Monday, December 21, 2009

Our Jucy Campa!

After arriving safely in Australia, we spent one night in Brisbane and then picked up the little camper that will be our home for the next three weeks and drove 2 hours south to Byron Bay.

There are a lot of hippies in Byron Bay!! It's sort of like Boulder, only by the beach with Aussie accents! We've seen a lot of backpackers here as well - people walking around town hauling huge heavy packs on their backs and loaded down with bags and small packs in front, which is exactly the way I traveled the last time I was in Australia. As an undergrad, I spent a full semester (about six months) at the University of Melbourne. Every weekend and over spring break I traveled around Australia, usually by myself, carrying all my stuff in a big pack and staying at hostels or (sometimes literally) sleeping on a tarp in the dirt. Basically, whatever was cheapest that's how I did it.

It has been interesting for me to think back on all that rough traveling. I'm actually really glad I got a chance to do it when I did, because I don't really think I'll ever be able to travel like that in the future with my RA. My achy joints, combined with my fatigue, would make it really hard to be lugging a pack to public transportation and between hostels - especially in hot weather. (The heat actually seems to be doing a swelling number on my joints, which is not exactly pleasant.) Sleeping on little more than a tarp would probably leave me in so much pain that I wouldn't even be able to move in the morning.

In order for me to travel with my RA, I need at least a little bit more luxury than the last time I was in Australia (i.e. any at all!). I need a soft place to sleep or lay down and rest if I get tired during the day. I need to be able to bring extra luggage - drugs for pain and potential infection, pillows and braces to try to keep my joints comfortable, etc. I need help hauling heavy luggage around. And if I'm going to be anywhere for longer than a couple of days, I need a way to bring my ENBREL and keep it cold.

But, surprisingly, I have discovered that if those small requirements are met I am still totally capable of roughing it! And, luckily, the little camper we rented does the job! It comes from a company called Jucy, and isn't actually a camper, really. It's more of a van (painted neon green and purple) with a bed in the back instead of seats, a little bit of built in storage, and a little battery-powered cooler. Thus: someplace soft to sleep, somewhere to put my extra luggage so I don't have to carry it, and someplace to keep my ENBREL cold.

The little tent trailer we have at home is named "Donna," so APL named our little home Down Under "Matilda" (as in waltzing!). With the brilliant plan APL had last night to hang mosquito netting around the bed so we can keep the moon-roof open at night, Matilda is actually a pretty comfortable place to stay. Plus we can take it our lodging anywhere we want. Yesterday I took a rest in bed and watched surfers. This afternoon we cooked sausages for lunch at Seven Mile Beach in the Broken Head Nature Reserve, and there was basically no one else anywhere around.

Byron Bay is beautiful and the beaches are fantastic - squeaky white sand and green water. So far we've been swimming and exploring in the morning, and then I go to class in the afternoon. The class is also pretty relaxed for a law school class, which is nice too. All in all, best 2 credits ever!! ~;o)

Updates when I can!


KCFitch said...

so, whose head is poking out from behind the camper?

~Mariah~ said...

ha! i didn't even notice that! it's some rando! i grabbed this picture off the interwebs since all of our pictures are on APL's computer. check out his FB page if you want to see them!