06/27/14

The True Cost of a Free House Sitter – the Caravan

Regular visitors to our blog may well already have met our two boofhead Ridgeback x Bull Mastiffs, Apollo and Buck.  As much as we love our caravan trips, it is always a dilemma about what to do with them when we take off for more than a night or two. This time we are off for five weeks, so it is an important consideration.

Certainly for a pair of hounds who have the run of our house, our idea of a pound is akin to a prison sentence.  Our friends and travelling companions have one German Shepherd.  They had looked into a service where your dog goes to live with another family for the duration of your holiday.  They match your pooch up with an appropriate foster carer and you get to meet that person to make sure you are happy with the match beforehand.  It was going to cost $1300 for one dog for five weeks. Two dogs for five weeks…that is a princely sum.  Not for these little penny-pinchers.  No way!

The answer of course is obvious.  Find a housesitter who wants to live rent free for five weeks.  Good candidates are impoverished uni students who still live with their parents and are itching for a few weeks away from the parental scrutiny.  So, having managed to snag one of these, we sat back and smugly thought how great it was that we had someone to look after the dogs….for FREE!

Think again.

Having someone else living in your house for any period of time makes you look at your home through new eyes.  For the first time in about 18 months you find yourself looking to the ceiling.  What are those four brown furry protusions in the middle of the roof? Oh…they are ceiling fan blades. The eyes are then drawn to the corners of the room. Exactly when did the house become the set for Continue reading

06/18/14

Poverty Creek camp grounds, Bribie Island – reviewed by the tent

Dragon fishing Kayaks

Our bargain kayaks

Jason and I love to fish! We love catching fish too, though you wouldn’t  know it given our track record of  Zero fish.  Fishing off banks on the Coast is not a very fruitful experience.  We don’t have room at home for a boat but desperately wanted  to get out into deeper water and more isolated spots.  With this in mind we decided that the purchase of two kitted out fishing Kayaks was the answer to our fishing woes.

We hunted around for the best deal and found it via Dragon Kayaks in Brisbane. $900 bought us two brand new kayaks, each with oars; seat, swivel rod holder, four built in rod holders, cargo nets and a trolley. The bargain of the century!  Now, where was the best place to take these suckers camping?

I’d been interested in camping at Bribie Island for a little while now.  I thought I had been there as a child, but after a day trip down there to check the place out,  it became quite evident that I had not! I imagined Bribie to have one main road with some scattered houses lining both sides and be home to a Continue reading

06/11/14

Loathes and Loves of the Queensland Caravanning and Camping Show – by the The Caravan

By the time this blog is posted, the 2014 Queensland Caravanning and Camping Show will be done and dusted for another year. Every year, since 2008, Mark and I have made the annual pilgrimage, bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  And I must say, for the most part, we LOVE it. We have over the years, after all, injected the best part of $50 000 into its wonderful little RNA micro-economy, but my word, the loathsome parts are truly dreadful.

So, let’s get the LOATHSOME bits out of the way.

  1. 1.        Mariachi bands, simulated Mariachi bands, women dressed as gypsies with camel puppets, and people who paint themselves silver to resemble statues.

You think you are doing yourselves a favour by arriving early.  It’s about fifteen minutes before the gates open, and you and your fellow band of heavily organised folk are herded into a corral, thinking you will be waiting patiently for the gates to open.

To your horror, all manner of street entertainer descends upon you.  It’s not the ones who invite you to interact with you that are the worst; Continue reading

06/9/14

Goomeri, Pumpkins and Wine – A guest review by Gail Chapman

Just to let you know I am not much of a writer, nor do I have the story telling ability as Miss Rosie (TheTent).. but here is my review as a guest blogger….

Barambah Bush Caravan Park

Morning at Barambah Bush Caravan Park

It was around the BBQ table when we discussed going to Goomeri for the much talked about Pumpkin Festival.  Ok,  maybe not so much discussed, but for a few years we had been thinking we should go and check it out. So back to the BBQ table – It was decided that “Yes”,  we were going and our friends Karen and John were coming with us.  This Festival is held on the last Sunday in May.  According to locals, the town’s population swells from 500 to 10,000 people.  That is a massive amount of people to inundate a small town! Where would you put that many people anyway?  The answer is the local show- grounds, then overflow them onto the local sports ground. Pretty much all the people that come to attend this event are in fact Caravaners and Campers!  We (myself and husband Garry) are more Glampers than Campers so we opted to stay at the Barambah Bush Caravan Park, situated approximately 12 -13 kms up the road.  This is a lovely Park, we have stayed there previously and have only good things to say about it.. The amenities are always clean and Continue reading

06/3/14

Camping obsessions, we all have them, right? – Ramblings from the tent

In follow up to; I wasn’t much of a camper, Camping Phobia’s and Kitting up for camping.

Jason and I were invited along for Easter camping (2013) with Triff and Steve (the trailer) and their/our friends Ray and Phil.

With two camping trips under my belt (one over-nighter and a five dayer at Lake Eildon in Vitoria), I was reasonably confident that I could handle this camping thing. Jason jumped quickly on my new found love of the great outdoors.  So, we headed out and purchased a crap-tonne of camping equipment.  We have a one tonne ute, and it seems that this is the exact weight of camping paraphernalia required for rookies such as ourselves.

The last time we camped with the trailer, all we contributed was some financial aid.  We arrived with our booze, clothes and some bedding.  So imagine the surprise on the Trailer’s face when we rocked up with a ute load of glistening new equipment that rivalled their stash of belongs gathered over decades of trips with friends both past and present? Was it showy? Was it overkill?  No! It was enthusiasm, it was excitement, it was Jason and I, together, embracing the inevitably wonderful world of camping that it is.

camping stuff

All the creature comforts of a Caravan, only flat packed!

We all know that camping is awesome, but we all have slightly different ways in how we tackle it.  Something that seems important to one can seem ludicrous to the next.  Jason and  I, for instance, are rather fond of Continue reading