Continuing on to Katherine was uneventful - Katherine marked the termination of The Big Lap, as I'd covered from Katherine on last year. I stopped at a freecamp along the way for a night and was immediately questioned by a neighbor re what I knew about solar panels. His regulator had three flashing LED lights, which he didn't think was normal. With my multimeter we soon determined his panels were working properly but his regulator was cactus. Meanwhile another nearby camper came over and was quizzing me about how to determine the charge level of your battery. I thought "This pretty well sums up the camaraderie of the road". You can pretty well approach anyone and be welcomed. If you have a problem, people offer to help, the same as you offer to help anyone else with a problem. So who are these people? They come from all parts of the country, a range of occupations and their rigs vary widely. One chap I met had a ute and an old caravan as his only assets in this world, others with quite expensive modern units but all are greeted on equal terms in their travels. Some actually live on the road, others have a home base and travel a fair bit of the time. While the term "Grey Nomad" is often used to sum up all the campervans and caravans on the road, there are a significant number of younger people also (we'll exclude those in the Wicked Vans from this discussion), from those undertaking a major trip before the children start school, to those with long service leave and - if travelling other than in the long holidays - prepared to take their children out of school for a term, to those with families taking extensive travels and home educating their children. When asked what they consider they like most, they most often state "the freedom".
We often hear the glib statement "..in another life.." - how many lives do we have? What constitutes "another life"? Tonight I am sitting around the campfire, looking into the flames and reminiscing; since the loss of my beloved wife, I haven't been home long enough to establish a 'new life' without her - I wonder how that will go? I have now completed The Big lap, and to me it constitutes "another life"! I will continue traveling but not so extensively. Thus I consider this the final chapter of this life - it has been an incredible journey!