We stayed at Pambula for a week, and as usual had a great time chatting to other caravanners. Here are some of them…
1. Lil and Col. Lil and Col were on the site next to us when we pulled in, and were the first people we met. They were on their way to Kiama for Col’s brother’s 80th birthday (his older brother, he tells us!) Lil and Col have been caravanning for around 25 years (they were campers before that) and are on to their… 11th?… van. (Col thinks it’s about No. 11. He’s not totally sure.) He and Lil actually sold their previous van because Col thought he was ‘past his use-by date’, but that didn’t last long. They just had to get back on the road. “We keep thinking we’ll be finished,” says Col, “but we’re not!” So they bought a small van with a rear door. It suits their needs perfectly at this stage of their lives.
(When showing me what she takes with her in the van, Lil held up the laptop computer bag and said “Oh, and we take THIS of course!” She and Col might be in their late 70s, but they know their way around a computer. They find it indispensable for staying in contact with family while they travel.)
2. Mick & Jan. Mick and Jan are from Victoria, and when we met them, were heading back home, after being on the road for a while. I had to laugh when Jan confided that they used the shower recess in their van for storing Mick’s guitar – and the W.C. was piled high with clothes. (They were treating themselves to an ensuite site.) “Honestly,” Jan told me, “the bathroom is more for resale value. We don’t use it much.” I know where she’s coming from. In a previous van we owned, the full-width bathroom was so narrow that it was a real challenge to dry yourself after showering (elbows bumping into the door, hips bumping into the sink…) so we used our shower recess to store the mop and bucket and our backpacks! We did like the onboard loo, though… so when we ordered our current van, we opted for a combined shower/toilet. It’s actually roomier than the full bathroom was in our previous van, but Rob still prefers to use the amenities block. He likes lots of room.
We spent a fun hour or so with Mick and Jan over drinks, and I’m sure we’ll stay in touch.
3. Paul & Kylie and their children Tegan and Brendan. Paul and Kylie are from the ACT and were reluctantly about to head back at the end of the school holidays. It was nice to see a family caravanning – actually, Rob and I did get the feeling, when we were going around Australia, that more and more younger people were taking to the road, often with families in tow. We watched while they all packed up the van ready to head back home, with the kids just as busy as Kylie and Paul. “We’ve all got our jobs to do,” said Kylie. “They know that that’s the way it has to be when we all travel together!” The kids didn’t look as though they minded one bit – they would have liked the holidays to be longer.
4. Don and Doris. Don and Doris pulled into the site next door to us, and I was immediately interested in Doris’s ‘haircuts’ sign. She’s fairly laid-back about it all… she says she just puts out the sign and usually gets a few people coming up at each park (we grey nomads love the convenience of a hairdresser on site!) Doris also takes her little Elan Lotus sewing machine everywhere she goes – she’s an avid quilter, and also has quilts for sale.
Doris and I both love our tiny sewing machines – both Elnas, as it happens. My machine is still stored in the box it came in, but after chatting to Doris I’m off to Sam’s Warehouse to buy this convenient little case…
5. Althea and Bill. Althea and Bill were on the other side of us, enjoying the sun in their deck chairs. Several times we chatted over breakfast while we watched the kangaroos (read about our “Kanga Toast” here) and they told us about a lovely series of walks nearby in the Ben Boyd National Park. We’ll tell you more about that in another post. One of the best things about chatting to other caravanners (as anyone will tell you) is that you find out about the best places to go!
6. Max, Dorne, Pete and Chris. I simply had to go and ask them about their annexes – since we were keen to put our new annexe through its paces, I noticed theirs as soon as we drove in. They had clear windows on their annexes, too… but in a completely different configuration to ours. (More about that in a separate post, too.)
These two couples were staying at Pambula for three months, and their annexes were ready to withstand gale force winds. Since Dorne and Chris are cousins, they often travel together.
We were at Pambula for only eight days, but it felt like weeks. No doubt about it; travelling is as much about the people you meet as the places you see!