So I agreed to go camping. I don't know why. I have a lot of emotional problems. But camping? My idea of travel is where they fluff your pillows, smooth out your towels, and recommend a wine to accompany madam's entree. But somehow I found myself sleeping on a mattress in the back of a station wagon (there was no room in the tents) at the Allyn River north of Newcastle.
Anyway, I kept a diary, so you can see how the whole thing turned out...
I've just set my alarm for 6am. This has to be the worst idea anybody ever had. And now I have to pack. I HATE packing. I haven't moved house in five years for a reason.
Well here we are at the lovely Allyn River. The journey began at an hour when surely no decent human being would be awake. Boof & I went in the station wagon, Funky and the Nanny in a 4WD. Both vehicles were packed...To think that when we were 19, five of us would go camping with all our gear in a hatchback. Well, the older you get, the more stuff you acquire and the longer everything takes. As we headed up the mountains, it rained so hard we couldn't see the road. We sang snatches of "Weird Al" Yankovic whilst Boof's mad jack russell growled at the cows. Cows everywhere! Not something you see much at Charlestown. The skies cleared upon arrival. Set up took over two hours. Funky watched my pathetic attempts to raise my tent before laughing and offering to do it himself.
Later. Well, now we're sitting and having a drink. You can hear the river rushing by, and the wind in the trees.
I will be home tonight, warm and clean in my house.Must hold onto that thought, or I'll drown myself in the portable camping toilet. Yes, it is that bad. I'm so wet and cold and filthy and miserable, I am being driven to Dungog to get the train home. I'll have a long wait at Dungog, I don't care; I want out of here so bad.
Here I am in Dungog.Not exactly a thriving metropolis, but I can at least use a toilet that flushes, wash my hands afterwards, and have a hot breakfast.There are alot of people here pushing prams and wearing ugg boots, let me tell you, and I've met every damn one of them. The ugg-booted lady at the visitors centre directed me to the local museum. As I made my way there, I noticed that the funeral parlour also advertise that they sell furnishings and manchester. Nothing like diversifying your business empire. The pleasant elderly man at the museum was so pleased to have a visitor, he insisted on giving me a personal guided tour.
Then - three hours waiting at Dungog station (there was simply nothing else to do). The XPT stopped and a passenger was taken away by ambulance (they must have eaten the food). Finally, finally, the train home arrived. Nothing to cheer up a train journey like a bunch of young guys doing impressions of Flynn from Australian Idol though to be fair they did offer to help me with my bags.
Have taken three showers and noticed a nasty insect bite on my stomach. From now on it's only nice hotels for me. Camping - you can keep it.
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