Today I am going to share my thoughts as the passenger, the wife and general whinger of the Road Wanderers.
I love travelling and I truly have faith in my husbands’ driving abilities…HOWEVER…I am a nervous wreck 100% of the time. It is an absurd dichotomy but being me that is just the way it is. I have witnessed Natti do a three point turn where there is no space to turn with the ever dependable car doing an amazing job…pulling the three and a half ton van up steep inclines and changing gears automatically going down steep hills. I cannot seem to hold my sarcastic tongue, to continually advise Natti where to drive, how to drive, when to pass other vehicles and on and on and on.
Luckily Natti is so busy concentrating on driving that he often does not hear me…but he should have his hearing checked…OR WAIT IT MIGHT BE SELECTIVE HEARING!!!!... but my white knuckles and tense body language let him know exactly how I am travelling.
If we could travel on the roads where there are no cars, trucks, trailers or caravans and just the never ending horizon and the sky for a canopy I would be 100% relaxed.
As the passenger I have hours and hours of time to think about and feel all the things that could go wrong, despite the beauty out the window.
Am I a negative person. Oh, I can be, but I also delight in my surroundings – so when it is just us on the road, and that is quite often, I am a perfect passenger.
We are now travelling with a dog. Love him to bits, but he is a pup and needs attention too. I need to keep him from distracting Natti, my right arm aches from throwing the ball back to him and my back is twisted in knots from turning to “deal with Django in the back…”
I am not whingeing…these are the facts.
I am a champ at whipping up yummy sandwiches for the road, preparing iced tea and yummy goodies required to sustain us for the journey…as well as packing treats for Django. Every time he hears a rustle he is up and pawing me for a treat.
At times innovativeness is required, like using the water from the hot water bottle to wash out the cups from morning coffee or even to boil some hard boiled eggs for Django for his dinner.
Sometimes we travel for three and a half hours with a few pit stops for us, as well as taking Django for a quick run, smell, poo and pish.
Okay so far so good.
Let’s talk about the maintenance of the caravan. Natti has his jobs which he has down pat…well most times…we won’t talk about one supporting leg not being locked in, and dropped and got bent!!!
We do cross check just to be certain the job has been done properly.
We are no spring chickens- bending and pulling and tying etc etc…but to watch Natti going under the van to retrieve the spare…of course we had a puncture!!!! was very hard to watch. Well as much as I could because Django decided to go beserk, and I had to take him for a long walk.
The problem was HUGE in my eyes because the tools supplied were not the correct ones to remove the bolts, so Natti became MacGyverish..and he managed with a really great man who came to assist…this is always the way out bush... BUT when Natti tried to put the punctured tyre back under the van the mechanism proved to be faulty and would not lift the tyre.
By this stage I was beside myself… not really understanding how it was all going to come right… and watching Natti swat flies and sweating profusely trying to work a plan whilst lying on the ground under the van. He still had to try and get up!!!!
Where were we going to put the spare tyre now? Natti decided to remove some rather large items from the back of the car, put them in the van, put the tyre in the back and to drive to find a mechanic to help us. We were in the middle of woop-woop on the ‘The Great Central Road’…not that many mechanics around!
We drove to Yulara and found some mechanics who were happy to look at it…they tried to fix it but were unsuccessful…so the tyre had to go in the back of the car…BUT we had this big camping container and nowhere to put it. So we left it behind as a gift for one of the mechanics and put the tyre back in the car.
On we go…road trains powered sites, free camping, dog walking, screw loose, red dirt etc etc.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS IN THREE’S.
On the way after the ‘Big Red Bash’ in Windorah We decide to free camp this time BUT setting up Natti notices the pump is not working!!!!! Bugger!!! Where is the pump and how do we fix it????
After sending out an SMS to Facebook…believe it or not…and that we also had wi-fi…we discover the pump is under then van. REALLY!!!
Natti goes under the van again and is not happy to start fiddling with fixtures…especially ones under the van.
Well, luckily or rather unluckily we are on our way to Brisbane to have our problem with the tyre mechanism fixed as well as a few other niggles.
Am I a little weary and tense and mean to Natti…HELL YEAH! I can’t very well shout at our dog Django.
Do I love travelling ..oh yes but I wish the caravan was perfect (ha) and I would love all the other thousands of travellers to go on a different route BUT that the truckies keep on trucking because where would we all be without them in this wonderful, splendiferous country of ours.
Oh just a note…if only I could understand what they say on the two way radios when they want to pass us. ‘I get coming round’ but that is about it.
Today we are in Eumandi …a stopover so we can get our van fixed in Brisbane on Monday…a great place and a market on tomorrow, we have electricity BUT no frigging water. It just gets better and better. However there is a tap where we can fill up water for our basic needs.
Happy camping, safe travels and watch this space. It might get jollier.
Lindsay and Django in Cooladdi train station, the smallest town in Australia.
Lindsay at the 'Big Red Bash' down in the Simpson desert
And here we are again taking a break on the road.
The same as above.
Just Lindsay's selfie