Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Camping Goes Hi-Tech; Ann Rickard Rekindles a Love of the Outdoors

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Camping Goes Hi-Tech; Ann Rickard Rekindles a Love of the Outdoors

Article excerpt

A LONG, long, time ago in a land faraway, I wanted to own a camping park.

This harmless fantasy came about when I travelled around Europe with my then-new husband on a thumping big motorbike.

For three months we drove around most of Europe, experiencing everything from climbing up into the Swiss Alps to roaring into the centre of Paris. We carried our camping gear on the back of the bike and in panniers on the sides. Our needs were simple: a small tent that required us to crawl into it on all fours; plastic bowls and tin plates Co and that was about it. We so enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle in the camping grounds we decided then that our future should involve owning and operating such a place.

Like all harmless fantasies it faded faster than breath on a window pane.

Now, many decades later and more used to five-star resorts than camping grounds, when the opportunity arose to take to the road in an Apollo Motorhome, we were simultaneously anxious and excited. Were we up for this camping gig again?

While a motorhome would not require us to get down on all fours and crawl into a small space to sleep, it would still involve doing rugged, outdoor stuff: connecting things to outlets, sitting out in the open with other people, using shared toilet blocks. (All rugged to us.)

Well, of course, it all turned out to be effortless, relaxing and more than wonderful. Our six-berth motorhome was so luxurious we were ashamed to call this a camping caper. A modern kitchen, complete with fridge, gas stove and microwave, had everything required to make a 10-course gourmet dinner if we felt so inclined.

We even had a television, and more storage and cupboard space than we needed: sheets, blankets, towels and tea-towels all fitted neatly into provided spaces. Nothing had been overlooked to ensure practical, easy living. After we'd set up in the camping ground Co a ridiculously easy matter of just driving in and connecting one plug Co we examined all the storage nooks, jumped on the beds, turned the television on and off, used the compact but functional bathroom with its shower and toiletand decided this camping gig was indeed, top enjoyment. …

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