All grey nomads hitting the road for the first time are well versed in the legend of the Happy Hour.
The mental images are clear. An endless supply of cheerful new friends gathering evening after evening beneath the setting sun to share stories, laughs, and maybe a bottle or two.
Sounds simple. But sometimes people find that – while it’s easy to offer cheery greetings to fellow campers – it’s a bit of a leap to try to convert that superficial contact into a lively throng of jovial travellers laughing and giggling under their awning.
Without one of these ‘party planners’, there is no Happy Hour and there is no chance to form those friendships and to share those anecdotes that enrich so many Big Laps.
So, who are these wonderful initiators?
Meg, who travels in 25’ Jayco Sterling with husband Greg and dog Banjo, is a self-confessed extrovert who likes to bring people together.
“When we are on the road I often put a table out somewhere and go and knock on vans and let people know we were having a get together and to bring a drink and chair,” she said. “Sometimes these will go for a couple of hours until we have to pull ourselves away to make some dinner!”
Meg says it is quite amazing how many friendships have started at Happy Hour but completely understands that not everyone wants to join a campsite gathering every night.
“Some people say they don’t drink and I let them know it is any sort of drink you like,” she said. “I have to admit that I had to start drinking mineral water as a big bourbon each night was getting a bit much!’
Meg and Greg are currently working as camp caretakers, and Meg is making sure that campers have a chance to mingle.
“When people come into the showground we talk to them about speed limits, where the facilities are, and about the tea tent which is where we have Happy Hours,” she said. “I organise it each night for 4pm and most people come down with their glass and bottle, and we don’t worry what time people finish up.”
So, besides the joy of watching the beautiful sunset around the mountains with Mt Warning the giant among them, what does Meg get from the Happy Hours she organises?
“It’s just amazing to see so many people come together, some nights we can have 20 or more people,” she said. “So we do have a bit of fun and lots of laughter!”