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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 - March 2009


Geelong is a nice place to spend a few days. We are lucky enough to find some (un-official) free camping on the beach in Geelong. With three motorhomes parked up together, we were all quite surprised that there was no visit form the council. Our friends from the Netherlands, Riet & Frits parked with us while we carried out some electrical work on their bus to make it Australian compliant. Their bus is registered in New Zealand and here on a temporary kinda import scheme, they are now looking to permanently keep it in the country. We also did some electrical work on the motorhome owned by their daughter Anne.

Speaking of work, we have decided to go the the CMCA rally in Whyalla. We have been asked to run a couple of seminars and we thought that it might be worthwhile to go. We always look forward to catching up with friends at rallies.

The rain collection system has had a good trial now - it is hard to believe that it has taken almost 3 months for us to get any reasonable rain. The good news is that it all works fine. The system is designed to dump the water from the roof for the first few minutes to allow the rain to wash all the crap off before directing the flow into the buses water tanks.


Here and Now Photos

Regular visitors to the website will have noticed the new "here and now" photos section. I have written a small application that takes photos taken on our Next-G mobile phone and uploads them directly to this page of our website. The intention is to make it ridiculously simple to just snap a photo and have it almost instantly appear on the website (in reality it takes a little over 1 minute to get from phone to web). While the photos may be of limited interest without a caption or any information, I have decided to leave them like this for now to keep it quick and simple to snap and upload (typing captions etc on a mobile phone keyboard is tedious). I may continue to experiment with the presentation to allow me to perhaps add comments later from a real keyboard.


Tracey's Surf Lesson

Tracey - into the surf - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Tracey - into the surf

Tracey (I am assured NOT as a result of any kind of mid-life-crisis) has decided to take some surfing lessons. The Great Ocean Road is just about the ideal place to do that. There are surf beaches everywhere and loads of surf shops offering both lessons and hire equipment. She had her first lesson a couple of days ago and I of course went along with the camera.

Tracey - the surfer chick! - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Tracey - the surfer

Tracey - exhausted - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Tracey - exhausted


The surf was not kind to Tracey on the remainder of the Great Ocean Road. The sea went from dead flat to massive pounding waves, she (understandably) was not keen to enter the water in either case. We travelled the coastal road to Mt Gambier where we are waiting on some post - I really do not understand why it takes sooooo long for Aus Post to get mail from Sydney to Mt Gambier. They tell be 5 to 12 working days!!! I could almost walk that distance in that time!

Biship Rocks, SA - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Biship Rocks, SA


Once we leave here (today we hope) we will be taking the coast road towards Adelaide. Here we have decided to replace our four back tyres. These are getting close to the end of their life and we have decided that we don't want to risk making the trip to Perth with tyres due for re-tyrement. The existing Bridgestone tyres have served us well, so we have decided to again choose Bridgestones. At over $500 each it is going to be quite a hit on the pocket.

Last night we had a great display of lightening followed by heavy down-pour. This gave me another chance to look at the rain collection system. While the system works fine, it has an issue with the volume of water that is captured during very heavy rain. I am not yet sure if this is caused by the resistance of the filter that the water must pass through on the way to the tank - but it doesn't take too much rain to overwhelm the collection system. Further research is required.

Now you would think having a cat onboard the bus would have at least some advantages. You might expect for example that the bus would remain free of mice? Well as it turns out Tivoli just loves to catch mice - she also loves to bring them inside the bus to show us. She likes to release them inside the bus so she can show us how good she is at re-catching them (or perhaps it is some kind of feline tag and release scheme). Sadly, she is not as good at the recapture as she used to be. This means that Tivoli is far more likely to introduce rodents into the motorhome than she is to remove them. We have had no fewer than 4 mice released into the motorhome in the past few weeks. The thought of a mouse eating away at our food supply or worse, dying in some cavity somewhere, leads to a major hunt on each occasion.

Ok - so captions on photos are important. Thanks to all that commented, I have now added captioning to the NOW Photos.


$500ea for the new tires was wishful thinking! They ended up costing much closer to $700ea! We had the choice of some "no-name" Chinese brand tires for about $450ea, but decided to stay with the brand that we knew and more importantly knew would still be available in 2 years time. So with four new Bridgestone tires on the back of the bus, we headed out of Adelaide.

Parham Beach Camping Area, SA - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Parham Beach Camping Area, SA

Not far west of the city (about 60km) there is a camping area at Parham. This is nice community supported area very close to the beach. It has both toilets and water available. The beach is also well known for the population of blue crabs that try to avoid capture by the numerous rake welding fishermen. We were very surprised at the number of caravans and motorhomes that were packed into the camping area. This it seems is partly due to the gathering of the HF radio club and partly due top the number of motorhomes heading for the CMCA rally at Whyalla to be held at the end of this month.

We are leaving here today and will make our way slowly towards Whyalla.  



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