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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus
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Motorhome Travels - November 2003

Our Fifth month on the road starts with us back in Charleville heading east this time.


Some stats to start the new month...

We have travelled 4674 Km since leaving Sydney on the 1st of July, we have spent 91 hours driving and have averaged just 51 km/h.

The motorhome is going well although I found the cause of the squealing noise we hear when we use the exhaust brake. The flange joining the manifold to the exhaust was loose and several of the studs holding the manifold in place were also loose. Unfortunately one of those studs sheered off as I was tightening it. We think it will be ok until we can get it looked at but will just go easy on the use of the exhaust brake until it is fixed.

We spent the night in a small town (two horse, I believe) called Morven. We watched the Aussie - Ireland rugby game at the pub (well at least two thirds of it - the TV kept cutting out). Having been talking about buying a satellite phone for safety when we are out of CDMA coverage, we were pleasantly surprised to find one for sale on the pub noticeboard. Long-story-short, we now have a sat phone, cost $0 (we took over the last 6 months of the Telstra contract). We should now have communications 99% of the time - although we only intend using the sat phone for emergency's (like a snake bite, broken leg or no internet connection for days and days) so it will not be turned on much.

We are now parked back at the Mitchell weir and are setting up the TV antenna for the All Black - Wales game; go the All Blacks!



The All Black game was a trick to watch - the reception was so bad, it was hard to tell who was who. We did celebrate the All Black win with a few drinks. The cats thought we were mad jumping around the motorhome each time the All Blacks scored.

We moved to Fisherman's Rest, a nice riverside camping spot a little further out of Mitchell and relaxed while waiting for the motorhome to arrive with my J.D's (oh, and Kim). She arrived on time and even had a smile, surprising after a 3 and a half hour plane trip followed by an 8 hour bus trip.

We left the following morning heading for Injune and on to the Carnarvon Gorge National Park. After about two hours of driving we stopped by a dry river bed, relaxed for the afternoon, watched a movie then retired for the night.



There has not been much CDMA mobile coverage for the last few days - sorry to those who have been waiting a reply to emails.

We arrived at the Carnarvon Gorge on the 7th and settled into the camping ground. We went up to the park headquarters to get some info and decided to leave a walk up the gorge until the following day. The alarm was set for 5:30am and Kim was put in charge of waking us up when she heard the alarm....

At 3:15am on the morning of the 8th we were awoken to tiny shouts of 'time to get up'. When we politely explained that it was not yet time she apologised for the false start and went back to bed.

The Kimgaroo - [Click for a Larger Image]
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The Kimgaroo

The walk to the big bend was a pleasant one - but perhaps a bit long for us less used to walking that far. After walking 23km the Moke was a very welcome sight! I thought I was hallucinating when I was the creature in the photo below - but the camera does not lie!

The Carnarvon Gorge - [Click for a Larger Image]
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The Carnarvon Gorge

Apart from the very early false start and being a wee bit long, we had a great day and enjoyed the scenery.

We stayed at the camping ground for another two days before heading for another national park - Lake Nuga Nuga. This looked like a very nice place to stop for the night - big mistake! by nightfall there were billions of tiny insects hell bent on eating us alive (that is no bull - they turned parts of the white bus black, they were that thick). Strangely, when the moon came up at about 8:30pm, they all disappeared.

Today (Tuesday) we have stopped just below the Great Dividing Range at a place called Lonesome National Park. Just a camp in the middle of the bush - but one with CDMA coverage! Sadly, we are now right out of beer - strange, a box normally lasts us for weeks - we had two boxes when we picked up little Kim in Mitchell just a few days ago. I wonder where it has all gone :-) 



Just a few days since we waved goodbye to little Kim at Roma. It was lots of fun having her here and we look forward to seeing her again. We spent a few more days in Roma. We had to replace the manifold and flange gaskets and fit a new set of studs to the block. We can't wait to head east now, at 40+ degrees it's too bloody hot out here for us.



After leaving Roma we spent a few nights back at Wallumbilla (the place where we fitted the new fridge and solar panels).

Baby Koala - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Baby Koala

The place was deserted now - I guess everybody except us has the good sense to avoid the heat of the outback summer. As it turned out Wallumbilla had it's fair share of wildlife.


A Redback Spider - [Click for a Larger Image]
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A Redback Spider

After leaving Wallumbilla we decided to head south to catch up with our friends Ty and Trish. They should be heading to Casino according to our last contact. We decided to call them when we were in Moonie - just as well we did... bad news, they are having problems with the rig (due to some less than top class work by the never-to-be-used-again mechanic).
So after that sad news we turn east and head for the Gold Coast.

Passing through Toowoomba we decided to stay a few days. This is the first city we have seen for months and it seems strange to be back in civilisation. Toowoomba is a very nice small city, it has a great feel and has a nice combination of city life and a reasonable pace of life. It is well named the Garden City - there are parks and gardens everywhere; all perfectly groomed.

The Japanese gardens - [Click for a Larger Image]
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The Japanese gardens

We visited many of the attractions, the lookouts and the Japanese gardens are amazing. This photo does not really do justice to gardens. Just a couple of hours from Brisbane, this would be a nice place to live.

Leaving Toowoomba gave us a good opportunity to check the repairs to the exhaust brake. The road down the mountain is VERY steep. No worries for Hobohome!

As we head further east the countryside changes to a greener, more fertile looking colour. Lakes are still very low or empty but at least there is grass here. We stopped at a free camping ground at Laidley. We have been here for two days now and will be setting off this morning. We have decided to head to Brisbane and look for some work for a month or two.







We are back on the Gold Coast just in time for the close of Schoolies week (NZer's - this is the week that the senior school leavers celebrate - the Gold Coast is the top destination for the east coasters). There are 1000's of them here - I hear that the police have brought hundreds of extra cops into the area for the week. This looks like the ideal time to comb the beaches with the detector. Friday night was the last official night and there are lots of things happening on the beach, bands dancing etc. We were up at 4am on Saturday and as such were very surprised to find that we were the fourth detector team to arrive. According to one of the security guards one lot were there at 3am. Still - we did quite well, finding a watch, some rings and about $20 in coins. Not a good hourly rate, but still good fun. We were so tired after all the early morning work, we spent most of the coins at McDonalds for breakfast.

Today we went for our first dive in many months - the gear surely needed a going over as lots of it was looking a bit worse for its lack of use. My dive computer only had one thing to say when it turned it on - "ERR" (we are hoping that is dive computer speak for "I have a flat battery"). Anyway, the dive was nice with quite clear water and lots of fish life. Tracey was 'caught' by a fisherman twice and we had to cut one of the lines as the person on the rod thought they had a big one and would not give us time to get free - they just kept trying to haul her in. 


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It costs quite a bit of money each year to keep the Hobohome site running. We have decided to allow advertisements on selected pages of the site to help offset the costs involved in maintaining and hosting the Hobohome website. You can read more about how this works by clicking here. Thanks and happy Motorhoming and Caravanning - Gavin & Tracey.

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