Wow. We actually made it. We are actually doing this.
WE ARE ACTUALLY DOING THIS!!
I admit it still feels entirely surreal. It feels like we are on holidays, and soon we will be going back “home” – but….this IS our home. As the saying goes, “home is where you park it.”
Home for us on day one is Amiens, QLD – my sister’s beautiful farm, which is currently being transformed into a campground (https://www.foxbarfalls.com.au/), with a planned official opening in February 2018.
I would love to write about all the things leading up to this day that I’ve not yet touched on, but I think I’ll save that for another time. Needless to say, there was no time for blogging in the weeks leading up to the 16th August 2017 – our departure date.
So I’ll just skip forward to Day One.
Waking up was the usual routine – coffee (for Luke), breakfast, dishes, and for me there a gloriously divine long, hot shower (including washing AND conditioning my hair). My morning showers are what coffee is to other people – and I knew that was about to change in a lot of ways (no wonder Luke tried to convince me to like coffee). It’s definitely something I will very much miss.
So after the usual morning chaos, plus all the last minute checks (I’m still wondering if I’ve left anything crucial behind!), we set off at around 9:30……and then made what seemed like a million stops. The bank, the pharmacy, repco, a pickup for farm supplies for my brother in law, stopping in to collect a thermomix travel bag, toilet and food stop around lunch time, getting food supplies (and some drinks) when we were close to our destination….and finally arriving around 3:30pm.
Then it was time to get to the campsite itself. This was probably the most interesting part of the day. To get to the campsite, we had to cross a dam, with quite a narrow road. Let me just tell you, I’m so very thankful I was the passenger, not the driver. Luke was a champion, I’ve always felt incredible safe with him driving – he’s cool, calm and in control. It was quite unlucky that on our maiden journey, we had stupidly strong wind gusts – but he took that in his stride. He may not have enjoyed it much, but it was OK. But when we were crossing that dam wall, and I saw him NOT so cool, calm and collected (though still way more than me), I was like “ahhhhh, this has got to be bad if HE is worried!” After all, he’s used to driving machinery the size of houses, in precarious situations. When he actually stopped, I started to think maybe our van was going to end up in the dam on our very first day! But it was all OK – we made it to the campsite and didn’t end up in the dam (note: the campground is still a work in progress, we are test dummies, so these are all the things that will be taken into consideration as they continue works on the site to make it safe and comfortable for campers, so don’t be deterred!).
The campsite is beautiful, right on the water! And setting up just before sunset meant we then got to sit and admire the view, and with a campfire! The kids wanted their bikes, so we got them unhooked and they enjoyed riding along the runway (soooo good for bikes!!). We were tired, so had a very civilised dinner of sausages on bread, ha!
Then the kids were introduced to what we now call “bucket baths” – fill a bucket with warm water, provide a washer, and take turns getting clean. We are essentially free camping – no power or water provided (there will be in future….and since the owner is my sister, we can cheat a little and get some drinking water from her), and using our own facilities (the toilet got used for the first time….but still cheating and using my sister’s washing machine). Way to dive straight in the deep end, hey!
There’s no phone service (for Optus), which also means no internet – after years of being on call, it actually feels a bit refreshing to not be connected 100% of the time.
So after the kids went to bed, and not being on call, I went all out for happy hour, and got a bit tipsy….for the first time in FOUR YEARS. I don’t want to make a habit of it, I’m not a big drinker and don’t plan to become one, but it was fun as an occasional thing. And Luke and I just got to sit and TALK – no phones, no distractions. Even though I was exhausted, I almost didn’t want the night to end.
And that is Day One.