Saturday, 26 April 2014

Second Week Wobbl(i)es

This week we have been exploring the Eyre Peninsula. Due to our sorely depleted bank balance we are attempting to free camp/find cheaper options (aka freeload from family) as much as possible for the next 12 months. Before we left Mike spent every waking moment in the shed tinkering with the van in an attempt to make it livable for the next 12 months for ‘one disappointed mother who really wanted to upgrade to a better caravan that we could actually fit comfortably in’ and her family. So the past week has been a good chance to check a few things out and see how it (ahem….me) stands up to this free camping lifestyle Mike loves so much. 

Let’s see ….so far the battery in the camper has died a slow death, meaning we are on limited power supply…we have been managing fine thanks to our lovely electronic/ electrician neighbour who has been supplying us with led lights and low voltage options. Oh and the new whiz bang hot water system that Mike strongly advocated was just as good as a shower in a caravan has also failed….YIPPEE so far I am LOVING this free camping never having a hot shower thing!!!! Sponge baths take on a totally different connotation when you are attempting one with 3 kiddies in tow!

my studious Scarlett
Aside from my complete lack of ‘sucking it up’ on my behalf, we have had some lovely days chilling with the kids. Scarlett, my super excited studious little chick, has been busting to start her distance ed school work,  so instead of having two weeks off we have been getting ourselves familiar with their distance ed modules. Surprisingly we have got off to a good start with both Oscar and Scarlett enjoying their first week of schooling mumma style. I am not enjoying all the reading that I need to do the night before to prepare myself but I am sure once I get the swing of it we will be fine! Oscar is not to happy that I make them say “Good Morning Mrs Watson” in a sing song voice as I enter the camper to commence classes, Scarli however loves how ‘funny’ her mum is….I secretly giggle every time she sings so enthusiastically. Lola likes to sing out ‘Morning Mrs Farty Bum’ and run away, the cheeky minx!

We had been staying in a campsite with a few other travellers, mostly grey nomads and I have enjoyed having a natter with the old ducks over an afternoon cuppa, not that I can get much in as they all have a habit of speaking over themselves…(just like a bunch of other dutch aunties I know!!!) Mike has been testing out his 4 wheel driving skills in the sand dunes around where we have been staying and I have been laughing as I watch how he digs himself out of every sand bog! The kids have loved sliding down the dunes and were continually attempting the bigger dunes to throw themselves off.

Lola playing with her rock and shell collection
Lola beating me at Stacko
Oscar at the top of a look out

the cubby house the children made

sunrise from Port Lincoln National Park

We then headed to Port Lincoln to set up in the national park and wait for the Easter bunny to find us.  We were lucky enough to set up near a lovely family with kids similar ages and an older couple. We had a great five nights in the national park, playing lots of board games, walking the bush trails, watching everyone else fish, swimming in the ocean and generally chilling out. The Easter bunny still managed to find us and over supply us with lots of chocolate goodies. We cooked up a big batch of pancakes and had a great morning sitting around scoffing pancakes with our new friends.  Today we headed for streaky bay and after a very long day in the car ended up in Ceduna, we have washed clothes (and ourselves, I can tell you now that the shower I had tonight totally kicks arse over the pitiful drip system Mike calls a shower) and restocked the food cupboards in preparation for the start of the nullabor tomorrow.  

Monday, 14 April 2014


Well the wandering Watson's are back wandering the country side. I can’t believe that it’s been three years since we left on our last journey, but here we are again a week into the latest adventure. This time it feels less ‘holidayee’ more like an experience for our family. The excitement is still there but the feeling of unknown and anticipation has been replaced with the knowledge of what is ahead of us.

Five weeks ago in a mild panic I wrote this………

“So apparently in 4 short weeks we are leaving on a trip around Australia…..4 weeks, the house isn’t packed, the house isn’t rented out yet, the education of the children isn’t organised, I do however have beaut new hiking shoes, new bras and undies to hang on the caravan park clothes lines, the kids have new coats, new runners, new jumpers, I have ‘appropriate’ camping clothes, a  new low power kettle option and a kindle to read a million books on. I have transferred all my cd’s to my computer and purchased an iPad to use for ‘educational purposes’ (aka facebook)…. oh and apparently we will get as far as Beaufort before we need to start looking for work as we have spent all our savings preparing for the trip. Despite all this, in four short weeks we will be departing on the next wandering Watsons adventure, broke, slightly shit scared, not emotionally prepared for close confinement and not sure if the feeling in my gut is excitement or a panic attack!!!!

In amongst all this preparation and packing, the thing that is pressing on my mind the most is, should I buy new doona covers for the camper to make it fresh and ‘holidayee’?????………… yep that’s the most important thing floating around up in my brain keeping me awake at night. Not how much do I really like baked beans considering we have no income to buy food, not can I make enough money from busking to support a family of five?, but what can I decorate……hehe.”

Now five weeks later we are a week into our ‘experience’ we were waved off by Ballarat family and friends, spent a lovely couple of nights catching up with Mick and Jo and Andrew and Di before we made our way across to Adelaide. We stopped in Adelaide for a few nights to catch our breath, to organise ourselves and the camper a little better. To realise that everything that wasn’t sorted a short 5 weeks ago is, it feels good to finally feel like we are prepared to continue on, to get the last minute items we didn’t have time to get and today it finally felt like we were on holidays!!! We got up and the sun was shining so the kids and I rode our bikes along the beachfront, we played at playgrounds and visited Meagan and Ruby in the morning, we watched movies and relaxed at the camper and then I had a lovely evening with Adi catching up for a drink after she finished work.  I think today I finally felt like we were ready for this ‘adventure’

Oh and those doona covers I was losing sleep over…..haven’t got them yet but what a great excuse to have a little shop in every town we visit!