With just one more sleep to go, we were almost at our temporary Christmas abode. Just one more night in the Troopie before we were to return to NORMAL life. A life of having electricity just a powerpoint away, a life where getting hot water was just a tap turn away, a life where not having a daily shower was considered unhygienic and completely uncalled for. We were about to hang our travellers hats up for a week and reinvent our old lives. I looked forward to returning to those homely comforts but also felt sad that The Adventures of Charlie The Troopcarrier would have to be put on hold while we sang Christmas carols, wined and dined like it was going out of fashion, wore stupid hats and laughed like it's the happiest time of the year.
Our last night in Charlie was spent just 1.5 hours drive out of Canberra at Warri Reserve Rest Area, just 14kms north of Bungendore. It was one of the nicer Rest Areas as it was right on the river and quite spread out so we didn't feel like we were right ontop of our neighbours and just metres from a 100km/hr highway. We spent the night so ridiculously thankful that we weren't in a tent. After taking into account all of the terribly windy and stormy nights we've endured over the last 10 weeks, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I absolutely, definitely, certainly would have cracked it by now if we were in a tent. Our night at Warri Reserve was so cold and windy.. thankfully we had 3 tonnes of steel to separate us in our warmth and homely comfort from the cold harsh conditions on ground level.
Just before the rains came, we spent about 35minutes patrolling the area in search for dry wood to make a camp fire. I was determined to actually light myself a decent fire for once, in some pathetic attempt to prove to Tom that I actually could. Tom strummed away on his guitar while I was busy negotiating my way around the kindling and attempting to delicately navigate a lit match through the abundance of twigs... pretty unsuccessfully I'm afraid to add! As I continued to get rather frustrated with the fire, I heard a whining voice from behind me, blurt something out and I instantly knew I loathed its tone. A sour elderly woman strutting by proceeded to bellow out to Tom and I ...
"I hate to say it, but you're not allowed fires here 'ya know".
YOU hate to say it? Come on love, admit it.. you walked all of the way over here, circled around our campsite JUST to say it. I replied, in a very unimpressed tone "Oh really, we must have read the sign incorrectly, the one at the entrance that said you could". She proceeded to incorrectly advise us that apparently during summer in NSW there are "absolutely no fires allowed" she even did that "No deal" gesture with her arms... I guess she thought just incase we weren't able to comprehend what was coming out of her mouth she thought it might emphasise her disapproval by gesticulating.
Gees I really am getting a gutful of these very selected few Grey Nomads who see us as young travellers who don't know any better. Well, sour puss... just incase you were too narrowminded on the way out to read the sign... I've supplied it for you below.
I hate how you always think of things you woulda / shoulda / coulda said to fools like that at the time but they only ever come to you after the fact. But at the end of the day, Tom and I lay in bed that night chuckling to ourselves at how pathetic some people can be and how they wind themselves up about the smallest of things. All I can keep thinking now when I look back and think of that woman is... I feel sorry for her husband.
It was time to move on from our life on the road and transform ourselves back into 'normal'. We're both really looking forward to spending time under a roof and in a home. And if we're too ridiculously busy celebrating and enjoying the festivities, we would really like to wish all of our beautiful friends, family & readers out there a truly lovely Christmas. May you all enjoy yourselves thoroughly with those you love. To one and all, a very lovely & Merry Christmas.