We are on our second caravan trip and we have decided to try this free camping caper. We arrive in Charlton to find a ghost town, everything is closed and the locals have all gone off to the Charlton Show. We park in a wide area behind the shops which is signposted as the Travellers Rest. We walk the deserted main street and then set off for the free camp at Teddy Waddy, 8kms north of town. Sadly it’s right on the main road, dusty and very exposed, it’s a bit disappointing, so we return to town and find that the Travellers Rest is more than we first thought. There are not only parking, toilets and a bus stop, but beyond that is an area of en-suite sites for $25 and further on a free camp, where three vans are already set up. It is a lovely spot beside the river and there is even a vegetable garden for caravanners to help themselves to lettuces and herbs. We setup camp, then snooze and read in the afternoon sun. We meet our neighbour D and he tells us that he has been free camping for 11 or 12 years and has never paid for a nights’ accommodation yet. D explains that the town flooded twice in January 2011, the river peaked at 8.7 metres crippling the town as it was under a metre of water. This camp was rebuilt by grateful free campers as a thank you to the town. Our other neighbour is V from down Melbourne way who travels with two poodles and is heading to Mildura as she is a finalist in a raffle for a car and must be in attendance for a chance at winning. They tell us where to find the showgrounds so we walk over in the early evening and watch the young local lads competing in the wheat sheaf tossing, that’s a first. It’s great to be on the road again.Roll the clock forward three years it’s 2015 and we now have twenty two caravan trips under our belts. We find ourselves heading off to Perth on a tag along with a few mates. One of whom is V and her little poodle Tilly. You see we joined a caravan club and it just turned out to be V’s club too. You meet some great people on the road.
Sheaf Tossing, Charlton Show