For our first trip to Menindee the Fella and I decided to camp in a tent. We scoured camping shops to find the right one. For me the main consideration was that it be easy to put up and take down. We eventually found one. October came, we packed everything in the back of the ute and took off. Well, the result of us camping in a tent was to decide to buy a caravan!
My main memory of why is of the packing up. We would begin early and still be putting things in boxes, taking them out of boxes and getting frustrated with each other, while caravans smoothly hitched up and went on their way. Also there was no proper lighting in the tent, and that didn’t help either. Thank heavens for the back lighting on my iPad.
So Alice the Caravan came into our lives. We looked at lots, in fact an overwhelming number. We quickly decided that we didn’t need three rooms in the van, nor a washing machine. I decided that I didn’t like most of the interior decoration and colours. You know how it is when you are looking for something, nothing seems right. Then a friend told us to look at a van in the front yard of a place near him. And there was Alice!
Like us, she’s not young, but loves an adventure. She doesn’t have an indoor shower or loo, and sometimes, at night, that’s a nuisance. Nor does she have a washing machine. But she does have a little wardrobe with a mirror, and lots of cupboards, a microwave and a dinky exhaust fan over the stove. Everything is very compact. When we are sitting at the table we can reach the sink and the fridge without getting up!
There is a good light over the table. It is a great place to sketch and write. And her crowning glory is her colour scheme — light blue and grey. Not the horrid salmons and pinks of other vans. She has the cutest little blue curtains, with ruffles along the top. Awww…..
Why did I call her Alice?
After my grandmother. My grandparents were early caravaners. My grandfather made his own and took the family away to have adventures down at the beach or up in the bush. My grandmother loved travelling, and nothing would faze her.
“Alice, let’s go to the beach,” Grandpa would say, and Nanna would pack up the van and the kids.
Her spirit is strong in Alice the caravan. The name seemed right, from the first time I thought it. I love the idea of saying to Alice the caravan “Let’s go to the beach…the Grampians…Menindee” and her saying back “Yep, I’m ready. Let’s go.”
So let there be lots more adventures!