Strahan was lovely. But it had no mobile phone coverage. This isn’t the towns fault, by the way. It’s all part of the big beautiful experience of having had all our utilities privatized. But, as it turned out, zero phone coverage was the least of my worries. We also had an unpowered site (another shortfall in our planning). School had gone back. There was no need to book ahead … surely?
‘A common mistake,’ the caravan park lady said with a flick of her lips. ‘But we have plenty of unpowered sites. Or … you’d like to upgrade to a cabin?’
We took the unpowered site – and it was the right decision.
But, I have to admit, that first evening, as dusk flexed its chilly fingers, there were tears.
Maybe even a small tantrum.
Hey, it’s pretty damn cold, in Strahan, and we didn’t have a lantern, and I had only brought summer pyjamas. Besides, the battery on my iPhone was and showing a fiery red strip. How was I going to access my Weight Watchers point tracker? Or use my electronic workout trainer? (her name is Sandy, by the way). She speaks to me, Bluetooth, via my icom device, which also needs charging.
Yes, that’s right, icom. Hearing aids. A recognized disability. Do you feel sorry for me now? Books. Camera. Bible. Notes. I’ve had the iphone less than a month – and my whole life is on it.
Something had to be done. I wasn’t going to take this lying down. Neither was I going to embrace-the-find-yourself-in-the-wilderness crap they were spinning. I’m a city girl. A librarian. I live in the twenty-first century, even if web 2.0 hasn’t made it to World Heritage Tassie.
I would make a stand. Make every moment a recharge opportunity.
Over the next three days, I adopted the furtive behaviour of an addict. I took long showers (four power points in the women’s bathroom). Did some extensive eyebrow plucking. Volunteered for extra dishes duty. Drank my morning coffee in the camp kitchen (six outlets if you unplug the TV) and, as for the men’s toilets …
No, of course, I didn’t go in there!
But I did manage to keep my iPhone charged. It was a true feat of endurance – a pure wilderness experience.
And I even took pictures to prove it.