Today, Monday, is the day I decided to rent a campervan and hit the road. I had been thinking about it up until now but around 11am I finally picked up the Skype (Tiffany’s place doesn’t have a phone……kids today, I tell ya!) and called Backpacker Camerpvans. 15 minutes later I had a reservation. 30 minutes later I was on a train heading across town. One hour and 30 minutes later, I was driving on the left side of the road in my snazzy campervan. And they even gave me three free beers someone left in a cooler! This might just be the promised land!
Then it was back to Tiffany’s place to……wait a second, I think I missed my turn. Oh well, I’ll just take this road that seems right. Dang it! Can’t turn there. Ok, where am I? I know I walked past this McDonalds yesterday. But it’s a one way, the wrong way. Sigh.
After a big learning curve, I found the apartment and loaded up all my belongings for road tripping nirvana. I hoped. Where I’m staying is a straight shot to the M3 which turns into the M1 at some point, I hoped, but both were called the Pacific Motorway. That was the general direction I wanted to go. I got the feel for driving soon after getting on the M3, having rented a car for a week in Ireland before, it was fairly easy. Confidence built as I passed trucks on the right and held 110Km/hr.
My goal for the day was to hit either Springbrook National Park or Lamington National Park. I took the wrong exit at Nerang (cummon, pretend you have a map of South Queensland open in front of you like I do) and thus it was decided I’d go to Springbrook as I ended up 80km from Lamington before I realized it. The good news is I was getting closer to Springbrook. They have lots of decent signs for national parks on the roads here so hats off to Australia for that!
Then it was starting to get dark. And I was passing through the smokey side of a forest fire. Cough, wheeze! Further south I trotted until magical signs with those so happy little tents on them appeared. What I discerned so for is this; little tent signs mean you can tent camp or campervan camp, but no big campervans or caravans (what we call trailers in the US or “things that are huge and need their own area code”). This is what I’m aiming for on this trip. I tend to like the tent camper crowd, as is evident when I realize I have nothing to start my propane stove. Can’t bring matches or a lighter on a plane and I didn’t buy one. I try getting a piece of paper to burn with the cigarette lighter from the campervan but it’s never hot enough to catch flame. Bahh! Sooooo…..The first bloke I hit up (oh yeah, I’m all local now) is the one guy in a tent, driving a beat up old Plymouth something-or-another, and not so much the Germans in their nice, large Winniebago.
I marvel at the different stars for a while while setting up camp. This campervan is nice and great for travel blogging. Lots of room for me and food (I should buy more) and gear. I also realize this is the furthest South I’ve been, not counting the five hours I spent in the Auckland airport, and recognize nothing. Well, the moon. I know the moon and it’s nearly full. But man, there is so much about the constellations in the Southern hemisphere that I don’t know! I’ll add it to my list to find a star chart for down under.
peter – i am always enjoying your road trips. does your van REALLY say back packer? great moon shot!
You are all over the place these days! Good for you. Love reading about your daily adventures… more more more! Have fun!
Why yes, it actually says Back Packer on it (company name). I’ve seen two others. I like it a lot better for this type of travel than the motorhomes you can rent in the US. It’s small, quick and fun!! Perfect for one or two people.