Monday, 8 December 2014

A trip with a difference: Adelaide - Brisbane in a small van

How do you write a blog if you can't update every day?  I think it would be best to start with an overall account and take it from there...

Why was this trip so different, you may ask.  Well, a while back I got in touch again with an old friend, Patricia, who had bought a VW Transporter van, converted it into a kind of campervan, and decided to make a trip around Australia with it.  She was going to take a number of people on the various legs of her trip, four in all, to show them around, or for whatever reason they wanted to join her, and to cover a bit of the costs, because fuel is a major expense on a trip like this.  I believe in the end of the seven months on the road she had covered approx. 27,000 kms!

When I caught up with her a few months ago I agreed to come on the Adelaide - Brisbane leg of the trip, as at the time she did not have anybody to join her on that part.  I visited her in Toowoomba and she showed me her van.  To be honest, I had to swallow a bit, because it was not exactly what I had had in mind, having owned our own campervan, which was not big, but still very different from this. However, Patricia told me that she was going to have a kind of tent at the back, which would slide over the back door when opened, and there was going to be a cooking facility built in in the back part of the van.  We would also have a porta-potti (portable toilet) and a shower in the 'tent'. Well, I thought I could be a bit adventurous and go on the road again, as I am very partial to travelling nowadays.

Little did I know that the 'kitchen' hadn't happened and that we had to carry the crate with the heavy gas bottle and the huge container which doubled as a pantry and storage for crockery and cutlery, out of the van every time we wanted to have coffee, lunch or dinner...  As I have had back problems for years and off late a troublesome shoulder to boot, this was not an easy feat.  Poor Tricia of course had to do all the carrying and lifting.  Even cooking and making coffee were problematic for me, because bending is another thing that I can't do easily, and everything we did was at ground level.  There were some other minor problems, but over the years I have learned to adapt and I was determent not to let anything else get in the way of a trip that I had looked forward to for a while.

So, a few days before I left on the plane to Adelaide my friendly house-sitters arrived.  I had arranged for people to look after the house, garden and mail, because it is so much nicer if you don't have to worry about anything back home, or inconvenience friends by asking to look after everything. Marlene and Rich are fellow-members of an organisation which I have been a member of for quite some years now, and they arrived a few days before I left, so we could get better acquainted and I could show them around.

And then it was time to leave.  I spent Friday with Kevin and family, because it was his birthday, and on Saturday 8 November he dropped me of at the airport.  The start of a new adventure...

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