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Sunday, 27 January 2013

We are going camping.

Words to strike fear into any woman who likes running water and a bed.

The main issue with camping is that the first time I went with Arran the bar was set very high. We went to Bribie Island, north of Brisbane. The weather was perfect, it was summer but not too hot. Our camp site was private and just behind the beach. I love the beach. We had amazing food and wine and a whole lotta lovin. If you know what I mean. Sorry Mum.

Every camping experience since this wonderous event has been the complete opposite. I have erased many unpleasant camping experiences from my memory, but some are etched there forever:
  • Land Cruiser Mountain Park: A place in Brisbane where you can camp and 4WD. How opportune! Arran promised cool billabongs to swim in, nice drives and a shower and toilet block. Reality was 45 degree heat, the whole place was a dust bowl and the shower block actually looked ok until you got naked and turned on the water. This caused the hundreds of breeding mosquitos hiding out in the non slip mat at the bottom of the shower to rise up into the air and surround said naked body. The promised billabong was a algae covered pond. We also had horses wanting to get into our tent. The event that topped off the 2 horrid days we stayed there was when Arran took the lid off the camp oven to check the lamb roast and the meat caught on fire.
  • Barrington Tops: This was an Easter trip not long after Arran and I moved to Sydney. We went with the Jeep Club. Because Arran was/is Jeep mad. I don't know why. Anyway, off we went. It rained non-stop. It was torrential. I have never seen so much mud. On the Saturday morning we headed off with a number of other Jeep clubbers on a B/C grade (easy) drive for a few hours. We expected to be back by lunch time. We got back after midnight and just before search and rescue was to be called. During this time we experienced mud. Lots of mud. Mud going down hills. Mud going up hills. Mud which required the use of winches. Which is fun if you like that kinda thing. I don't. At one point I insisted on being outside the car in the torrential rain as I figured this would be safer than being inside the Jeep as it slid to the bottom of a muddy hill. That's when I became acquainted with leeches. Now generally I'm ok with insects and creepy crawlies but I am NOT ok with leeches. They are nearly impossible to pull off when you are wet with rain and that's before they bury in too deeply. Eeek! I could go on about this trip but I think you get the picture.....
  • Wollondilly River Station: This one was doozey. Ever been motorbike camping? We have. In 40 degree plus heat. Getting there and back I though we were going to self combust. It never cooled down during the night. Was like sleeping in a oven. Hideous. The camp ground caretaker could have been in the movie Deliverance and on the way home we got a flat tire. 
  • Pretty Beach: Now I like this spot and we have been there a number of times either camping or staying in their cabins. I did get bitten by a possum once but I may have been a little drunk at the time so perhaps it wasn't the possums fault? The last time we went there was during the Queens Birthday long weekend in 2011 and we camped in tents. Aiden was 2 and a bit and only wanted to cling to me. I was pregnant with Charlie and therefore wanted to wee all the time. I have never been more cold. We went with 2 other couples. One who had two kids and the other with none. The ones with none came for one night and then packed up and went home because it's stupid camping when its so friggin' cold. Those of us with kids stayed for another night of hell. At the end of that trip I didn't speak to Arran for 2 days and the other couple didn't speak for a week! 
 So this Australia Day weekend we went to Kiama, which is not too far away and stayed at a camp-ground with facilities (shower and toilets, camp kitchen, pool and jumping pillow). We arrived in darkness on Friday night and luckily the camp ground sticky beak and general do-gooder came to help us put up the tent, which was good because Aiden and Charlie were "over-it" and just needed to be in bed. 

Once the tent was up and the kids in bed Arran and I had cheese and wine. Nice. Saturday was hot and sunny and there was swimming in the pool, a drive into Kiama to search for a slushie to relieve the worst hay fever I have had in a while, and then back to the camp ground for small boy sleeps. After that there was a dip in the Kiama ocean rock pools and ice cream. Dinner and bed for the boys and then dinner for us (pork ribs, corn and salad) and some very nice wine. All good.
Blue skies in Kiama
Boys in the rock pool
Kiama Ocean Rock Pools
During that night there was a massive storm and we woke to a very soggy camp ground with drizzly rain. Arran is getting better at taking the hints I drop about wanting to go home. I only had to drop one. Took him 15 mins to decide we should head back home. Lucky because the weather has contined to get worse with Sydney looking to cop a massive drenching tonight.

Wouldn't be camping without a bike along....

1 comment:

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