Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Western Australia at the start of our journey

6-Oct-2004

We have been on the road for a couple of days now and are heading South towards Perth. We are spending the evening in a bush camp next to the Murchinson River. This has prompted Ali to write a few words about caravanning. . .

Thought I might let you know that it's not all sightseeing and beautiful beaches. There is the getting up at 6am to get on the road on the days that we are travelling. Getting Trev up at 6 is no joke but, bless him, he is getting better. When you haven't got to get up at 6 there are all the other campers moving on and they don't do it quietly!

Then the washing has to be done. Now I think that everyone who has retired in Aus has taken to the road to do their trip 'Up North' in the winter to get away from the cold. They are all now heading back to Perth and anywhere else they live. These people like to rise early even if they are staying on the campsite for a few weeks, (or month in some cases), and the women get into the laundry rooms from 6:30am. If you don't get into the queue you don't get a machine before 10:00am. So that's your mornings sightseeing or beach strolling gone. A plus is that the machines are cheap, about  £1 per load and they are done in 30mins. Why does mine take 1 1/2 hours at home?

Then we have the shopping. When we get to a town, (most so far have been about the size of Lymington or smaller), we have to stock up at the local Woolies which are supermarkets here. Trev is a dawdler and browser, (I think he almost enjoys it NOT!), but I like to grab what we need so hence the shopping bills are bigger than at home and food is cheaper here!!

We are getting quite good at washing up without the dishwasher. Only the basics are used and Trev is quite good with a tea towel. I haven't quite got the hang of cleaning though. Its all done in 5min, a wipe with a cloth and a sweep with a broom. (No outside shoes to be worn indoors). Red dirt everywhere. Bed making can take forever, two sleeping bags and a couple of pillows to shake out. But no walking around each side of the bed all the time.

Trev has not been put out in the awning yet which is very fortunate for him as the awning has no sides yet so he might get a bit chilly or bitten to death. In fact we have been here five weeks now and not a domestic has happened. This must be a record for us in 34 years.

The plus side to all this is that being on the West coast, we have seen some amazing sunsets (You know how I like sunsets?) and then a few hours later the moon comes up, what more could a girl want!! Ahh yes, a hair colour session and a hair cut, or shall I come back grey?

One thing I shall never get right is directing Trev reversing the caravan into the site. I have asked for a lesson in hand signals but as they haven't been given, only one signal comes to mind. I have yet to live down the fact that I forgot to put the lock on the fridge door whilst we were travelling. There was no horrible mess, just a couple of things rolling around on the floor. Of course, it had to be Trev that opened the van and found it! Then I have to remember to switch the fridge to AC, DC or gas as appropriate. If I get it wrong then there is no ice for the gin and that's worse than leaving the lock off.

Trevor has mentioned that we have just camped in a National Park where we had to use solar shower bags. Last time when we were in Aus, we used these bags hung up in a tree to shower. On this site, there were no trees and at least three other vans around. The only facility was a loo (Non-flushable) and in this loo hut, a rope and pulley had been put up to hang the shower bag on. So bliss, a 5 star shower room. I could cope with that as the site was next to the beach which had white sand, turquoise sea and a coral reef to snorkel on. We stayed four nights but wished we had stayed four weeks.

So all in all, it's not too bad and I suppose I can put up with it for a while longer.