Back to basics living in the bush. Wwoofing in Loch Sport
Loch Sport Travel Blog› entry 39 of 78 › view all entries
My next stop had been marked down on my diary for several weeks. I found out about it from the wwoofing website and when I read the entry, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up! Frank is just five years older than me, he worked as an IT manager and built a very successful carrier. Around eight years ago he became interested in portable architecture, sustainable designs, buildings and renewable energy, and decided to design his own eco-home. This ambitious task kept him busy for nearly 6 years, but the final result is truly a remarkable building, worthy of being featured on one of my favourite TV programmes called ‘Grand Designs’. With a bit of luck, 2 years ago he found a 200 acres plot of coastal bush land, going for sale on the southern coast of
When I arrived, I soon realised just how much/little of the building had been built, and what sort of conditions Frank was living in. I knew from our phone call that he was ‘roughing it’, but I wasn’t expecting to find out that he didn’t ever have a proper toilet!! When he showed me around the camp site, it was quite comical to see so many temporary solutions, which had become permanent for lack of time or motivation. Like the shower for instance, it was basically a bathtub next to a large tank of water, with a showerhead powered by a gas boiler attached to a trolley… this wasn’t quite my idea of portable architecture! And the toilet! Oh, the piece de resistance! Just a hole in the sandy ground with something like a section of duct from an old ventilation system as a stand, and a toilet seat propped up onto two wooden braces, brilliant! The best part was the location of the toilet, bang in the middle of the camp site between my caravan and Frank’s bedroom, a shipping container! And the shower was just outside the office/living/dining room, another caravan kitted out with internet, TV and cooking facilities, ie the microwave.
My first ever task, was to create my own private toilet, if I wanted some privacy. Frank gave me an old foldable camping toilet and I proceeded to dig my own hole behind my caravan. Later I improved my design erecting sides of plastic sheets as wind shield and a barrier for animals, as I didn't fancy the idea of pulling a wild rabbit or an angry wombat cover in poo from my crapper!
My next job, was to convert an old stinky portaloo into a shower cubicle, again for privacy. This task soon became a priority after my third day going without a shower, and a swarm of flies started to follow me around the camp.
In spite of these primitive conditions, I really had a good time in Loch Sport. During the day we would work on the house and Frank was very happy to tell me all about the remarkable ideas he implemented on his design. I learned an awful lot of stuff on sustainability that I have never even heard before, and read several interesting articles from Frank’s library about renewable energy sources.
The nights were bloody cold though, good job I stopped in
Friday was the big shopping day out in
I am making this experience sound awful, but it wasn’t really.
This has been one of the most memorable weeks of my travel, and I will definitely keep in touch with Frank. Towards the end of the week, our friendship got better and we felt like old buddies. We even argued on several topics, which is quite unusual for me because I hate confrontations and I only argue with close friends. I wish him lots of luck with the build of his house and if any wwoofer reading my blog happens to be travelling along the south coast of