It's sad but until last week we hadn't been camping since the great central Australian road trip of 2004. When I took six weeks leave at half pay (hah, try doing that now) and G and I set off to see Uluru and everything in between. It was a fabulous journey, and as a major bonus I came home well and truly up the duff. Camping and car touring have always been something we both loved, we see new things, relax and seem to get back in sync with each other. I'm kind of surprised that it's taken us this long to find our way back again.
Anyway a while ago, we decided that before Grace starts school, we should take her camping. She was pretty keen on the idea and as luck would have it, I had leave during the school holidays approved and so just before Christmas, I cracked the shits with our indecision and booked a site at Buchan Caves. Not exactly bush camping, but somewhere we'd never been (although I think I may have passed through on a feminist collective camping trip when I was twenty), close to some more remote areas to explore and far enough away to give the sense of a big journey. Packing took us at least two days and we had to borrow a tent as although we have two tents, one is very attractive but not at all waterproof and the other is too small for two, let alone three. We also went to Ray's cheap shit Camping and bought some cheap shit lilos to sleep on (more about those in the next post) as our old foam bedroll decomposed under the plum tree at the old house and even if it hadn't, it would no longer fit in the car.
We are slow travellers at the best of times and because it's all about the journey and how many country op shops you can cram into a trip - we stayed overnight on the way. There's a lovely caravan park at Moe but for some reason we pressed on to Traralgon and ended up staying in a cabin rather than an onsite caravan as planned. Nonetheless, Grace was thrilled. She insisted on going for a swim even though it was cool enough for a hoody. She loved the dodgy bunks (except for hitting her head) and whooped it up in the even more dodgy rec room, pretending to learn to play table tennis. That was pretty hilarious. There were boats and motor homes, lots of things to see. It was all rather fascinating and she told us she loved staying a hometel. Later at night, she started to learn to sew! The next morning, the old car packing mojo swung into gear and we pressed on. Once she got settled, Grace was content to talk, read, draw and play with her toys (they have long conversations with each other at the moment) in the car and eventually fall asleep. She is astonishingly easy to travel with in that respect.
Tomorrow night, Buchan.