Are we nearly there yet?

17 Mar

I have talked a lot about the unimaginable vastness of Western Australia.  It all sounds so romantic doesn’t it?  What I haven’t talked about is my passengers on this epic journey.  Children aren’t exactly renowned for their love of being trapped in confined spaces for hours at a time, so what do we get up to entertain ourselves?  When we’re not marvelling at the views, obviously.

Top of the pops is listening to music.  The esteemed husband takes his deejaying very seriously and we have an eclectic diet of Mozart, Pet Shop Boys (Go West of course), Flight of the Conchords and the Sound of Music.  We are, as he says, putting the camp into camping.

Second only to music are audiobooks.  The dulcet tones of David Tennant reading about dragons have whiled away many an hour and when we tire of him we can have Mr Gum, The Famous Five, Killer Cat or Roald Dahl.  They have an undeniable power to keep the children quiet, which is obviously a good thing.

Of course there’s plenty of arguing, what would a family car journey be without it?  Normally this would be primarily between the two adults in the family, but as there’s pretty much only one straight road for 2,000 kilometres, the driver and the navigator don’t have much ammunition.  When the “He touched me!” reaches a fever pitch, we crack open the Sesame Street and Hanna Barbera cartoons on the children’s iPods.  Peace is then restored until we disagree on who gets to hold said iPods or what to watch.

We listen to Percy Parker’s times tables.  It’s educational, innit.

We eat Lifesavers.  The fizzy fruit ones are my favourite.  Sometimes we eat something else instead, but it’s never as popular.

One thing we don’t do is stop, bladders permitting, unless we’re in a place with airconditioning, which only happens every 200 kilometres or so.   Stopping at the side of the road means stepping into a shadeless desert and being attacked by a plague of pestilential flies.  Not nearly as appealing as the frequent grassy, shady parks in New Zealand with excellent playgrounds.  But I guess emus don’t have much use for zip slides.

Speaking of flies, we spend a good part of each trip randomly opening and closing windows whilst waving our arms in the air in an attempt to rid the car of these pesky creatures.  One or two always manage to evade us and buzz annoyingly around my legs for the entire journey.

Sometimes, the stars align and the gods shine upon us and all being in the car together is actually pretty good.  We have far ranging discussions about spinifex and termites and who would win in a fight between a big white (sic) and a saltie, and no one hits anyone else for at least three minutes.  At times like these it feels like we doing exactly the right thing.

If we’re very lucky, they fall asleep.


One Response to “Are we nearly there yet?”

  1. fourgotospain 17/03/2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Oh god I’d forgotten about the quest to keep the car bluebottle free. Thanks for the reminder!

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