Our Dove has flown.
Last Friday it flew the coup, out of our lives forever and into a new home. Now, before you think we’ve lost a wayward bird, let me explain.
Four years ago we bought a Jayco Outback Dove. Yep, it’s a camper but not an Eagle, a Hawk or a Penguin (fellow Aussie caravanners will understand). The Dove was perfect. Right size, right price, right capabilities.
It was a big step for us, our first van and an upgrade from the camper trailer we’d enjoyed for eight years, which was a big upgrade from our tent. It’s all relative isn’t it?
Our new Dove gave us off road capability, comfy beds and the convenience of an indoor kitchen when the weather turned feral.
Inside there was heaps of storage space and it was super easy to tow.
However times change and now after four years we’re moving on. Our family dynamics and circumstances have changed and with change comes a need to adapt to what suits us now.
“Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering on the unknown” Anthony Bourdain
A look back …
Our first trip was no small weekender. Barely a week after we got her we set off … three thousand kilometres in under two weeks. Together with friends, we road tripped to the Flinders Ranges and Arkaroola discovering the rugged beauty of the South Australian outback.
flew travelled like a dream.
It took us to South Australia more than a few times. Last year it was Port Elliot and the year before we travelled to the Eyre Peninsula exploring the gorgeous coastline around Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay and beyond.
We were hit by semi cyclonic winds clifftop at Port Lincoln but, thankfully, there was no flying away for this Dove.
In a scorching week of consecutive temperatures over 40 degrees c the breezy Dove did us well.
In 2017 we covered over 9000kms up the Red Centre, across into Outback Queensland in what I dubbed our “half lap” of Australia. It was the biggest trip for the Dove and she didn’t let us down.
There were minor hiccups, like the time she sprang a leak on the corrugated roads in the Outback and a few dust issues but nothing that wasn’t fixable. Life on the road is never without a challenge but isn’t that what makes life interesting!
“Our happiest memories as travellers always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else. “
We’ve slept in the shadows of ancient gorges that glowed red in morning light. We’ve enjoyed countless camp fires. Cooked gourmet meals as well as baked beans underneath towering cliffs. We’ve been abused by Germans when we accidentally set up on their site at Uluru, but mostly we’ve befriended kindred travellers.
In between these big trips the Dove was our home away from home on weekends by beaches, rivers, lakes and valleys. We’ve camped with family and friends and horses, ducks, birds …
Can you spot the wandering bird?
We’ve woken to million dollar views.
Ironically at Moama, on our final pack up barely a month ago, it absolutely hammered down with rain. We were soaked to the bone. It’s the only time we’ve ever got saturated when packing up. Perhaps it was a sign from the Universe. Telling us it was time to move on.
Last Friday it was goodbye. Her first and only inspection. The young family that came to look at her fell in love at first sight. SOLD.
I’m thrilled she’s gone to a good home. When I asked them about their first trip they mentioned the Flinders Rangers. Just as ours was, four years ago. Perhaps another sign that it was all meant to be.
Our little Dove has flown the coup.
And us now? In less than a month we pick up our new van, an Outback Journey. So fitting, as the next part of our journey continues. And a new set of adventures begin.
‘Outanabout loving life, both on and off the road’. Think I need to get that logo and tagline on the new van!
May your adventures be as wild and whimsical as you want them to be. Life’s short so go take that trip and find what makes you happy.
Just remember, even if you’re not travelling, there’s a sunrise and a sunset in every day and they’re absolutely free.
Don’t miss too many of them. That’s where the magic begins, in every new day.
In love and light