One of the best things about living in a caravan and freecamping, particularly in wilderness and remote regions, is that if you wait around long enough you truly abandon society and become part of the wildlife. We recently were very surprised to realize that this too can occur in a caravan park, albeit that the wildlife is a tad tamer than usual.
One of the pleasures, or pains, of travelling is the lunchtime dilemma. Often solved on lazy days, by many travellers, with the Aussie obsession with Yankie Fast Food Outlets such as ‘Tuckey Duck or Wacca’s. We have found that these venues are all about long lunchtime lines, noisy vegemiter’s and cardboard food all of which we have come to detest. In effect they are designed for families and a cornucopia of kids. In some venues you even need to line up twice! One for adult coffee and another line for over-sweet bread delights and dry straw chips. These are not joys we seek out.
I read an article the other day and I gotta agree… Yes, “downsizing is the way to go” in retirement, even if it is your dinner plate. This article really got me thinking. Retirement does mean downsizing … even in life’s other avenues. We downsized our housing just before retirement, that is we moved into the granny flat that we built for my parents a decade previously. This mainly because between the dining room… The Mans favourite haunt, and the lounge room, which was my haunt, we never saw much of each other. This is a sure path to divorce I figured so things had to change. My parents lived in the granny flat in their time, until my Dad passed and my Mum decided she really wanted to be elsewhere. She is now settled in a small retirement unit on the mid coast that is closer to most of the family and she has been happy there for some years now.
It’s approaching time to head south, its time to leave the rainforest and our safe little camp nestled into the ridge. The monsoons have arrived and the Wet season is promising to settle in. All across the inland the water is at last beginning to flow after a long drought and it is gunna get damp in FNQ. I know this because the ants are on the move and small spots of mould are starting to appear into the crevices in the van. I spend a few minutes each day spraying and cleaning these pesky reminders of living in the Wet Season in the Far North Queensland Tropics.
It’s fun… and we are enjoying our time camped up in the FNQ Rainforest above Cairns immensely. From the occasional swarm of fireflies to the chorus of frogs (and unfortunately toads), which greet the night. You become accustomed to the movement in the understory of the forest. The shuffle of leaves and twitch of twigs… you even come to accept that it is likely not going to eat you should whatever it is emerge for the densely packed forest.
These handy zippered bags are the best thing since sliced bread. They are cheap as chips, readily available and great for storage and all manner of things. We store our seasonal clothes (out of season) in these and use them for dirty clothes. We prefer them to plastic when shopping or picnicking and they are great for holding ropes, cables and the like.
Interpreting the world around us, or understanding a world that is as spiritual as it is physical is one of the most delightful challenges I have experienced in discovering the ancient Lore of Tribal Australia. As I child I wandered the Aussie bush with an often wary childish delight. There you can feel the presence of many worlds, the touch of ancient spirits and come to understand more deeply the legends of Aus’.
Australian Aboriginal Lore is the most ancient continuous Lore known in the world of man. It has been practiced and has evolved in one continuous evolutionary stream over some 50,000 – 60,000 years of the known history of man. This was on one vast secluded continent of the earth, the largest island on our globe. These clans and tribes of ancient Aus’ moved around within their ‘Country’ following their marriage and trade Lore, this, which governed their lives and practices. This Lore had evolved within boundaries and continuous practices, found in ceremonies developed over countless eons of time.
Being in Sydney for a stint, while we wait for the motor upgrade on our cruiser we have been forced to take advantage of public transport. Now, we are both retired and had arranged for the local ‘Opal’ transport cards. As pensioners and seniors we have our own class of card and what a gem these ‘Opal’ cards are… And what a wonderful fraternity of senior concessions NSW has, this specifically in the Sydney region for golden oldies to enjoy. Wake up Queensland… the Go-card’s barely cut it in comparison. Both these cards, as within other States, have been designed to facilitate the use of public transport with ‘tap on, tap off’ technology and I LOVE our NSW ‘Opal’ Cards.
Why go again? Yes… I was asked. Having just done the Lap of Aus’ hubby and I are gearing up to head out again and there are those who wonder why. In a conversation with one of my professional friends, a doctor, I was asked what we plan to do next? The natural assumption in our group of mates as we sat around yarning was that we would now settle down. My friend mentioned how many of her retired patients did the lap and then just wanted to settle down and renew roots. For some this is what travelling around is and it is a wonderful life to have these choices. All part of what is Aussie retirement for so many. When I mentioned that we were off again very shortly, this on a ‘desert run’ I was met with some surprised expressions.