Ways in which Jo coped admirably well:
- Coping with Dirt. Some of the hole-in-the-floor toilets in campsites in New Zealand were just awful. Miles from the nearest human, often in the absence of any of the usual infrastructure of civilisation she embraced dirt and alcohol hand gel in equal measure. I would never have imagined that we’d go five days without a shower, but with some creative application of baby wipes she coped admirably well.
- Coping with Driving. We covered somewhere in the region of 8000km over about seven weeks of driving, including along the Great Ocean Road, in Kylie through Queensland and our special camper van Barry. She parked the car all by herself and even emptied the waste water tank once!
- Coping with Joe. She kept me well fed despite hunger tantrums (“give me Tim-Tams!”), didn’t seem too concerned by my hoarding of water supplies and didn’t mind my small obsession about the angle of the parked camper van (have to be flat to sleep!).
- Coping with lack of a plan. A lot of the trip was planned on the hoof. We usually had an outline of a timeline but had kept the schedule quite open. On the larger scale we didn’t know even what country we were going to live in after returning to the northern hemisphere. She coped admirably well with all this uncertainty.
One night we stayed in a particularly basic campsite in Fiordland, in wild southern New Zealand, when it was pitch black outside, nearly down to freezing and just about manageable with three jumpers, a blanket and am emergency cup of hot orange juice. After a visit to a particularly traumatic example of the facilities at these remote sites she returned to our chilly van looking slightly lost for words, and eventually exclaimed… “Honeyment!” It was despair, horror and desperation (we should be in a posh hotel by a beach!) mixed with a note of delight that we’ve done this adventure instead of the perhaps easier choice of the luxury romantic break. Yep, definitely adventure and not just despair.