; watched in amazement as hundreds of wildebeest & zebras frantically crossed the Mara River during the annual wildebeest migration in the Serengeti; stayed in some stunning safari camps; learned about the flora & fauna from our terrific local guides & expert wildlife spotters Marco & Isaac; participated in cultural experiences (bows & arrows with bushmen at 50 paces anyone?); visited the “Cradle of Mankind” at Oldupai Gorge; explored Ngorongoro Crater; enjoyed brilliant sunny days & balmy starry nights; and, as usual, shared these experiences with a great bunch of people!
‘Asante sana’ to our friends at All Around Tanzania Safaris for looking after us & a big ‘jambo’ & thank you to our intrepid travellers - Penny & Spence Cookson; Bryan & Mike Dawes; Geraldine Edwards & Ross McGillivray; Martina Rear; Jenny Rose & Faye Sandy (all from WA).
Oh! And although Global Gypsies won't be running any more commercial Aussie tours, Jan & Jeremy may be looking for some company on a few international forays on a private basis over the next couple of years. If you'd like to join us, please let us know! Destinations we're considering include Japan, South America & (possibly) Egypt. We look forward to hearing from you if you're keen!
RED CENTRE & DESERT SAFARI
What superb scenery & outback experiences this tour delivered – Uluru, Kjata Tjuta, Two Mile Camp, Kings Canyon, Simpsons’ Gap, “She-Oaks” camp & all the other super spots in between. Special memories include travelling on the Great Central Road from Kalgoorlie to Alice Springs (although not quite the proverbial baby’s bum, the track was much smoother than we’d expected); the haunting Gormley sculptures at Lake Ballard; kaleidoscopic sunsets & sunrises at the Rock; bush walks; a massive full moon at Palm Valley; the Field of Lights; drinks, chats & lots of laughs round the campfire.
We enjoyed the excellent company of Norm & Marie Blackburn; Ross McGillivray; Chas & Kath Morgan; Helen & Evan Parker; Lloyd & Pam Webb; & Ken McIntosh (from WA) & his ‘sidekick’ Grahame Edgar (from NSW) - thanks everyone! Thanks also to Rod from Frontier Campers who once again generously provided us with a comfy Cub Camper Trailer.
Little did our travelling gypsies realize this was the last tour we would be running - we were having such a good time we didn’t want to spoil the fun! - but it was certainly a memorable way to commemorate a quarter of a century of outback adventures.
TAKE A BREAK AT OUR LOVELY BUSH CABIN!
What’s the next best thing to a Global Gypsies tour? A Global Gypsies bush cabin! If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to unwind, why not escape to our tiny cabin in the trees for a few days? This little piece of paradise in the Southwest forests of WA overlooks the Blackwood River & is nestled between Nannup & Balingup. It has one large bedroom with king-sized bed & en-suite, kitchen, a huge veranda with killer views & is perfect for a relaxing & romantic stay. No kids, no pets, no city hassles - just peace, tranquillity, bush surroundings, kangas, birds, alpacas, geese, even a koi pond. Check out the five-star reviews, then book with AirBnB here – mention that you’re a friend of Global Gypsies & you’ll get the VIP treatment!