Thursday, August 18, 2016
Holidaying with Kate Loveday
Life on the road is fun. Two people, a caravan, a wagon, the open road. No worries, no commitments, just follow the sun and your own inclinations.
We were novice caravanners when we made the decision to opt out for a while and take to the road. We set out on our big adventure to see Australia, with a twenty five foot van, a wagon, and two small dogs.
Mimi is a miniature poodle, who’s been our good mate for ten years, since we rescued her from the dog shelter. The day we brought her home she was frightened from her ordeal, in need of a bath, and had a red and green ball clamped in her mouth, her “security blanket”.
I decided to nurse her on the trip home. She looked at me with trust in her eyes, put her head on my shoulder, and cuddled up to me. She won my heart then, and has been able to wrap me around her little paw ever since. “Saved from death row,” says my friend Maria, “to live a life of luxury.”
Lucy is a young Maltese-Shizu whom we inherited when she was two, and have grown to love equally with Mimi. The two are good pals, but Mimi lets Lucy know she is top dog, a fact Lucy accepts—for the moment.
Life on the road with two dogs is, well, still fun. But... Take the time in Nambucca Heads, for instance.
We arrived at the White Albatross Caravan Park with a sigh of relief, having made the trip from Sydney over two days. The entrance to the park is not well marked. Peter mistook the turn off and went into the parking lot for the local fishermen. A long narrow strip, lined with art works painted on boulders, sea ahead, fence on one side, cars parked on the other. No room to turn, so he had to reverse back about 500 yards. Not easy, with only two days experience of driving this 45 foot rig. Somehow he managed.
“I guess the locals enjoyed that and had a good laugh,” he said. I was just happy to arrive, find a good site and unhitch.
The next morning Peter was chatting to another traveler. “By the way,” he said, “I must thank you for winning me $5 yesterday.”
“A group of us were watching from up in the tavern when you came in yesterday, and took the wrong road. It was obvious you were fairly new to this. There was a lot of disagreement as to whether you’d be able to back up and turn, or not. I bet $5 you’d make it. Thanks.”
Well, nothing was hurt but his pride.
The next night Lucy decided, in the wee small hours, t
hat she needed to go outside. Peter took her out, and after she attended to her needs he was shepherding her back inside when disaster struck. In the next van was a fox terrier that had chosen just that minute to also feel the call of nature. He came by our van, a situation not to be tolerated by Lucy. She barked, and commenced to chase him away. Away they both went, and then decided this was great fun. We hadn’t nicknamed Lucy “the pocket rocket” for nothing. Round and round, in and out between the sleeping vans, those dogs raced, calls from their masters ignored.
Eventually two angry and flustered men collared their dogs and shoved them inside. Lucy settled down to contentedly sleep away the rest of the night, but we heard that foxie barking for the next hour.
I told you it’s fun!
Author of A Woman of Spirit
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