Loris G (aka Orange)

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Loris G is grey nomad

Solo female traveller Loris G (aka Orange) is doing the Big Lap her way … and loving every moment of it!

How do you travel? I travel alone because I want to do my own thing, what­ever that may be. If I had a long-term partner that would be different but travelling with someone for the sake of travelling with someone means you have to accommo­date their wishes, and be able to fulfil their basic needs, such as water, food, etc. I’ve spent enough time serving others … now I serve myself.

What do you travel in? A Toyota LandCruiser. I sleep in the back of it and have so much stuff packed in that no one else could possible fit it. I bring lots to read, cameras, clothes and camping gear. I carry water in jerry cans inside the van. I could camp somewhere for at least seven days and remain independent, although would need to dig a hole if no toilet around, and I’m quite happy to go without showering. I do have a plastic shower pack, but rarely use it. I don’t want to waste the water!

Is the rig right? I bought the 4WD on a whim and have never regretted it. Owning one has opened up vast tracts of the country to me that I only vaguely knew about.

Do you work as you go? I’m currently volunteering as a VISE teacher at a cattle station for a six-week period, working with children who do School of the Air. It’s the first time I’ve done it, but I like it be­cause I get to see beyond the road and camping spots, and chat to locals. I find travelling gets a bit superficial because you just skim across the surface of where you’re going through, only meet locals who service the tourists, and rarely get below the superficial fabric of the society. Volunteer work pulls you into a microcosm of a totally different way of living.

Where do you go? On this trip, I travelled up on the Oodnadatta Track – which I’ve never been on before, so it was a real adventure. I really loved it, following the old Ghan and contemplating the lifestyle of those who forged their way through this area. I camped at Lake Eyre, too, at Halligan Bay. There was no water in the lake but felt I was back in my childhood, wandering around the sand hills at Wanda.

Where do you camp? Generally, I like staying in na­tional parks because they have such great walking trails. I free camp, too, when conveni­ent and also stay in caravan parks. It all depends on where I am and what I’m doing. I don’t have a set formula for where I stop – other than somewhere I feel safe.

How is solo travel? I’ve received lots of positive encouragement from people I meet along the way, telling me about where to go and roads to take. I find men particular­ly encouraging, pushing me to go beyond my own barriers, assuring me the way is drive­able or, alternately, explaining why they wouldn’t go a certain way. I thank each and every one of them. When I first set off I was very afraid of the unknown roads ahead and thought I should join a group to venture anywhere.

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