Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Schemes and Dreams!

The Happy Hamby Campers' camp is even happier now that Nick's leave has been approved for 2014!

There was already some anticipation but now we officially going back to Yowah - for nine weeks!

By the time we get there it will have been around three years since our last visit, when we enjoyed a month-long stay over December/January 2010/11, following the success of our July 2010 stay.  We had so many adventures on those trips, definitely the stuff of family legend.

Yowah has long been entrenched in my history.  As a child, my family would holiday there annually for 3-4 weeks over winter.    In those days a block of school holidays fell during July/August but we stayed longer, so my brother and I had school work to complete as well. 

I'm sure I wasn't at school for our earliest visit.  We stayed in a converted bus and I became ill enough to warrant a call to the Flying Doctor.  I have vague memories of eating baby food when I was long-past the age of needing it.  On future visits we rented a basic holiday cabin, before my parents bought a shack of their own.

When I was around 8, my parents sold their holiday accommodation business on the NSW South Coast and bought an F100 and 25-foot caravan.  We were set for a round-Australia adventure!  First stop was Yowah where we stayed for a long time, arranging the sale of the shack and mining lease. 

In my memory we lived there for nearly a year (my brother and I doing school work via correspondence) - and I definitely remember celebrating my 9th birthday on the field, where I received a princess crown birthday card and insisted on wearing the attached golden crown most of the day.  In those days my hair was blonde and reached well-below my waist, mostly tied back in a ponytail but worn loose on special occasions, such as princess birthdays!

I made a trip back to Yowah with my father and brother when I was a teenager.  It was nearly 20 years before I returned in October 2000, for a week-long visit with a fellow I was dating at the time.  (He was from England originally and had never been to the Outback but loved the experience). 

Although I always intended to take my girls to Yowah, it was tricky to organise around a shared custody arrangement - so it wasn't till July 2010 that I was able to introduce them, Nick and Vaughan to the place where I had spent significant periods of my childhood.  I wasn't sure how they would cope but they all loved it too - so much that we returned for a month over Christmas that same year.

(While my family had spent time opal fossicking/mining at Yowah, Nick's family had made trips to Lightning Ridge - so he considered himself a "digger" of long-standing)!

When Nick first voiced his wish for 9-10 weeks away, I was hesitant to agree.  Of course, I liked the thought of an extended adventure but the logistics of organising care for one cow, four chooks and one aged/ill cat seemed a bit daunting - not to mention school for Vaughan, accommodation and a budget for everything!  In the space of a few short days, all potential problems have been sorted - and we have bargain accommodation organised also, in Louie's shack where we stayed previously (two doors down from my sometimes childhood home)!

So, now the scheming begins!  There are vague plans to visit Broken Hill along the way and hopefully some short trips radiating from Yowah.  No doubt Quilpie will warrant a return visit and I am definitely keen for another soak at the Eulo Math Baths!

Elmer requires some necessary maintenance - and some desired modifications.  There is other equipment on the wishlist.   I'll put an extra tab on my spreadsheet and jig the budget to maximise our discretionary spending.  Just as well we thrive on challenge (and adventure)!

In funny Universal synchronicity, I realised during the week that Vaughan will be celebrating his 9th birthday at Yowah also - though sans golden princess crown!


  1. Sounds like an amazing time awaits you all. Lets hope for no more calls to the Flying doctor though!

  2. I spent a lot of the December/January trip with incredibly swollen, blistered feet due to sandfly bites. Once home, my GP said I should have called the Flying Doctor! (Will be packing anti-histamines next trip - just in case)!