• Anna Muskopf

Chunda Down Under

We've spent the last two weeks working on the car from nine in the morning until six at night. Many shopping trips, hard earned money, drops of sweat, and frustration has escaped from both Henrik and I. But it was all about to pay off. We were leaving for our first camping trip, to the historic Rainbow Beach, since we've been here and we were more than ecstatic. The last thing we expected was to be blowing chunks on our first camping trip Down Under.

The Famous Carter

After spending three days of shopping and four days of modifying our truck Matilda, we were thrilled to finally get on the road and go camping! We were awake by 6am on Friday morning and managed to be ready to go by 7:30am. Around 8:30am we said goodbye to Gareth, who unfortunately couldn't come, and loaded up in our truck. Soon our convoy of three trucks we're on our way two hours north to the famous Rainbow Beach.

Our Campsite at Dusk

We decided to nestle ourselves in a small area of the bush close to the bathrooms as the camping area was packed due to the school holiday. We spent the day setting up all three of our camps and exploring what the beach had to offer. We soon enjoyed the cool breeze off the ocean and the warm curry in our bowls along with some beers and card games. I speak for everyone when I say we were all so relieved to finally be in the bush and enjoying ourselves with no distractions. Especially since we were camping with the Lee family. It was great to spend more time with them. Though we've been staying with them for the past three weeks since we've been in Australia, we finally got the chance to spend a couple of days with them with none of the typical everyday distractions. The kids were as excited to play with us on the beach and at camp as we were.

Walking back to the beach after the lunch to build a sandcastle!

The next day we woke up to 30 (90 degree Fahrenheit) degree weather and sunny skies. We were all up by 7:30am and were on the beach by 9am. We spent the day swimming, building sandcastles, digging holes to sit in with the rising tide, and relaxing. By one in the afternoon Henrik and I we're passed out on the beach for a nap. We soon returned to camp for a shower, dinner and a bonfire. It was truly an awesome and much needed day. By 3:15am that all changed.

Three am and I could tell something was off. My body felt slightly off so I decided to get up and use the bathroom. I made it to the top of the ladder I needed to climb down to get out of our rooftop tent and the first dry heave hit me. Thank god I made it down the ladder and I knew I couldn't make it to the bathrooms so I ran to the front of the truck. There was about a three foot gap from the bumper to the bush and it was all sand. I let everything go there. From 3:15am until 8:30am I was up every hour on the hour in front of the truck. We dug holes to bury everything and after I realized it wasn't a one and done type of deal, we buried catholes preemptively. Henrik and I moved the sleeping bag down to the annex and we slept on the floor of the annex without our mattress for the rest of the night. Henrik helped we throughout the night and I was finally able to sleep around 8:30am due to Simone offering me anti-vomit medication which was a lifesaver. While I was waking up and hour later, I heard someone running past the tent and hurling in the same spot I spent my morning. It was Henrik's turn. We spent the entire day sleeping under shade and drinking electrolytes and water. We even had plans to go to sandboarding (riding down sand dunes with boogie boards) at the beach. Clearly that didn't happen. Our day of resting put us in bed by 7:30pm and we slept until 7am the next morning. Monday morning we took our time packing up camp with copious breaks due to lightheadedness, body aches, and physical weakness. Once we made it back to Gareth and Simone's we unpacked, boiled everything we used twice, showered, and enjoyed sitting in the AC watching movies. It was finally over and we still have no idea how it started or what food we got sick off of.

I can not emphasize enough how crushed we were that our first camping trip in Australia was ruined by food poisoning. I guess we just have to go back to Rainbow Beach for another camping trip. Hopefully that trip won't have the same results.

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