More than 25 years ago I travelled the length and breadth of Australia to research three books.
I travelled on commercial airlines, light planes and helicopters, in hire cars, battered outback Toyotas and Land Rovers, by camel and horse, on cross country skis, by hot air balloon, motorboats and yachts, on bicycle, in sea kayaks, canoes and rafts. And on foot — one memorable trip alone was a 23-day walk in South West Tasmania.
Over one 18-month period I spent 268 nights in my beloved North Face VE24 tent [shown above in company with Bluey, my 1975 Kombi]. Together we survived blizzards in the Snowy Ranges, torrential rain in the tropics, and idyllic days on the banks of lazy rivers.
The dome tent and I survived mosquito and sandfly invasions on Hinchinbrook Island thanks to our ‘no-see-um’ mesh, and waves of leeches in various swampy campsites in Tasmania and Queensland courtesy of our sturdy rainfly and mesh. At other times, snakes, frogs and toads also tried to enter the high tech haven.
These extended trips also taught me plenty about surviving with minimal possessions.
I am about to embark on another extended adventure, again to research a couple of books, but this time I’m taking my ‘home’ — a 1985 Toyota Coaster bus — with me.
The long-surviving tent will come along too, but this time to cater for overnight visitors.
Let the journey begin.