Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Journey Across The World - A Canadian Maple Leaf In The Outback

 All tho there is such a story before leading up to Australia and such a story being in Australia for a month, I had to decide where to start; where and when in the story to let you all in. I have written quite a lot since being here as I don’t want to forget a minute of it so I will being posting stories from here and there, that time line wise might be all over the place but I will start with the current and jump around after that.
It had been a month on the farm and Bradley and I decided it was time to make a plan what to do. I personally did not want to work right away. I have worked two jobs for most of my adult life and feel about 50 years old. After deciding our end destination to live and work would be Brisbane, we thought that a road trip to Brisbane would be a great idea. A road trip to Brisbane turned into a road trip to Cairns and then back down to Brisbane. We were both very much on board with this idea. The only decision was how we do it. Do we back pack and get the hop on hop off greyhound bus pass that is about $600 that allows you, once purchased for 6 months to get on and off of the greyhound heading in one direction as many times you want and staying in hostels along the way or pull out Bradley’s old car from the shed on the farm, get it running and have unlimited freedom. The bus pas/back packing idea is convenient in a sense but also not that convenient because you have a certain schedule and path the bus goes and anything outside of that is extra money and not easy to do. Tough choice but the car option won so we pulled his old 88’ Holden Astra out of the garage and began to work on it. When I say work on it, I mean Bradley worked on it and I vacuumed and passed wrenches. The car was actually in great shape, not one dent or scratch but the Mazda in my hands for 2 years had dents and scratches both! Please don’t tell me the quality of a driver is based on how the car looks.
I became determined to make the car as clean as possible because I feel that old cars automatically feel dirtier, I don’t know if it’s because of the older colours or the fading but I wanted to feel like I could put my hands anywhere in the car and not be scared of what was in a crack. Like a giant spider or a kangaroo. Not a bloody roo! We removed the back seats so that we would have extra room and took the car to be serviced. During our Adelaide trip we bought everything we could think of that we would need because we would be camping for 1-2 months, with hostel stays here in there in major cities like Sydney.
-Easy to assemble tent $250:
Boy have things changed since I was a kid. I was used to fighting with poles that were kind of too long for the tent so during the second hour of assembling the tent you were cursing the sales associate convinced that she had given you the wrong poles but what we got was the plaza of tents. First of all, it’s tall, over 6ft tall. It’s kind of like a pyramid shape with an outer layer that goes over it and a canopy that extends out of the front. The poles are attached to the tent and you just snap them into place so assembly is less than a minute. Sure, we could had gotten a cheaper tent. They had mansions there for $130 but made out of what looked and felt like cheap rain jacket material that could had barely survived a strong breath. Quality every time!
-A tarp $30. Apparently you have to buy a tarp to put under your tent so that the tent is protected but why don’t they just make the bottom of tents more durable? Money!
-A Queen Foam Mattress $135. I personally don’t mind air mattresses, it feels like you’re sleeping a cloud but according to the sales girl they’re kind of out of date and are “okay if you have a friend staying for one night”. So we brought our attention to a foam mattress you roll up really tight and when you want to use it you undo the valves roll it out and it fills with air by itself!
-Sleeping bags $140 for two. With two drawstring compartments so you can really cocoon yourself.
-Folding chair $20. Yes the pocket has already ripped but it was only $20. And in defense of my quality theory, the chair was originally $70 all though now looking back that may had been a lie.
-A stainless steel Billy teapot $30. Their teapots are called a Billy and I don’t know why.
-A flashlight/lantern $50. Bradley insisted we could just use our iPhones but I wanted a lantern to hang at the top of the tent in order to tell scary stories but not Wolf Creek scary kind of scary stories.
-A Waeco Cooler for $70.
-Extra poles to secure the tent $6.
-A gas burner $15.
-6 cans of Propane $6.50.
All up together it was about $730. Which is not bad for two people to camp themselves around Australia.

Bradley being who he is decided that we needed some camping practice before we embark on our journey so we practiced at the farm for three nights. Each night we put the camp site up and each morning we packed it away in the car. I will say that we have gotten pretty quick and efficient at the assembly and disassembly of our little home. The good thing about practice is that problems come up that you would never had thought of and if you’re somewhere you know and not on the open road at a national park you have a much easier time solving these issues like condensation in the tent. Coupled with the warm days, cool nights and our water vapour from breathing, condensation builds up in the tent which can cause odour and mildew. I sound like a commercial! Quick fix, crack the windows when you’re sleeping so that there is ventilation. Too easy! Might I also say that, that foam mattress we bought is so comfortable that it almost feels like a bed and that quick set up tent is a miracle that anyone who camps needs to buy. We figured that if we were going to spend possible months on the road that it had to be as easy and comfortable as possible. We leave for our adventure on October 7th to the Grampians national park and I couldn't be more excited to see as much as possible and do as much as possible in these next few months. I plan on recording everything I do and posting regularly. Until then my friends and loved ones. May the force be with you.

1 comment:

  1. And the force with you Lis! xoxo