John and I are over the hills and camping.
Way past the age when most people start their new (retired) lives in caravans, we bought a darling little house on wheels. We spent a few days in Cervantes (two hours north of Perth) so we could check it out. A week later, we made the 580 kilometre trip north to Kalbarri. We set up camp close to the mouth of the Murchison River.
The life of grey nomads, who travel Australia for months or years at a time, probably won’t suit us. We will see what works and decide.
I grew up camping. Our family camped in tents until the late 1940s when Dad built a caravan with beds for five of us. His old Plymouth car groaned as it pulled the van up hills, but we always arrived safely. My sister Elizabeth Worts and her husband Peter are intrepid caravaners. My bother Peter Stone, recently finished outfitting a bus ready for the open roads.
My kids and I camped in tents, and it was natural that as soon as they were old enough, my grandchildren came too. Some of them have taught their partners the joy of sleeping out near the beach or in the bush, too. I didn’t stop camping until John and I married ten years ago.
John, on the other hand, has always sailed. His yacht, Amigo Diablo, was an important background to our blossoming friendship. Selling Amigo was difficult for him, and I was also very sad, but we knew we were too old to sail safely.
We bought a campervan. It was very old, and rattled and shuddered on the road. If we wanted to go out for a meal, or even slip to a shop for more chocolate, we had to pack up our house and take it with us. We were glad to sell it.
However, a fleet of tiny A-frame caravans once lined up in a tourist park near our campervan.
Some cheerful owners invited us to look inside their vans. I fell in love immediately.
I love cubby houses or Wendy houses, those small spaces where kids play and feel secure. The tiny-house movement fascinates me. I planned to build a very small house for my aging years. But then I met John…
Our A-Van Cruiser packs down into a very manageable trailer. In less than two minutes, the four sides can be raised and fastened in place, and we have a cubby house with plenty of head-room and conveniences my parents would never have dreamed of.
Camping in our A-Van Cruiser
- It satisfies my longing to travel and explore.
- Small spaces under the sky make me happy.
- I like a new challenge.
- It is playful and fun.
So here we are, way over the hill and camping. At our age!
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