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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 16:03 GMT
Charles remembers 'pommie' jibes
Prince Charles in Geelong
The prince shouted with glee after scoring a goal in air hockey
Prince Charles has been reminiscing about living in Australia as a teenager, saying he hiked for 70 miles and was called a "pommie bastard".

He was speaking at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria where he was a student at Timbertop, a camp run by the school, nearly 40 years ago.

"I remember having to switch the lights out in the dormitories. All I got was cries of pommie bastard," he said.

The prince was on the third day of a five-day, five-city tour of Australia.

All I can recollect is thinking 'Christ I'm bloody well bushed'
Prince Charles on his school days

The prince said he was sent to Timbertop, 100 miles from Melbourne, to be "sorted out".

He studied there for two terms in 1966 - and his return to Geelong Grammar on Thursday, where he often attended tutorials, marked its 150th anniversary.

His chaperone, Squadron Leader David Checketts, who was equerry to the Duke of Edinburgh at the time, has been quoted as saying: "I went out with a boy and came back with a man."

Recalling his student days, Prince Charles told an audience at the school: "Seventy mile hikes - it was hell in those days - blood-soaked shirt from the rucksack on my back. I'm not making this up. But I loved it.

"All I can recollect is thinking 'Christ I'm bloody well bushed'."

He said he went on camping expeditions every weekend, sweltering under the Outback sun during the day and shivering in a sleeping bag by night.

He told the audience he learned to throw a boomerang during this time, once hitting himself on the head.

Reading sections from the school's glossy, modern brochure, he jokingly said: "Who the hell are they trying to kid?"

Prince Charles in Melbourne
The prince sampled various organic products in Melbourne

Charles toured the school, seeing a plaque set in the place where his dormitory once was. It has since been turned into a bathroom.

He also engaged in a game of air hockey with pupils, shouting enthusiastically when he scored a goal.

"Anybody else want a challenge?" he said after the match.

Earlier on Thursday, he visited a farmers' market in Melbourne, where he was given fresh organic produce including a jar of chutney.

The Prince will travel to Sydney and Canberra on the remainder of his tour, which started on Tuesday in Perth.

On Wednesday he visited Alice Springs, where it was reported that the media contingent accompanying him outnumbered onlookers.

Prince Charles in the outback
02 Mar 05 |  In Pictures
Prince 'forgotten man' in desert
02 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific

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