Welcome to Caravanning 5. The Shakedown Trip

We are nervous about hitting the road but decide that there is no point waiting any longer. We’ve spent three weeks getting the van ready. The weather is cool but improving. We choose a trip to a spot that we haven’t been to in a long time just to add to the excitement, if that’s at all possible! It’s only a distance of 500 kilometres from Melbourne, enough for us to get used to things and to find any problems.

The final packing, which didn’t seem much, takes us longer than expected. We have butterflies in our stomachs. Our neighbour insists on taking photos of our rig from her balcony as we pull away. Such is the excitement. Before long we’ve hit the open road and the van tows beautifully with only a gentle rocking whenever the road is uneven and not a sound.

When we stop for lunch we are mindful of the search for caravan parking spaces. But that is the only downside. The weather turns into a sunny afternoon, good enough for a stroll and a cup of coffee before finishing our journey. We can feel all time constraints slipping away as we can now camp in any town that we wish. Hey this is fun.

We had already decided that this trip would be caravan parks all the way and short driving distances, so that we could learn how everything worked. We check into a caravan park at Lakes Entrance and we request a drive through site and yes we confess to them that we are new to this caper. Being in ‘Lakes’ means that we are right opposite the water.

With helpful advice from the couple who are parked beside us, it takes us only about 20 minutes to get ourselves set up and the van levelled. We have been told that the fridge won’t work unless it is perfectly level, so a little plastic spirit level now takes pride of place on the bench above the fridge. We then set off to buy ourselves a few things for a dinner ‘a la van’. We desperately want to see how well our new kitchen works. With a few local goodies and with what we had already packed on board we cook ourselves a feast. What with a celebratory sparkling burgundy we become nicely mellowed. There is quite a bit of passing traffic noise but nothing is going to keep us awake tonight and it is oh so cosy.

Next day we realise that there’s something in the air, wow this is what it is all about, clean crisp air!

Lakes Entrance
Caravanners at last Lakes Entrance
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