Caravan of Courage

Just returned home from THE BEST weekend.

This was the equation:

Caravan + kids + beach + pals + fire pit + meat + mud + bikes + hikes + swimming + beers + dirty feet = THE BEST weekend.

We hired a rad caravan down at Skenes Creek. If you’ve never been to this hideaway caravan park near Apollo Bay, it’s time to try it. This sensational area is like a time warp to 1986, in the best possible way.

The on site caravans with their chocked up wheels and dusty annexes are like holidays from my childhood, the beige exteriors bringing an instant feeling of calm.  The smell of charcoal and sausages bringing back memories of fortnight-long vacations in Mallacoota, Nelsons Bay, Port Stephens, Caloundra.

The sight of packs of kids racing their pushies along the track, taking a risk and smashing out metre long burn outs wearing only thongs and a pair of faded boardies. Filthy children with sand stuck between their toes, their parents sitting by the caravan stoking the fire pit, iceburg lettuce ready to fill a rissole sandwich.

No money is spent on these holidays. No TV is watched. No bedtime routine is followed. Sometimes there isn’t even a shower before bed coz ‘I had a shower on the beach and I’ve wiped my feet with a towel, mum’.

It’s the best.

I love waking in the morning and watching the zombie-like parents in their checkered ill-fitting pj’s (some dads just wearing their jocks) heading towards the shared toilet block, still glaring out its 1980s sunshine pine coloured rendered brick, with concrete planters filled with succulents and cigarette butts standing like two soldiers at the entrance. Sometimes the parents look nervous, knowing they need to shit but aware of the queue.

At night, you might bump into the same person, no longer a stranger because you had to tell their kid off for licking the communal bin, and you chat in front of the mirror with your mouth full of toothpaste.

It’s the best.

Our pals, with their sons in tow, would run around with our boys at the beach, on their bikes, up the track. Jumping, wrestling, smashing the sand. Kids being kids. No adults in sight.

At night, we would nestle in after the kids had gone to sleep for tea out the front of our caravan, watch the fire burn and discuss the difference between Aldi and Coles, favourite pizza toppings and holidays of our youth.  Adults being adults until someone would let off a fart then we’d all cack ourselves with laughter.

Caravaning. Camping. This is the way forward with our holidays now. Long ago are the days of five star resorts and stunning hotel rooms. But by golly, it’s so much fun to be disgustingly grotty for a few days, acting like a kid, just like it was 1986 all over again. I can’t wait to return next year.

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