First night Camper-vanning – Make it stop!

So from 12.30am things turned to total shit… It was lucky that we went off to bed at 9.30pm because the fire alarm went off in the campervan. That piercing *%#@ of a noise that pulls you instantly from the depth of sleep. Conveniently from my claustrophobic position in the loft bed over the cab, the alarm was within arm’s reach. I ripped it off the roof and stuffed it into the mattress to strangle the noise and I flicked the battery out. SILENCE IS GOLDEN!

Scary, (sniffing the air) “Can’t smell any smoke, can’t see fire, we’re all good”.   

Oh but NO!  That wasn’t good enough for the 2 worry warts in the van.   Gerry and Sporty (No. 1 and No.2) started to fret.  Gerry decided to make it all mean something.   

Gerry, “I was just dreaming that something was wrong”.  

Sporty, “Yeah there’s just no air in here”.  

Sporty had already hyped herself up before bed when she turned on the heater and looked at the display upside down and exclaimed, “FIFTY-ONE!!!” 

Posh, “Its fifteen you idiot, ya lookin at it upside down”. 

Sporty, the “ex-pat POM” explained that there was no way she could sleep with the heater on because there wouldn’t be any air and she wouldn’t be able to breathe.  So luckily I had a selfcombustable engine sleeping next to me, i.e. Gerry, who’s body temp runs at about 50 degrees.   

ANYWAY, then all of a sudden Sporty says, “Did he we turn the gas off”? 

Gerry, “NO we didn’t, that’s what would be setting it off”. 

Scary, (mumbling with sheer sarcasm), “Its a smoke alarm not a gas alarm”. 

Gerry, “HONEY, don’t you know that gas is a SILENT KILLER, it’ll kill you in your sleep and you’d never know”. 

The only thing Posh said was this, “It’s not the gas! Then there wasn’t another word out of that woman.  

So Gerry climbed down out of the loft bed above the cab and took off outside with Sporty to investigate in the cold.  

Individually Posh and I decided to lie there until the No.1 and No. 2’s panic had subsided.  At the end of the day it was probably just a ripe duck curry fart that popped out in someone’s sleep and it robbed the alarm of oxygen for a little minute.  

Posh and I compared notes the next day and we were both thinking the exact same thing ‘No, gas wouldn’t make a smoke alarm go off’; “No, I’m not saying anything, they can wear themselves out and HOPEFULLY settle down and go back to sleep”; and “NO, I’m NOT GETTING UP! 

Sporty and Gerry eventually came back inside talking each other up on the amazing job they did saving us all from dying in our sleep.  Once everyone was back in bed I said, “Maybe we just need a budgie like they used in the war, so we don’t die from the “silent killer’”.  

Sporty, “That’s a canary”!!!  Little did I know that Sporty was a dead keen twitcher.  

Scary, “That’s what I meant, same diff, can we all go back to sleep now”.   

So we did… UNTIL 2 o’clock when we all woke up to Sporty saying this, “Guuuys, I’m not ok! 

The rest of us woke up in disbelief and Posh or someone said, “Huh, what do ya mean”? 

Sporty, “I can’t breathe, there’s no air in here! 

Sporty had wound herself up that much that she gave herself a panic attack and had gotten all claustrophobicPosh popped her head up to see where she’d taken off to cause Sporty had opened the van door 

Posh, “Where are you? 

Sporty, “I’m on the step”.  

Posh, “What step?  Where she was sitting Posh couldn’t see her cause Sporty had disappeared behind the cupboard.   

By this point I was looking at my watch to see how many 90 minute sleep cycles I’d managed.  Then we got to the bottom of the problem. Sporty thought there weren’t any windows… 

Scary, “There’s a window directly above your head”. 

Sporty, “Is there?” 

Scary, “It’s behind the curtain”. 

So the window got opened up and we all lived happily ever after… until 6.30am and we woke up and ALL got up.  

We packed up and hit the road, we got 200 yards away and Gerry was going through her ‘prestart’ check and says to Sporty, “Did the power cord go back in?” 

Sporty, “Na, I rolled it up and left it at the power box, I thought it belonged at the park…” 

And so we went back to the camp to retrieve the power cord.  Good one Gerry for remembering!  

After the false start, we got going again from St. Helen’s, had breakfast at the ‘Bay of Fires and ended up back at St. Helen’s.  No.1 and No.2 aimed high again and thought we’d get to Stanley that night.  That was never going to happen!  No.3 and No.4 both put their foot down at a random stop at a beach… The van all of a sudden pulled up... again. 

Posh, “What are we doing here?” 

Gerry, “We (#1 & #2) thought we’d go for a walk along the beach and have a look”. 

Scary, “What for? 

Gerry, “Its pretty and you pair said you didn’t wanna drive so much today”. 

Scary, “But it’s a beach…. (blank stare from Gerry)… we have beaches at home…. (stink eye from Gerry) … I can see this from the car I don’t need to walk on it”.  

So I turned back around and walked back up the beach to the Van... Posh followed and then No.1 and No.2 had no choice but to follow.  And off we went to the lookout at the Bay of fires Conservation area.  It was very scenic and two seagulls stalked us for our bacon and egg sangas. 

We cooked up breakfast in the van at the ‘Bay of Fires’ and then skedaddled back down to St. Helens.  I had a number 2 that was almost touching cloth by the time we got back to St. Helens and we found the local pub for a ‘comfort’ stop.  Conveniently, I also found a bottle-o and came racing back with a bottle of wine and a 6 pack of beer.  Posh and I were NOT going to miss an afternoon snort in the back of the van that afternoon. 

We found the WORST coffee in Tasmania, it shall remain nameless because they had donuts to die for, but I need to hang shit on them anyway. We had wondered if the people in the shop were a little too closely related and then started some inbred jokes about Tasmanians and ‘there wasn’t always a ferry’ yarns.  There was also a very curious farmer who took a good look at Sporties leggings, they are more than just Fabulous, they assault your eyes they are so colourful.  So old farmer Joe says to Sporty, “Those pants will frighten my sheep”.   


After the pit stop we were off again. At about 2pm Posh and I had scrambled eggs for brains in the back and we cracked a beer. I think we were on our second when all of a sudden the Van makes a turn... we still had no idea what was going on up front.  As we went up a driveway we saw a sign – “3Willows Winery”.   

Scary, “Well this is fuckin handy we’ve pulled up at a winery drinking beer”.  

Now let me get something straight… Posh and I have manners, so we stayed in the Van finishing our beer (near skulling them) because we thought it was pretty rude to stumble out the back of a Winnebago with a stubbie in our hands and walk into a wine tasting.  Not very classy either, they might have thought we were from Queensland... 

We were met by Leo the apple chasing Cock-a-doodle. No he wasn’t a rooster, he was a dog that fetched apples.   

Susan was the human that met us and gave us a tasting. She was lovely company and really looked after us, probably a bit two well because after 2 bottles of wine, 2 tasting plates and about 45mins after their closing time we got going.  

We hadn’t called ahead for accommodation but we realised we were only about 20 minutes from “Mole Creek”. We had intended on getting a photo of all of us ‘Moles’ in front of the Mole Creek sign, just for shits and giggles.  We didn’t think 4 moles with big drinkin holes would end up sleeping AT Mole creek. 

I called ahead and they had a dodgy spot available, that wasn’t really a spot but the manager that was looking after the place was down from Brisbane caretaking for 2 weeks.  She looked after usprobably felt sorry for us.  There was a really pretty little creek that went through the camp ground, Mole Creek in fact! 

She was pretty chilly that night so we sat outside the van with a doona over our laps and legs and drank a variety of wine and beer.  What we didn’t realise until we all stood up was the collection of bottles that had accumulated on the ground under the doona.   We had already apologised in advance to our neighbours, who probably thought we were either completely nuts or just entertaining.  Finally, we moved inside to defrost a bit and Sporty put on a show. She actually managed to dance sitting down but could still move her bum…. we have video you lunatic!  It was something I’d imagine a hyperactive kid with worms in his bum would move like.  

Sporty ‘dancing’ in her seat and a disbelieving look from Posh… (lucky for Sporty the video wouldn’t up load).

The bottles had to get cleaned up the next morning before ‘people talked’ too much.  Mole Creek Caravan Park you rocked and it was $25 for a powered site for the night.  1 buck for a 5min hot shower!! Thank you!