Australia is the most expensive country I have ever been too. It was ridiculous. £18 for a fry-up. Bend me over and . . . why don't you! This now meant I was back in rough camping mode. I was initially quite nervous and on the first night a frog jumped on my face, right slap bang onto my nose. Luckily I was too tired to care and he/she (can you tell with frogs?) jumped off again. The second night I got a little more confident and found a cafe and slept on the porch. This lasted all of 3 hours when security came and chased me off. I then went round back and slept under the cafe with a few geese. I was starting to like my new challenge. It made my ride more adventurous. The next few days consisted of me sleeping under a bench in a roadside picnic spot, hiding in a campsite and in a field somewhere. By not having a tent also meant that I started to look for people who might give me a place to stay. On the odd occasion when I finished my day in an actual town and not in the desert I'd head to the pub and chat to people. This worked a treat and I managed to get my own caravan, a tent, someones garden and even some guys flatmate's room which was covered in all things cat like. He assured me she wasn't coming back. I was nervous. Her room scared me!
By now I was heading right into the heart of the outback and things were getting damp at night. I then gave in slightly and bought a 3m x 1m flysheet which I tied to the handlebar and seat and then down to the ground. This stopped the dew from settling on me.
There was one night where I could have done with a tent though. I arrived in Mount Isa at around 11 pm and managed to find a park and took shelter behind a bush. It was the perfect camp spot. Hidden from passers by, sheltered from the wind and nice smooth grass to sleep on. I jumped in my sleeping bag and because it was getting a little cold at night pulled the bag tight so that the hole was about the size of a tennis ball. Everything was nice a snug . . . . until!
At 4 am I was awoken by the loudest noise. I thought the world was ending. I felt water pouring in through the small hole. It can’t be raining. Nothing in the forecast suggested rain. I frantically tried to loosen the cord while trying to squeeze my body out of the small opening. As I got my head out, I realized what had happened. It wasn’t raining at all. I had cleverly decided to set up camp about a foot away from one of those sprinklers that pop out the ground. Not one of the fountain style ones either. This one was directed straight at me . . . or actually the bush behind me.
So there I stood. 4 am. Soaking wet and now had a sleeping bag that wouldn’t fit into the stuff sack. The only option was for me to get back into the bag and hope the combination of body heat and slight wind would dry me. By 7 am I was dry and could get up and go. I can laugh now but at the time I was not happy. Not happy at all.
Other than that I managed the rest of the way with nothing but that small fly sheet. I think I may have had problems if there were mosquitos but luckily there wasn't.
I enjoyed the challenge of trying to find a place to camp each night. It forced me to chat to people and make a plan. Yes there are parts of the world where you need a tent but if you don't need one then save the weight and meet some locals.