Like many travellers, Stew and Jacqui Shields have found that life on the road has plenty of surprise benefits … like finally having time to enjoy cooking!
The couple, aged 63 and 64, are still working, but use their leave to take trips for as long as they possibly can.
Over the years, the pair have hit the road in tents and camper trailers but, as they gear up for retirement, have recently bought an 18-month-old 19’6 Nova Terra Sportz.
“It has everything we need. I just changed the front tool box, and installed two lithium batteries and we were good to go,” said Stew. “It suits us to a tee as it has plenty of room with an ensuite and a washing machine.”
Stew and Jacqui, who live in Mandurah south of Perth, take regular trips up to Broome to visit their son, and are currently enjoying a longer adventure in the Northern Territory.
Whether they are staying at van parks or free camping, the couple likes to put down roots for a day or two, so they can get a proper lay of the land.
Between them, their hobbies include fishing, bird watching, walking and reading … and, of course, cooking!
“I bought a Kingaroy Choofer made from a 14kg gas bottle that is so versatile … it is an oven, firepit and grill, and can take a 9-litre camp oven inside,” said Stew. “It would be the best thing I’ve bought, it’s so light and easily packs up in a bag.”
Stew tends to be the main chef on the road and specialises in roasts, stews, stir fries, short ribs in Guinness, damper … and he even does the odd apple strudel and scones.
“There is no reason food on the road can’t be as good as at home,” he said. “And you don’t need to load up with food as there are always shops on the road to get fresh local produce.”
Stew, who is fly-in-fly-out worker in the mines, says the plan is to get a few overseas trips in over the next few years and then, once they retire, it’s time to load up the van … and just ‘get up and go’.
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