On the topic of Rain and the Mixed Fortunes of Camping

Written on the 13th of January, 2017

I do not begrudge a good downpour of rain. Particularly when our first camp site appears to be the driest and therefore dustiest section of land in Australia (I’m sure I’ll retract that statement pretty quickly once we hit the outback!)

This morning we had a decent shower (of rain that is) and it was lovely to awake to the sound of rain drops on the camper canvas, knowing that there was nothing to be done but lie in bed a bit longer and read a book. The rain stopped soon enough and out we went to get to make breakfast. But then came the ATTACK OF THE FLIES. The flies here are pretty bad, but staying under the awning with a good layer of Aeroguard on seems to solve the problem. However, this time around nothing was stopping them. I was running around, arms trying to swat in ten places at once in an attempt to shake them off, but more seemed to join the pack around me to the point that I thought I was going to be taken down and feasted upon.

So breakfast was eaten inside the camper tent and was I only going out of it for the barest of necessities; going to the toilet and filling the water bottle, where once again a plague of flies would follow me around like I was a full to the brim garbage bin. To be fair, I was two days without a shower and covered in several layers of sweat, sunscreen, aeroguard and dirt so the flies could be forgiven for being mistaken on that count. Regardless, the moment I was anticipating had arrived where I start to wonder what the hell was I thinking doing this for a year and let’s pack up the car right now and hightail it back to Melbourne while we’re still not that far away. And it’s only Day 3.

Then the rain came back and the flies disappeared. Huzzah! And did it rain! We had lamented on a previous camping trip not collecting the precious bounty of free rain water when it had bucketed down and we were not wasting this opportunity, so Jason collected a bucket of rain water that had gathered on the awning and we used it for bucket showers. Now I am relatively clean, moisturised and feeling at one with nature again. No need to pack up the car just yet.

But as I sat down to write, I began to see some drops fall from the camper canvas roof. The tent poles holding the roof in place appear to be collecting moisture from the canvas somehow and are leaking into the tent. Excellent. Wrapping the poles with tea towels to absorb the moisture seems to have solved the problem for now, although we have no idea why it’s happening.

So I am feeling fresh and clean, the leakage problem is annoying but solved for now and I don’t have anything on my schedule except to eat, read and maybe watch some offline Netflix later on. The lesson for me here is, that while unpleasant things such as being attacked by flies are an inevitable part of life (camping life at least!), they are almost always balanced out by good things, sometimes immediately, sometimes eventually, like being clean and bludging around in nature. Doesn’t get much more simple than that, does it?

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