So I thought I would write something different again, my top five things I like about camping... In no particular order.
1.... PEOPLE YOU MEET.
I have been lucky to have travelled a lot over the years and to have seen quite a few special places. But I have found that the people you meet along the way wether they be fellow travelers or town fold defiantly make or break the trip. One thing that I have noticed is that people in the tourist industry along the coast are not as friendly or go out of their way to help, organize or give advice like the tourist industry staff that operate further west. Most of the travelers are 'out there' enjoying it all as you are and mostly will give you a hi, a wave and most of the time stop if you are having trouble somewhere.
My best icebreaker to other travelers is the sign writing on the side of my car - woolgoolga offroad. I have found that if people know where woopi is, they always come and say hi. It is nice and to have a chat to them about what they are up to in their travels.
A couple of examples, I was on a trip and we just spent a week in the ayres rock area visiting the great rock, kings canyon and the Olga's. We headed back out to the sturt highway, headed south to start traversing the oodnadatta track when my car broke down. We spent two nights at a camp at Marla, one of the nights some other travelers came to our camp fire, and after further investigation they lived just south of coffs harbour....
About a week later we headed east from Birdsville along a remote developmental road, lots of nothing for miles and miles. After some time there was a two kilometer detor up to a lookout- dions lookout where you could literally see forever. In the distance for sometime we saw another traveller coming along and they too decided to detour up to the lookout. There must of been some thirty acres of parking and blow me down they parked right beside me..... I thought whatever.
Got chatting and they were from Dorrigo !!!!..... Also had a chap come to my car to say I know you and he knew where I worked at tibbaburra... So I do believe that it is a small world after all.
My motto with people is to treat people the way that you want to be treated.
2.....MATES AND FRIENDS
I have been lucky in my years 4wding, camping and exploring, but then again it has come from bloody hard work and I would say lots of money too. Staying in the same industry for along time the word gets around about what your doing and just how dedicated you are.
I have met some iconic people that are known Australia wide and on the other hand I have met some great people from mums, dads and awesome kids. I suppose this number two item blends in with number one in a way, but more in a way that will stick with me forever.
Wow, just thinking where do I start. I have spent time with folk like Jack Thompson, the great crew from 4x4 magazine, Ron Moon, Pat Callinhan, Roothy, most of the 4wd action crew through DVDs and magazine stuff, organized a host of 4wd events and more, these folk stay as friends for a long time.I suppose what means the most to me is the trips, 4wding and camping set ups that I have done with some of the best people that you could meet. From mates that have been mates for a lifetime where we have crossed the desert regions, seen things that we might not never see again in our lifetime to mates on 4wd drives to camping weekends, these are events that can never be replaced.
I have camped in the Flinders- Simpson desert-, walked ayres rock, the olgas, kings canyon with mates, seen dingos walk past our camp, seen a mate crash his bike in the desert and nearly die, the list goes on.... I have defiantly been blessed.
BUT, what means the most to me is what I have shown my beautiful daughter over the years that she has enjoyed our camping and four wheel driving activities. From her early age she loved getting out and about, playing in the mud, swimming meeting new people and mixing with them. We have done some epic exploring over the years on big trips, local attractions, I have shown her some iconic Aussie icons, she has experienced things that other kids haven't explored as yet- and the great thing is that she still remember things and places that happened years ago.... Makes me proud as a dad and a very lucky person.