You have to question your life choices when you wake up with a dead arm, a crook neck and your mate scrabbling at the car door, rasping, “let me in.”
Let’s back up for a second though (or rather, by 11 hours). The trip started well. The plan was to take my converted Subaru Forester down to the snow, and test out the plywood bed I had built in the back.
We left Sydney at about 7pm, and settled in for a long night of petrol station sandwiches, suspiciously closed Maccas and driving (this was back in June, before lockdowns).
We got to Jindabyne at about 2am, and found what we thought was a covert corner (read: the carpark opposite some kind of Bowling club) to sleep in.
Unfortunately, three things prevented us from sleeping. One: the slope. The slope meant that I would slide into my mate, at semi (fortunately not that kind of semi) awkward 10-minute intervals.
Two: my mate’s legs. He’s unnaturally tall.
Three: the bizarreness of the situation. Going from our normal lives, where a certain degree of civility is required for most of your waking hours, to being in a car with one of your best mates and being able to say any ill-conceived joke that might come to mind is entertaining, but not conducive to sleep.
The result? My mate ended up getting sick of me giggling at my own jokes, hopped out the door, and slept on the floor, in almost freezing temperatures, with no camping matt, and just a sleeping bag.
Until 4am… When I awoke to his scrabbling.
Tempting as it was to keep the doors locked, I let him back in and the awkward sliding game (plus some bonus shivering) continued.
Though you might consider it callous to let your friend risk hypothermia for your own personal gain… consider this: how good is sleep?
Unless you have slept on a narrow foam mattress with a 6’4″ friend, on an unfortunately angled slope, in a steamy-but-freezing car, I’m not accepting your judgement.
The moral of the story? Always bring a tent on a road trip, even if you think you won’t need it. And, for the record, I still have zero regrets – other than the fact that every time we tell this story I sound like some kind of dickhead…
I’m also not the first traveller to notice the challenges of living (in my case, very temporarily) in your car. The following video, by travel blogger Sights Of Sara, goes through a few more of them (watch the video below), if you’re interested in learning more.