With over a quarter of a million kilometers behind her, Mary Taylor has decided to set off on her 17th trip and possibly last lap around Australia in her yellow Honda Jazz.
Mary’s first trip was in a 1987 Honda Accord at the ripe young age of 75. At 90, there are no signs she’s slowing down.
“I’m addicted to solo driving. I love being by myself. I like to make my own decisions. Passengers always want to stop.” Mary says she doesn’t have a favourite place; she enjoys the journey. “It’s the road. I love the car; it does what you want it to.
Mary’s journey will take her along the Australian coastline for six weeks covering between 16,000 to 18,000 kilometers. With precision planning, Mary travels anti-clockwise in order to save petrol and reduce her impact on the environment. “The wind pushes you along. I’ve also done the trip twice in the Civic Hybrid.”
So what was her motivation for the first trip? “I’ve always wanted to do it. It was a deliberate decision. You can’t lead the same life, this was something altogether different.”
The folk at Peninsula Honda take care of servicing the Jazz and arrange for other Honda dealers around Australia to attend to any issues – not that there has been a single incident. “I’ve been driving a Honda for 20 years. They’re very safe, I don’t even think of the car.”
Mary documents her journey with a dash-mounted video camera and her laptop, complete with voice-recognition software. She also takes photographs of her Jazz at various locations she visits. From her point of view she prefers to drive for 600 kilometers per day without seeing a sign of human habitation.
In anticipation of her 90th birthday and ongoing love of driving, Mary booked herself in for a professional driving assessment. The assessor’s report card read as follows: Mary Taylor’s driving ability is of a very high standard.
Mary prefers to stay in middle-of-the-range accommodation around the country because of the people she meets. “People are intrigued and they always come and talk to you.”
Mary will complete her journey in early July.
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