This post, and all posts for the next 11 or so weeks, come to you from the Big Gypsy Getaway. On Monday 30th April hubby started 12 weeks of long service leave, so we left our cosy 4 x 2 in the 'burbs and headed off for a family adventure in our home-made (and I mean completely home-made) camper trailer. Those that know my hubby will understand this. He doesn't "do" hired help, and could not justify spending ridiculous amounts of hard earned cash on a sub-optimal prefabricated camper. So what does one do in this situation? The same thing my beloved does in almost every situation, make your own! I have to give credit where it is due; it may have taken 15 months of evenings and weekends, but this baby is a work of art. It is completely tailored to our needs and the workmanship is flawless. We now realise why the commercial versions cost so much, there is so much labour involved. Here is our home on wheels fully set up, with our trusty NH Pajero, on her first night in the bush; just north of Lancelin, WA.
I should mention that the trailer has an off-road chassis, so there aren't too many challenges it isn't fit to face. In the pic below, the trailer is attached to the car, and isn't stuck or is any kind of danger, it's just "bush bashing". :)
Those that know me, know I'm no fancy girl, but there were a few things I demanded for our new home on wheels. A decent kitchen was one. We are camping, but I didn't want this to change our eating habits. It's important to me that we continue to eat a wide range of foods, and continue with a balanced, healthy diet. The prospect of cooking on a 2-burner stove for three months was less than appealing. I researched camp ovens, and while I'm sure you can get quite adept at cooking on one, we wouldn't be able to have an open fire everywhere we stopped, and with the girls running around the thought of having a fire and piping hot container at ground level was a little scary. And then I found this!
It's a Companion Portable Gas Oven and Cooktop. I didn't even know such a thing existed until I saw a similar unit in our local camping store. It was love at first sight. I had to have one. With both the girls and myself having birthdays while we're on the road, I couldn't not make cakes. It had its first test run today with roast veges which we had with pork medallions and boiled broccoli (I forgot to bring a steamer) for dinner. And I've just pulled a batch of Breakfast Muffins out, sans cinnamon because hey, I couldn't remember to pack everything. Temperature regulation is something that will take a while to get a handle on I think. The built-in thermometer seems to be the back of the oven, and I bought an oven thermometer which you can see hanging inside the door at the front. The two units read quite different temperatures (up to 100C at one point this afternoon!) so I'm cooking by intuition at the moment. It's looking very promising though.
WA has a spectacular coastline, and I am extremely lucky to be viewing most of it this month. I've always lived in Perth, but in 4 days I've already seen multiple stretches of coast that I've never seen before. I went for a very liberating barefoot beach run around Lucky Bay yesterday morning, and today we spent lots of the day riding around Kalbarri (with 4 flat tyres thrown in for spice). The photo above was taken at a place called Pot Alley, which we hurtled down a huge hill on our bikes to see. Fortunately the magnificent view was worth the return trip up the hill. Kalbarri is lovely, although the persistent mosquitoes have taken the shine off a little. Not much, just a little. I have plans for a lot more running and a little on-the-go herb garden. I also have lots of interesting camping accessories in my kitchen that I'll showcase in the next In My Kitchen post in the next few days, I promise.