We recently got a great message from some happy customers, Becky and Pete, regarding their trip in one of our vans. We asked them to send some pics of the trip and a story about the adventure. Here’s what they said:
"Follow that Palm Tree!"
By Becky (an American), Pete (an Aussie), and Palmy (a $5.99 Inflatable Palm Tree)
We rented our Nomad which quickly became known as “The Paradise Van” since Pete snuck a 3 foot tall inflatable palm tree decoration into the back before we left. I discovered it 200 kms out of Brisbane at our first rest stop / coffee break. The tree, fondly known as “Palmy”, quickly became our willing mascot, and crept into the corners of numerous trip photos taken during our five day getaway into the Queensland Outback. Palmy set the course for the trip, and we merely followed his commands with a little help from “Brumhilda” (she was the lady who lived inside our GPS).
Just outside Darby, QLD we pulled over and found ourselves in a giant cottonfield – the first Pete and I had ever seen. The sun was setting and the sky was pink over the fluffy, thorny cotton bushes. The ground was thirsty and veined with cracks. I grabbed a souvenir - some roadside cotton that had blown into tall grasses along the highway.
Past the small town of Morven (which consisted of one gas station and 2 cafes), we stopped for a photo of the scenery: grassy plains which sprawled as far as the eye could see. I opened the passenger door and the scent of the yellow grasses hit me immediately. It was like a field full of fresh, ripe peaches. I had never experienced anything like it, and it was entirely perplexing, especially since there were no fruit trees in sight. I wished there were a way to bottle the sweet smell.
As we went further west, the towns shrank smaller and smaller. At a pit stop in Mungallala there was a notice board outside the town community centre. Though the town seemed empty without a single dweller in sight, the notices said it all: “Ducks, ducklings, chooks, and drakes for sale”, “Sewing machine repair, all work done in my home”, “Lost: One black working dog”, and my favourite: “Come and share my pictures and we’ll have a yarn at the blue house near the pub”.
Our favourite part of the trip, apart from the breathtaking scenery, was mealtime. Cooking delicious meals from the campervan stove felt like performing a magic trick: “Watch as we combine eggs, onions, tomatoes and cheese and whip up a delicious, healthy and hot omelette right here out of a van!” Who knew how good a homemade toasted sandwich could taste in the middle of a 500 km driving stretch?!
Each stop of the way, we took photos as the sprawling Outback scenery changed from green grassy plains, to wooded fields fluttering with birds, to deep red dirt and desert life. Somehow, Palmy continued to find his way into as many photos as he could. At night, he stood guard outside the Paradise Van, taking in the silent sounds of the campervan parks, and swaying in the breeze under the blanket of stars.
The trip was fantastic and made all the more fun by our entourage in tow. Looking forward to another one in the near future. Perhaps a garden gnome will find its way onto our van and into our photos next time? Can’t wait to find out!
Becky & Pete
Over and out,
Ricki and the Backpacker crew