Let me preface our year away, our “Big Lap”, our “trip of a lifetime”; by stating without reservation that the final week of packing up was one of the most stressful things Kris and I have ever gone through together. The kids were summarily ignored by us (but luckily cared for by grandparents and neighbours) as we processed what was to be kept for the tenants, what was to be split into the three storage areas, and what had to be packed into the van. Add on finishing caravan and 4WD mods, finishing the dozen or so odd jobs around the house, redirecting mail (only took Australia Post three goes to get that right), cleaning the house and managing utilities. Oh, and then there was Christmas and finishing up at work. This whole kerfuffle resulted in later and later nights, and earlier starts each day. Kris’s PB was a 02:30 finish, followed by an 06:30 start the next morning. But… Phew, we made it, we’re on the road, and we’re finally doing what we’ve been talking about and boring the socks off friends and family for at least the last 12 months (some may say years . . . ).
So, onwards and southwards.
Day 0 – Saturday 10th January: We meant to leave on Friday the 9th, but that proved to be somewhat ambitious (a kindly neighbour actually asked if we had delayed because of the floods in central Australia and fires in SA, ‘No’ I answered, we’re just disorganized and nowhere near finished!). Instead we wisely advised all parties of a 24 hour delay, and continued packing like buggery! Saturday dawned cool. Perfect weather for a frenetic final and very stressful pack-up, clean-up, and lock-up. We were f-i-n-a-l-l-y on the road at 5pm, heading into drizzle towards Sydney, a lovely dinner party with family, and a well-earned glass of champagne (which I think I inhaled).