First night in the new van

Our shakedown trip is the easiest possible option, a night at Pinaroo Point. We didn’t invite friends to join us in the morning because we wanted to have this first experience on our own. Next time…

We are having a cool spell at the moment, with daytime temperatures below 30 degrees. Although we brought our bathers we weren’t expecting to feel like swimming.

We are feeling how small our living space is compared with the Winnie. Although we have everything we need it is in a much smaller space. The bed is comfortable enough, but I think it would be very hard without our IKEA topper. The topper does move a bit as we get out of the bed, but doesn’t slide as much as it did in the Winnie.

After sunset at the beach last night we walked along the path for a little while. The wind was cool and we needed our jumpers.

As in our smaller vans in the past it is best to only have one person moving at a time. We learned how to use the automatic locking (a button on the dash) to lock all of the doors at once whilst we are in the van, and that using a key to open any of the doors disables it.

As usual, we felt quite safe here overnight. There were some other vans here and we realised why they parked against the edge where there is vegetation. We now have a small car parked behind us, making it a bit tricky to get into the back to switch off our gas this morning.

There was enough light overnight that we didn’t need to use an internal light when we got up in the night. We had the windows slightly open, with insect screens in place as the wind died down later in the evening and we were getting a few bugs.

We had washes last night in our tiny bathroom, and this morning I had a kind of a shower, switching the water on and off a lot. It is quite lovely, even in such a tiny space. We have a small towel especially for drying off the walls and floor. The shower curtain covers the cupboards and I also covered the toilet. Quite easy really. With the window open the shower curtain dried off quickly afterwards.

This beach is a popular place for fishing. This morning there is also a big gathering of people meeting for a service, carols, picnic and games. They seem to be having a great time, going on the noise. Even though the maximum today is only in the high twenties the car park is very busy. We woke up to our 6.30 a.m. alarm, but would probably have been woken up by noise anyway.

We stayed at Pinaroo Point until lunchtime, which gave me time to blog. Then we went up to Mullaloo where there are a couple of cafes. We had a bacon and egg roll, shared, and milky drinks at the Dome. Back at the van we rested until tea time (3ish). About 4.00 pm I decided that the water looked enticing and went for a swim. The lifeguards were just packing up when I arrived at the beach, a pity since the waves were getting quite big. I took heart from seeing a mother with two young kids playing in the surf and stayed until there were just too many large waves one after another with any gaps.

We drove home feeling that our first trip in the new van was a big success and we are looking forward to more.

On the Monday before Christmas we went into town to see the lights and to go to a carols service at St George’s Cathedral. They were having it on three nights, the church was fairly packed, but they also had a hall set up with a camera on the ‘stage’ so that people could see inside the cathedral and join in. The cobbled together (from the Gospels) Christmas story provided the linkage between carols, some sung just by the choir, and some with the rest of us joining in. We noticed quite a lot of noise from outside and at the end found out that there were images being projected on the outside of the cathedral and lots of families were there enjoying the show. Across the road at Council House there are huge animals in lights.

Here are some images from before the service. We walked through town from Northbridge to the cathedral.

St George’s Cathedral