Sunday, April 25, 2010

50 days...

We have made it to the other side of Australia in 50 days, and have gone from wearing shorts, singlets, and summer dresses, to wearing 6 layers of clothing and having less than 12 hours of sunlight.  It is hard sometimes to fight the "wintery" or autumn blues when one is constantly outdoors and the weather bears down.  We are feeling that it is time to move north to follow the flocks of greying nomads to chase the sun.  If nothing else, I need more sleep and cannot sleep through the night as I am too cold, and that is with 2 hot water bottles, thermals, thick winter doona, 2 army blankets... Sometimes canvas just doesn't cut it.  It is hard not to be envious of all of those other families we have met who are in pop top caravans, "camper trailers" (which are caravans), or caravans.  We are yet to meet another family on the road for the long haul who is in canvas. 

Anyway after 50 days, here are 50 things I need to get off my chest.

First off are the things that are completely underrated until you are camping (especially bush camping, which is what we like) for a year with a family:
1. Hot showers: you know, the one where water dribbles over the top of you and you get to scrub your hair clean after not showering for 12 days... bliss
2. Showering without thongs on - yet to do, too worried about wierd fungal infections
3. Flushing toilet....close to your bed, so that you don't have to put your thongs/shoes on, unzip the tent, walk for a long distance, then go to the toilet then back...
4. Legs that could fold a long way away (and this is for the girls) so that when squatting. there is no splatter
5. Floor, a hard one that is clean, actually it cold be soft even, just clean and able to lie or walk on in bare feet occassionally
6. Walls, to keep the wind, rain or harsh sun out
7. Roof, same
8. Peace - believe it or not, there seems to be a little less of it when on the road with your children
9. Physical Space - There is a lot of bush around, yet somehow, we are cramped...
10. Mental Space - don't get me started
11. Time - How is it that we seem to have less of it now?
12. Connectability to phone & internet - forget mobility unless you stick to towns, if you do that, you will miss most of the natural wonders
13. A good nights sleep...
14. Friends - being able to catch up with them, see them, have a quick chat with them
15. Fresh fruit and vegies - I would give my right leg for a market trolley full of them
16. Running water, it's the simple things
17. Sink and bench height - our poor, poor backs...
18. Fridge space, fun feeding a family from 40 l fridge! It's good to embrace the challenge

Brilliant things about being in the great outdoors on a daily basis:
19. People we meet: friendly, interesting, amazing
20. Access to incredible places
21. Waking up to the most amazing sunrises
22. Finishing the day to incredible sunsets
23. Doing school work (only 1-2 hr) each day in different settings outside with bugs, trees, leaves, etc
24. Sunlight
25. Fresh air
26. Bushwalking
27. Sea
28. Mountains
29. Trees
30. Kooky towns
31. Kids learning from people (fishing, crabbing, canoeing, listening, Anzac Day march Veteran, Rangers, etc)
32. Amazing meals cooked by Us! (due to the need for creativity)
33. Access to insanely beautiful places with our beloved Landcruiser and rusty ol' Dingo trailer
34. Meeting other cub group people
35. People's generosity with words, tips, thoughts, food, meals, washing, etc
36. Hearing from people who care
37. Letting go, bit by bit
38. Gorgeous flowers
39. Seeing new marsupials (saw a bandicoot the other day)
40. Seeing this incredible land and how large it is
41. Listening to the different accents of our country (Adelaide is different to Melbourne, and Perth say 'ey at the end of sentences)
42. We are all healthy

Other tips for wannabe travellers
43. Take more time
44. Take less stuff
45. Go diesel
46. Get a Landcruiser (did I need to say it?)
47. If you take a trailer, have an off road one
48. Listen to ABC AM radio
49. Try to find another family or group to travel with
50. Have fun

Enough for now, back to pull the washing off the line in Manjimup (SW of WA), which also happens to be one of the coldest places in WA (Yay!).   Cheers, Meg


  1. 50 days already!

    Despite the cold it sounds like you are having an amazing time. I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

    Del and the monsters

    PS - Milla sends extra love to her Pete-rick!

  2. Hi Meg. Want to say 'sounds like you're having an ace time', but putting myself in your shoes, I know I would really be struggling. Especially with the mental space, kids and peace thing. Perhaps that's where doing it with another family would really help. The education that the kids are getting is second to none though. Such a wonderful experience for them. Sorry to read about the cold and lack of sleep - what more can you do about that? Sounds like you've covered all bases. Yep, chase the sun!

  3. hi meg, sounds like an amazing adventure....I am eagerly (enviously) plotting your journey in pencil on my RACV road map.. sorry to hear that it's going too fast, maybe you should just stop and stay in one place for a bit...have you got caravan envy? I remember seeing some massive creatures with ensuites and plasma and goodness knows what...but their owners still had to carry that cassette thingy full of poo and wee to the dumpster every morning like everyone else...miss you xxx lou