My world walk blog - Australia 79 - Traveling Families
About thirty-kilometers past Daly Waters I came to a rest area and was greeted by a youngish couple who were living out of their converted school bus. Nothing unusual about that in Australia, except this couple had a large family, eleven children aged from one to sixteen years of age.
As Daniel and Mel said to me "We almost got one child of every age here. We could even have a football team!"
They sold their farm and hit the road living simply by fishing, picking up roadkill kangaroo. They are also about to study bush tucker (bush food) Living off this kind of food can be done, its the way aboriginal communities survived for centuries. However, its a bit like mushroom picking, you have to know what you are doing as some bush tucker can be toxic. I have been told that the human wrist is sensitive and that a decent clue if a food could be potent would be if there was a reddening or swelling or other reaction of the skin once tested there. I'm not sure if that's an old wives tale, its what I was told.
Daniel drives the bus and Mel drives their pickup truck with a trailer pulling some chickens and firewood. They homeschool their children and I can only imagine the amount of time that they spend doing that, not to mention cooking and laundry!
The Northern Territory seems to be pretty easy going in the homeschooling regard, for I have met several such families. Actually, I met many such families while running through South America on my world run. That was mainly in Argentina, and mostly traveling French families who took their motor homes on a ferry from Marseille on the east coast of France to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I would have thought it would have been cheaper and more convenient to ship from a western port in French. But I was told that there is a company that specializes in this in the Marseille region. The cost I was told varied from a couple of thousand euro for a camper van to five-thousand for a decent size motor home. Of course once the vehicle is delivered that's the travellers mode of transport, bed and kitchen. Some of them spent a couple of years traveling as far north as Alaska.
At a rest area that evening a nice couple called Jenny and Robert cooked me a lean-meat burger with delicious crisp vegetables and potatoes. That was so kind of them and it sure made a change from my normal pasta and a can of veg.
Obviously, its not possible for me to eat fresh food or fruit as I don't have much access to it as caravaners do. Whenever possible I buy canned food which is labelled as containing 'no added preservatives.' I guess my lifestyle by default also keeps me away from too much red and processed meat.
Then a few days later I met an Irish couple called Paul from Kilkenny and Teressa from Kerry. They have been living here for over twenty years and met in a bar in Sydney. Now they have four young Australian-born children all of them are armed with Irish passports. They did exactly what I have been telling every person that I meet who qualifies to apply for Irish citizenship to apply asap. Anyone who has a parent or a grandparent born in Ireland is entitled to apply for an Irish passport. My advice is to apply immediately because of the Brexit fiasco the rules could easily change as there is currently a bit of a rush on Irish passports.
Paul had his own construction company with eighteen employees. Out of the blue someone offered to buy his company. Next day Paul and Teressa bought a caravan and along with their children they are going to travel long-term. They are on their way to Darwin as Teressas mother was due to arrive from Ireland. That will be a great adventure for grandma as she plans to travel in the caravan through the Northern Territory with the Hennessy gang!
Sorry for any typos!