I woke up this morning to a giant (I mean proper giant) kangaroo standing guard at the door of the van.

Not sure what he was up to, I suspect he was trying to intimidate our very small terrier Pip who was sleeping on the front seat. It worked.

It was blowing a gale, pissing down and the rain was doing that Forest Gump sideways rain thing which rendered the awning completely useless.

Our camp chairs had become bird baths, the table was over the road bothering our neighbours and the roo mentioned earlier had been hanging out on the mat for a while, the evidence was clear.

I set to packing up the tent on the back of the van, wearing a garbage bag because somehow I didn’t connect the torrential rain forecast with the need to pack a brolly or a raincoat on Sunday when I left home.

The couple in the van opposite, who thought I couldn’t see them peering around the edge of the blind,  were oggling the crazy woman in the garbage bag who went camping by herself with two kids and a dog in this weather.

Speaking of the kids, I saw a photo on Instagram the other day with healthy breakfast options.

One involved a banana cut in half, smeared with peanut butter and topped with blueberries. It looked great, and I thought I’d give it a crack today.

So, with a quick brief about not getting it all over the seats, I served it up and leapt into the sideways rainy chaos that awaited me. That was a terrible idea.

By the time I had wrestled the tent into a garbage bag, because by that point I was soaked, freezing and very conscious of my audience and I just wanted it over, they had successfully smeared a banana and peanut butter concoction on about 65% of the inside of the van.

Twenty minutes later, tent down, van almost de banana’d, I jump in the driver’s seat, soaked through, still wearing pj’s and hot foot it up the road to the corner where I vaguely recall a sign saying something about a cafe.

I’m standing there waiting for my coffee and the waitress is trying to be discreet while checking out my wringing wet pj’s.

I decide now is the time to drop a comment about the rain, the campsite, the whole just packed up thing, you know, just so she doesn’t think I’m a crazy woman.

She turns and looks at me like I’m daft and asks me if I didn’t see the weather report before deciding to camp?

By this point I reckon hypothermia is kicking in, I desperately need the coffee and I figure there is no point to getting into a rave about how often the weather crew are wrong or how I figured it would just add to the adventure.

Back in the car, at least the kids and the dog are warm and fed and quite excited about this little adventure.

First sip of the coffee and it becomes apparent that I have scored the dreaded leaky cup. You know the one that drips just a little every sip, no matter which side you sip from. White shirt, leaky cup, black coffee. Shit.

By this point caffeine is of paramount importance and I decide the shirt can be sacrificed, so I just sip away, ignore the drippage and figure no-one is going to see me anyway, I’ll get dressed at the next servo.

I realise five minutes down the road that I left the bloody arm that winds in the awning hanging from the side of the van.

No worries, there’s a rest stop up ahead and I swing in.

I jump out to rescue the awning winding thingy and come face to face with a group of grey nomads at a coffee van.

They get an eyeful of me in my pj’s, soaking wet and covered in coffee and weirdly they start waving and pulling funny faces.

I’m thinking to myself that this day couldn’t get any more strange and then I realise that Ivy is waving through the window behind me like the bloody Queen to the delight of this new and very willing audience.

We were heading to a campground I’d spotted on Wikicamps and had my eye on for a while, I was on a mission to check it out.

I google mapped it 6km down the 10km of state forest road in the weird stormy half dark with dodgy phone reception but Wolf Creek came to mind and I chickened out and hightailed it outta there.

So, here I am, drinking a glass of red, snuggled in the van and safely ensconced in a caravan park somewhere on the South Coast.

The kids are fast asleep upstairs and Pipi dog is snoring on the front seat.

The weather forecast said to expect wind but I figured they are usually wrong…


Lily x


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