Camping with the Folks

On Saturday night we were holding our tent up.! Literally holding it up so it wouldn’t come down on top of us as it buckled under gale force winds and driving rain.

The joys of camping.!

A few weeks ago my parents came down from Queensland to say goodbye to my daughter and her family (including my gorgeous grandson, Harry) before their big move to the UK. Luckily, we already have a trip planned to the UK later in the year where we will catch up with them all … not to mention a couple of weeks riding in Scotland, but more on that closer to the time.

We have already started counting the days…

While my parents were down we organised a weekend camping catchup on the south coast as they made their way back north. However, since Covid camping and caravanning has become incredibly popular and trying to find a couple of spots on the coast over a weekend even three weeks out proved nearly impossible.! So when we found a couple of spots at Mountain View Resort in Shoalhaven Heads we just grabbed them … hoping they’d be ok.

Setup next to my folk’s van

As it turned out this is a lovely park with very friendly managers who clearly take a lot of pride in their park as it was spotless. The only downside was being backed up to a fairly busy road at night. Hello earplugs.

To say I was hanging out for a weekend under canvas is an under statement… everytime I walked outside and saw our little trailer I just wanted to hitch it up and get away. Where, I really didn’t care. My inner wandering adventurer isn’t far from the surface, and I just love travelling and seeing new places. Seeing all the holiday cabins that people own in the park, I just couldn’t go to the same location every weekend and holidays. I’d get too bored as I just have see and experience new places.

Rolling out of Canberra on Friday morning I quickly realised that it’s been a while since I’ve ridden with the trailer. It’s not hard, its just different and takes a bit more concentration. But I quickly settle into its rhythm. The little trailer behaves great and tracks very well, but it is another thing to think about and you certainly aren’t quickly sneaking through traffic with quite the same ease.

The mountain pass was slow as there is still a lot of road works going on after a number of landslides following heavy rain over the last 12 months. With roadworks comes traffic signals and bunched up traffic which is nearly impossible to sneak to the front when towing a trailer. So we just sit and wait like everyone else … except they have air-conditioning. By the time we roll off we are quite toasty.!

In Australia there are mountain passes all up and down the east coast as the ‘Great Dividing Range’ runs largely parallel to eastern coastline with each pass having it’s own character as you move from the top of the range down to the coast. Here’s a short video clip including the Fitzroy Falls to Nowra ranges.

Thumbnail – the Hampton Bridge, Kangaroo Valley

During the days we all jumped in the Colorado and went exploring the local area, local sights, local markets, and their beaches. This is a lovely bit of the coastline with quite a different character to the north coast.

Found a vanilla slice
Percy the pelican

And nights were spent sitting around chatting or playing cards. It’s nice to just hang out, something we don’t get to do that often.

Sitting in the pool late Saturday afternoon watching the storm clouds roll over the mountains. They were angry tinged in green. Yesterday the storm rolled around us with only a couple of drops of rain, with a bit of luck the storm will bypass us. But not this time. The wind quickly picked up and I was running around putting up guy ropes and adding supplementary ropes to the tent’s frame under the fly to give the whole thing a bit more rigidity. In the worst of it we were standing in the tent pushing against the wind holding the tent up while rivers of water flowed under the floor of the tent. We were like that for a good 15 to 20 minutes while the worst of it rolled over the top of us.

Video in the tent of the BOM website. Our location is the black pointer.

Other than a couple of leaks and a couple of things a bit damp we were fine.

Packing up on Sunday morning, the tent was still a bit damp underneath and will certainly require unpacking and drying out when we get home.

Unfortunately we needed to be home by lunchtime so we needed to head off early and pretty much go straight back. So rather than taking a different route home we just retraced our route back up the mountain and onto the Freeway out of Moss Vale.

At road works heading back up the mountain.

I really enjoy being on the road, just rolling along with the scenery just washing over you. I could do this all day. However, while freeways are a great way to cover big distances fast, they tend be mind-numbing, and their conveniently spaced service centres characterless and all feeling clinical and the same. I much rather travel on backroads through small towns, sitting in mum and pop cafes on the main street as people go about their daily lives. But sometimes you just need to get from A to B … and today was one of those days.

Now to organise our Easter camping trip…

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