Monday, 14 July 2008

Day to Day Stuff

Me & Em thought we would publish a different blog post about our day to day life, rather than "we went here, then here..." or "we saw this and that..." etc.  This is for our memories and also as we thought it might be interesting for anyone reading that might like to know about 24 hours in the life of campers on the road....

I'll start by painting a picture of the roads we travel to get from one place to another - this is just for the North Queensland area that we are now in as it is so big it feels like we have been in this type of terrain for weeks! 



Sugar cane is everywhere.  Banana plantations are next in number probably. 

The mountain range in the distance follows the coast all the way, and has been following us since we set out over the Snowy's in fact:


Queenslander's fruit stalls are always present on the roadside, with this type of thing:


This is great as we get to eat fresh fruit nearly every day, which is more often than not organic and never been in a truck or to a supermarket - we are getting sick of fresh avocados believe it or not (not really, they are the best thing with some salt on or in a sandwich!)

When we stop for little walks to visit lookouts, creeks or waterfalls, we get to see stuff like this:


I get Em to chop the wood if we are allowed to get a fire going (most National Parks allow it):


And on the more serious front we go to the supermarket every 3-4 days to stock up our 50 litre fridge in the back of the car - this keeps us going with meat and veg.  We get milk and bread more often, whenever we need it.  We have cereal for brekkie most mornings as toast is a pain if we dont have the LPG gas stove out and ready.  Lunch is normally freshly made (by Em) cheese/ham/avocado/tomato/lettuce sandwiches at a roadside rest area or somewhere nice like a park in a little town or settlement somewhere we happen to be.  Dinner ranges from spag bol, curry, dhal, steak, rissoles, sausages, fried rice, roo steak (mmm), sweet potato and greens to beans on toast or tinned chilli and rice some nights when we can't be bothered to cook meat and two veg type meals.  Tea and coffee is a must in the morning and everything has its dual usage, here our well used billy (saucepan) and kettle are getting used for dinner over an open fire with grate (Queensland's National Parks are pretty well kitted out like this):


Setting up camp is getting easier - the tent pops up in about 3-4 mins, and we can pack up entirely in about 10-15 mins if we get a rush on like the ranger is coming to get fees (!) or we have noisy neighbours.   P1070626






Everything has its place in the car now so it can be packed quite efficiently, then we shower after packing (as we get muddy + sweaty!).  Showers in caravan parks are generally good, National Parks tend to be more basic, I've had cold showers which take your breath away even when its 26 degrees in the afternoon!

The NP toilets are a bit better in Qld too, not so many drop toilets and more real flushing loos!

Lighting is much better now we have a new 12volt light hung up with some string between trees or the car/tent you can have light almost anywhere you want it - and it sticks up with velcro inside the tent for a bedroom/reading light too.

We have a rollout self inflating queen mattress in the tent which takes up a lot of room in the car, but is pretty darn comfy when it's inflated.  Colder nights we have put emergency foil under it, then duvet and two blankets on top of that!  But up here in FNQ we are just using a duvet.  Soon I think it might be down to just the duvet cover as its staying quite warm at night.

Some evenings we cook in camp kitchens with a bunch of other travellers at caravan parks or NPs.  Other times we are more unsociable and hide away by our tent.  The people we are meeting are generally really nice, mostly though they are 50+ so we are the exception.  When we do meet people our age its always a good laugh.  I've only bumped into two people twice - one was after we camped near to a family on Fraser Island we saw the chap Darryl again in a camping store just North on the mainland, and today an old chap who I was chatting too about the Land Rover Discovery, as he had just bought one, we bumped into again today in Cairns at our caravan park, it was 600kms south of here that we saw him so quite a coincidence...

Nature normally shows us what time is bedtime, i.e. when it gets dark we are normally cooking or about to cook, then bedtime is pretty soon after we have washed up!  We tend to wake during the night to weird animal or bird noises, and normally as soon as it gets light - most of all as the kookaburras and other birds are always so noisy at first light.

We have spent many, many evenings looking at how brilliant the moon and the stars are.  More often than not we get to see the Milky Way cluster of stars as a broad band across the sky - I think it's the Milky Way anyway and the predominant Southern Cross constellation.  A few shooting stars if we are lucky.  And the moon is so clear you can make out individual craters without binoculars, when you are away from town lights and on a clear light.  With binoculars it's an awesome sight - it reminds me of the Death Star!

So there is a little insight to our daily and nightly lives, and a little reminder for us when we get back into 9-5 jobs, one day!

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