You don’t get much for free these days. I can’t think of much other than air to fill your tyres at a servo where you aren’t charged in some way for the service / product. That, and free camp sites. We’ve just had a weekend away at Burralow Creek, not far from Kurrajong and Bowen Mountain, in the Blue Mountains.
We were fortunate to get away from Sydney early enough on Friday afternoon, to arrive at about 4:30pm. The campsite was completely empty, with not another soul there. You would expect that choosing a site would be easy, but, being spoilt for choice, we spent an inordinate amount of time driving around and around trying to make a decision! We finally chose a site in the back corner, spent another (what seemed like) 30 minutes getting the trailer into exactly the right spot, and then began the unpack.
Lucas and Ella played really well on their bikes while Rach and I set up the trailer. By now it was about 6, so Rach sorted out their dinner, while I kept fiddling with the trailer and got our new solar panels out and connected in the sun.
You see, this was a trip with a purpose. Aside from the obvious purpose of getting away and having some family time, I had some new solar panels begging to be tested, and 5m of LED strip lights, that I was planning to install inside and around the camper. I’d previously made up a switch panel to be installed next to the bed, and the weekend would be used to wire everything together so we have permanent indoor lights!
Kids in bed and asleep, Rach and I settled back for a pork steak and salad for dinner, and watch a couple of other groups of campers arrive. Ahh, the serenity! (I’ve been avoiding using that remark, but never has it been more relevant!)
Then it happened. The serenity was broken. Not by crying kids, or even friendly local wildlife, but by 3 carloads of ‘young people’ (say with old person’s voice… “the young people these days… “). They were quite obviously lost, looking for somewhere more like Brighton le Sands. First, they did a few laps of the campground at a decent pace, causing a pretty significant dust storm in the process, and then proceded to create their own nightclub with some nice loud ‘doof doof’ music! I did consider helping them out with some directions, telling them where they could go to really enjoy that kind off music and behaviour, but thought they probably wouldn’t hear me over the music, or understand my language, as my chosen adjectives are generally different to the four letter variety they seemed intent to use so often!
Needless to say, we weren’t too upset to see them pack up and leave on Saturday morning!
Most of Saturday for me was spent working on the lights. Solder, wire, light, snip, strip, rinse and repeat. Rach spent more time than she probably would have liked playing cards with Ella and keeping Lucas entertained so I could get so much done. Lucas was pretty keen to help though, and surely won’t be too long before he is showing Daddy how to do it properly!
As usual the kids had a great time – Ella just loves being away and having family time. She even told Rach that she wanted to stay in the camper ‘forever’! (So do we, Ella!!) Lucas loved the tools and the Kookaburras this time and would even point at them and declare ‘Kooka!’. Very cute considering he doesn’t talk that much at all yet!
The highlight for Rach was checking out an ‘Ultimate’ camper trailer, which she has decided will do ‘just fine’ once the kids have grown up and left us. I’m sure she would have almost moved in with the couple who owned it if her family hadn’t rescued them and dragged her back to our (beloved) Trackabout! Actually, she will probably argue that her highlight had something to do with the outdoor shower thanks to our solar shower bag… but I’ll let her tell you that story!
We also made some new friends. Stefan and Lisa were a lovely couple with 3 boys, Jake and Saxon, twin boys who have just started year 7, and Daniel who is a couple of years younger. We enjoyed their company for a few drinks on Saturday evening, and the boys even roasted some marshmallows for us over the fire later after dinner. We also saved them from impending disaster as they began to drive off from the campground on Sunday morning with the tailgate of their camper trailer wide open! Oops!
Unfortunately some light, persistent rain on Sunday meant that we packed up a very slightly damp camper again on Sunday afternoon, but a short drive home and warm afternoon meant that we could open it up and get it dry before packing away in the garage again.
All up, yet another great weekend away taking our tally to 21 nights so far. We can’t wait to get back to Burralow, nor can we wait for night 22, wherever it may be!
All for the cost of a little bit of petrol!
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