One of the MANY great things about living in your car is having unlimited access to awesome free campsites nestled in sand dunes alongside wild, empty beaches. We managed to find one aptly named Paradise Beach. The not-so-obvious down side to this is that although the access may be unlimited, it’s not exclusive. Worse still, the fact that it’s free, nice and not well documented means that it attracts the worse kind of local bogan scum, who can and will, for example, find your little quiet spot of paradise at the axis of your relaxation, and whilst you’re settling down with your gourmet hamburgers and getting ready to pop another episode of Alan Partridge on the laptop, skid up right next to you in their matching ford falcons (as though the one next to yours is the only available pitch on site) and unleash the wrath of their f-ing and bliming, tick ridden women/dogs/children before smashing through their own bodyweight in whatever alcopops were reduced to clear at BWS, letting their toddlers start a fire using only plastic bags and bleach and commence an open family counselling session well into the early  hours, before clanging around pre-sunrise to drag their children to the beach for fishing…


Enough said. It’s a sad reality that paid campsites are a premium worth having sometimes.  


The second great thing, although at risk of sounding like Mrs Calder (aka, Mrs Magpie, my year 7 science teacher) is not needing anything to be entertained in the evening other than wildlife (and booze, but hey that’s like saying ‘we breathed today’). Every campsite is like a Jacque Cousteau special; Stodgy old wombats ambling around their local plot like beer-gutted veterans at the local golf club (actually more like homeless bums at the skips in the Coles Gladesville Carpark). Just weeks ago my Saturday night might’ve been spent frocked up stumbling along inner city streets looking for open bars (or atleast a burrito), now we’re stumbling around in trackies and a head torch looking for a wombat. I don’t care how naff thats sounds. Wombats are rad and they are most definitely the masterminds of nocturnal nightlife. They’re the Tony Soprano of the marsupial mafiosa.


The last thing isn’t so GREAT. It’s when you have a massive car (that you live in) and you want to go and just DO stuff for the day E DOT G, go for a mega bike/hike/surf in Wilsons Prom which has no vehicle access to all the best spots.


Joe devised some sort of Gladiator challenge to avert this problem, but sadly we ended up sleeping in, mincing around getting the car ready and left too late for the bike in – walk in – surf – walk out – bike out 48km round trip. On the up side, whilst we were mincing around even more at the kiosk we saw a bright orange VW which belonged to the overlanding Germans Helga and Jurgen (I’m not being derogatory, those were their actual names). Helga and Jurgen had driven overland from Germany through Pakistan, India and SE Asia over 18 months and couldn’t have made us more excited and easy about what lay ahead of us. The highlights, they insisted were not the beautiful beaches (how many can you possibly get excited about before the sensation wears off?) but it was the people that had made the trip so memorable. And here they were with their orange van sad to be at the end of their journey, and us at the beginning. I couldn’t help but wonder after a few weeks of moaning about weather and bikes and bogans and every little thing that was annoying us, that we hadn’t even scratched the surface of what was going to happen this year.