Saturday, 26 August 2017

Out of practice!

I finalised the camper trailer registration on Friday and Nick secured the number plate on Saturday morning. It had been a big week for us but we were keen to take our newly registered trailer somewhere!

Nick and I consulted our camping guides as well as googling possible places.  We settled on Heifer Creek, a free camp area just over an hour from home.

It was just as well we didn't plan to go too far because it was 4:00pm before we left the driveway!

Although we were based in caravan and tent from September 2015 to February this year, it's been a long time since our last real camping trip - April 2015 with the van and September 2014 with tent/stretchers etc. Some gear had been with us during our transit period but other stuff had been in storage since late 2015.  (We relocated from Victoria to Queensland in February and are still sorting/organising various belongings.  Our camping gear is yet to be rounded up and housed in one spot).

We drove through some beautiful countryside en route to our planned campsite.  It was still light when we arrived, so we set up stretchers and 4WD mats on the floor area of the camper trailer.  (There was not much free space and Vaughan was initially stunned when I mentioned doing my normal stretches cos he thought I was going to try to do them inside the trailer)!

I'd planned a simple meal, which was just as well because the facilities were not quite what we expected.  The information we read referred to wood BBQs, which was incorrect.  Some improvisation was necessary to balance our Cobb Cooker hotplate on a few rocks.  (The cookers and our maxi BBQ had been left at home along with the folding shovel, fire poker, gloves and various other handy items).

We'd bought two packs of firewood from our local servo.  The kindling was nicely sized but the larger wood pieces were far too big to be really useful - especially when dealing with the small area beneath the Cobb Cooker plate.  Anyway, our sausages were well-cooked and not as smoked as we expected!

I made a packet pasta dish in a larger billy and fried onions in the smaller one.  We lit a second small fire adjacent the BBQ plate, to accommodate the two billies. The pasta took longer than everything else, so was served as a second course after we'd eaten sausages and salad.

We dined listening to many frogs singing and the repeated call of a distant Southern Boobook owl.  Vaughan was keen to toast marshmallows for dessert.  Fortunately I had remembered those and a couple of toasting forks.

I did my stretches beside the fire, gazing up at the stars.  It was quite pleasant, though I was not sorry to retire to the greater warmth of my bed in the camper trailer.  Bandit was less impressed at having to scoot over for me!

It's not our plan to have everyone bunked in together for long stays.  We'll set up our small touring tent if camping longer than one night at a site.  Erin has been thinking of buying a swag and it may be she opts to use that instead.  Her current stretcher is quite large (pic in the link) but we have others available for her to use that would better fit the small floorspace for overnight stops.  

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