Last weekend I was initiated into the great Aussie tradition of camping.
Whenever I travel, it’s usually in cookie cutter caravan park cabins or motel rooms. Anything with ropes, pegs and steel poles seem about as strange to me as why two dogs need a chaffeur.
But I should have known I was in for a treat when the words “unpowered site” and “toilet block” were being bandied about willy nilly.
I was eased into it gently though.
The BF has a camper trailer which provided excellent shelter from the elements.
Well, apart from the creepy tree with long finger-like branches that scraped the canvas roof all night and had us convinced we were going to be an X-Files episode.
I even coped okay with communal showering.
I learnt the drill very quickly – don’t look anyone in the eye and perfect the art of shuffling along in wet thongs.
I’m sure I looked like a blonde, blue-eyed Quasimodo at times, dragging my towel and a toiletry bag the size of a small child behind me.
You see, I’m still getting used to the idea of nature equating to au natural.
But the disgusted looks I got from other women in the showers when I pulled out both the hair straightener AND the mascara probably hinted that I was well and truly in the city slicker camp.
By the third day I succumbed and went the nude, slightly kinky hair look but I still think it made me look like Frankenstein’s bride had wandered into a camp site.
But I did struggle with the weather. In fine conditions, the Grampians National Park in western Victoria is a beautiful place to visit.
In torrential rain, freezing cold and arctic winds, it’s the camping equivalent of donating your body to the cryogenic movement.
Luckily we had a blazing fireplace at night. And I found crushed grapes are also great at warming the cockles of your heart!
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