Well I’m really not sure how to finish this. Maybe I should start with some stats. The car drove 34 375 kms. We stopped at 93 different places (and can I say that I was crap at parking the van until around number 85). Louella threatened to vomit 37 times and actually vomited about 6, of those 6 only one was purple. I bought 13 second hand tea towels and 3 new ones. We were gone a total of 261 days. Therefore I estimate Tim asked for screen time about 1305 times. We had what would loosely be called near death/panic moments twice. We had 1 tyre blowout. Debatably, we had zero mechanical failures (see near death experiences- in particular The Tasmanian mountain range debacle- but that wasn’t the fault of the car that was me pushing it too far). We stopped for petrol numerous times. The whole shebang costs many packets of cash. I caught quite a few fish and some were edible (WA is on top for most successful fishing spot state, although I would love to go back to the NT and have access to a croc-proof boat and try to better it). Overall, approximately 6 buckets of tears were shed. 8 minutes after we arrived was the average time it took for fellow campers to realise that a circus had just moved in.
To get back to Brisbane we went from 1770 to Hervey Bay to see Monja’s father and then onto Bli Bli for a night to visit Monja’s mum. We left Bli Bli early on Sunday 8th of September and got back to the house in Brighton at 9 am. We emptied the caravan out and started the complicated process of trying to move back in. What chaos. I remember throwing out tons of stuff before we left but now that I am trying to put everything back I realise that we have way way too much stuff. We need another big clean out.
I started work on the Monday and have worked every weekday since then. It’s been good to catch up with co workers and students. It didn’t give me time to organise personal things, but it was not too bad. Everyone says I look relaxed? I don’t know about that but I suppose after not working for so long I don’t feel stressed out about being in a classroom, not that I had any full on things to deal with.
As soon as we got things out of the van and took it back to the place where we have to park it and we went to get our Frankie back. He barked up a storm at me when he first saw me. I imagine he was saying ‘Well that’s just lovely isn’t it? You disappear forever and now you just turn up thinking it’s all fine! Well its not . You’re a bastard. You left me, (I had a great time), but you left, you stinky person . Call yourself an owner ha! But I suppose now that you’re back you can scratch my ears. Ohhh yeah that’s the spot I love you.’ It was great to hang out with him again. He is such a good dog as I keep telling him. We are back to our morning walk routine.
The caravan is almost clean now and will go online for sale soon. Then the car will go. I won’t miss either of them. I always thought that a camper trailer would be easier to take on the trip and never wanted to buy such a huge van, although it would be good for holidays to take to one spot and stay for weeks. And having a huge car annoys me but I must admit I love the reversing camera.
The kids were very happy about seeing their friends again and don’t seem to be reflecting on the trip at all. Just happy to be home and forget it ever happened. It’s too soon to reflect anyway I think. There’s lots of ‘what was your favourite place’ questions and things like that, but I can’t really answer them properly. It was an amazing experience, but now that I am back in Brisbane I am just not sure what to make of it. When you have a goal and reach it, there’s a funny feeling you get. Before you leave it can be anything, unlimited possibilities but once it’s over the possibilities have transferred into concrete events. I will have to get a new set of goals perhaps. Something like not wanting to howl with horror when I see a photo of myself. I dreamed I might lose some extra kilos and get a bit fitter on the trip; obviously that dream did not come true. All sounds a little too deep and over thought doesn’t it? Anyway it’s all good no matter which way you look at it and I still love looking on a map, finding a spot and wondering what’s there. Actually I just asked Tim if he wanted to go camping and he says no worries (as long as he can bring a friend)!!? I found Koreelah Creek campground. Maybe there is an outdoorsy guy hiding behind that sedentary façade.
I was thinking now that I have the unlimited internet courtesy of the new NBN connection I might put up a few of the videos that I couldn’t when we were on the road. So there maybe a few more posts to come. I would like to say thanks to all the family and friends that caught up with us and hosted us. And thanks to everyone that kept up with us on this site and motivated me to practise my writing. Ta