When still in Holland we drove around in VW Campervan. Strictly speaking it was not but we made it a van that could be slept in. With some help from self-tapping screws, eyelets and wires, we fashioned curtains. We took the back seat out and with chipboard also made a bed-base of some 3/4 width, enough for both of us if sleeping in spoon fashion (or forks when amorous). We used the space underneath this bed for storage.
After our return to Australia I promptly bought another VW van but left it as it was with a backseat for the kids. What I forgot to check was the size of the engine. The one in Holland had a two litre engine, while the one in Australia that I bought was a 1600cc engine. A big difference, especially fully laden and towing a small trailer. The road that had to be turned left , to go to our favourite camping spot was still a dirt road and muddy after rain. During wet days it would almost take an hour to travel the 20km or so. There were some hills that were steep and it would not be difficult to find oneself almost unable to either go down or up those hills.
The adv. that had the young kid asking ‘are we there yet, daddy?’ must have been inspired by so many families travelling with children. The on-board DVD had yet to be discovered. Even that gadget has now been overtaken by I-Phones, pad and pods and heaven knows what else kids are now stooped over, pushing buttons with a rapid-fire machine gun speed. Has anyone noticed how nimble the kids are with the gadget being manoeuvred with their two thumbs writing commands on that little key-board? Truly amazing. When I put my finger down, the whole keyboard follows or the English changes into Chinese.
We still try and engage our grandkids with the game of ‘ I spy, I spy, with my little eye’ and as yet, and most times, even the fifteen year old still respond during the trip to Sydney and back. Squabbling between young siblings inside a moving car is the stuff of family punch ups at the rest-stop, which can never come quick enough. Dear H is an angel during car trips and the punch ups usually prevented. If it persists we threaten a sound belting or an ejection from the car on an isolated bush-track. 😉
The usual squabble with grand-kids is the same as it was with our own kids forty or more years ago with…”Mum, ..mum, he has taken over my space and has his hands near me”. H. “Move back and try and stay there, you are annoying your sister.” After five minutes of peace. “Mum…mum, she is laughing at me now, again.” The ‘again’ doubles the annoyance. H.” stop laughing at your sister, were are nearly there”. Again, almost immediately (and I am white knuckled over the steering wheel) Mum…mum.. She is yucky looking again and has her foot on my foot”, H takes out the expendable steering lock and swings it threateningly towards the back seat. It stays quiet for more than a whole twelve minutes. It starts again. Mum…mum…dad…dad… are we there yet?
Of course, the real cruelty is for kids to be locked up in a small confined space. Every time watching young kids, they hop and skip, move about constantly. They can’t even take one single straight step without doing gymnastics or somersaulting on the footpath. They are growing up and a car is not for kids. Even so, now there are electronic gadgets that seem to help somewhat.
Are we there yet?