by the principle housekeeper
Bingen am Rhein, Germany
We’ve got into a housekeeping groove…every morning the beds are put away, nappy washed, breakfast warmed up (we turn the heat on the porridge the night before and leave it wrapped in a blanket all night to keep cooking and in doing so use less gas, but it still needs a quick blast in the morning), shoe boxes are placed outside the van, water bottles filled….after breakfast, dishes are done, bathroom wiped down and floor swept. Cooking and handwashing-the-clothes-and-hanging-them-up-on-a-clotheshorse-or-in-the-bathrooms happen whenever we can fit them in (depends whether we are static for the day or having a travelling day).
And that’s it. Much easier than living in a house
Although in a house you don’t need to empty the toilet (a job, which tomorrow morning will have to be performed before breakfast, because a little person will fill it up so much it overflows – eeeeew) and in a house you don’t empty grey water or need to collect up fresh water – unless, you live in Mongolia, I suppose.
House or van, we need to shop. Grandpa goes chocolate hunting most days, but now that we are stocked up (not on chocolate – just on essentials), we have a weekly shopping expedition on Mondays, and pick up bread, meat, fruit and veg as needed.
Being Monday today, Rob and Jgirl14 headed off on the bikes with a shopping list, but returned too quickly. Everything was dead, “Vung Tau quiet” they said. Obviously a public holiday. We keep running into these nuisances and so I added to my internet housekeeping list “find and save European public holidays”. At this campground we are fortunate to have internet at a not-too-exorbitant cost, and so we will make the most of it over the next few days, researching onward Stellplatz options, sorting out details for the first leg in the UK (in addition to checking out campgrounds that will all be too pricey, we’ll contact couchsurfers, who will come to the rescue and find a handful of free parks too). We’ll also be so taken with the Dutch camping options that we’ll decide to leave London for the end of the GREAT Britain Adventure, and stay on in these parts for an extra week now. We’ll research ferry options (travelling from Belgium is less than half the cost of travelling from Holland so we’ll add a 15-euros-worth-of-diesel-day’s travelling to our itinerary in order to save 200 euros on ferry fees – that’s two weeks of food, y’know).
Speaking of money, we have a nightly routine too. Obviously we have to make up the beds and dance around each other trying to wash and brush teeth and use the toilet (that’s the time the van feels small, especially when the ladder up to the bed is down) and once the smaller children are lying down, big ones hang out with Grandpa and Dadda in the Glowworm Grotto – not that any of that has anything to do with money. There’s not a huge amount of time between children going to bed and us going to bed, and so we can’t get much done – Rob updates the daily finances (while I put the porridge on and water the garden), then I whack out a blogpost and we contemplate details for the next day’s route.
*tomorrow the shops will be open*