Beautiful things

Driving Culture

It’s the new year and happy new year to everybody reading these posts and going by the comments left, it’s mostly my mum! Well this year saw us knee deep in sand as we camped on Moreton Island. Which I must add was divine, the campsite was positioned perfectly on the beach front and we basically camped under trees on the sand a one minute stroll from the waters edge. It couldn’t be any more perfect BUT the catch is about to come. Getting there! We are novice 4wdrivers (it’s not even the right way to write it, but there you go, as I said, novice). We also decided to go with our camper-van to make everything a little more comfortable, our home away from home. But, little did we know that we would be towing our beloved van through the sand via the interior route of the island and away from ‘the terra-firma’ sand of the beach. Also we had to factor in tide times, now I did this, I actually printed out the weeks times before heading off. What I didn’t know, however, was that the ferry would be departing late and therefore arriving at the peak of high tide and in the dark! We have two toddlers with us don’t forget and my trusty little Nissan X-trail, which did wonderfully towing the trailer on the road just didn’t have the gusto to pull us through the sand. It did fine driving on obscure tracks without the van but occasionally bottomed out, as I’ve discovered is the terminology, it has a low clearance and as the ranger told us is really an all wheel drive meant for the city. It’s actually a 4WD but once the notion is in people’s mind it’s hard to convince them otherwise. What struck us was the culture of 4WD’ing. It’s a lifestyle choice, as is camping or fishing or boating. If you want to enter into the fray you have to be up with not only the lingo but have all the material stuff and KNOW-how to use it. It helps if you can tinker with your car and ‘know how’ to baton down fly away tarpaulins at a moments notice with the best of them, because, anyone who has gone camping knows that EVERYONE in your immediate surroundings is watching your every move. This can be un-nerving if you’re not use to it. If you haven’t been camping before you would not realise the loss of personal space you experience. You live life outside basically and that means in the company of complete strangers. We were very lucky there were others there with small children and our children mixed well and got on well with sharing toys etc. So this saved us those ‘I’m bored’ moments and besides the people watching that inevitably goes on living in the nature always offers something of interest. Our boys love ants, crabs and sand which is just as well as it was all throughout our camper van continually; all day long. Fortunately for us we also came prepared with our toilet tent and portable loo, this made life so much more comfortable and meant that when it got really busy at the camp site, and it did, we didn’t have to be inventive about where we squatted in the ‘wee’ hours of the morning or at night when most were gathered around their campfires. Most folk were nice about helping us novices out of a sticky situation but some were just plain aggressive. One young guy told us to get back on the ferry and go back from whence we came if we were stupid enough to come with a car like that wanting to tow a camper van. We obviously ignored him and had ourselves one of the most amazing holidays of our lives. We had a combination of beach, surf and lagoon conditions, nature and harmony and family unity and best of all we had loads of adventure and who doesn’t like a good adventure to make a holiday worth remembering. We are now in the market for a 2nd hand 4wd with enough grunt and ground clearance to make us the ones offering to tow those poor bogged out buffoons on our next visit to Moreton.

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