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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 - Feburary 2011

11/02/2011

We had not met our first (and only) grandson, Oliver. We have seen thousands of photos and videos thanks to his mum (she is such a good daughter).

We were very excited to be driving to the airport to meet our little family. Even the midnight hour of the fights arrival from New Zealand could not detract from the moment.

Second Xmas for Oliver, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Second Xmas for Oliver, WA

Their plane landed early and so they were waiting for us when we arrived at the airport. It was quite a reunion - with Zoie (oldest daughter) and her husband Richard and 11 month old son Oliver ... AND Samantha (youngest daughter) and her fiancé, Mark. Of course the center of attention was young Oliver who was in amazing shape for a young lad who had just come off a very long flight.

Over the next few days we enjoyed some of Perth's hottest weather - quite a change for the folks from the frozen south of New Zealand where they ski to work 9 months of the year. They all handled the heat very well and I am fairly sure that Oliver enjoyed not having to wear 35 layers of clothes and deal with the effects of frost-bite on a daily basis :-) 

We spent the next few days doing the typical Perth tourist stuff. Oliver loved the zoo and the elephants and monkeys put on a great display for us. I must say that we were a bit disappointed with the Perth zoo, it really looks like it could do with a serious bit of TLC with many of the enclosures looking very tired.

Oliver and his Nana at the zoo, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Oliver and his Nana at
the zoo, WA

Perth zoo, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Perth zoo, WA

Perth zoo, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Perth zoo, WA

Can you imagine the looks on the faces of the Dunedin dwellers when they first saw the beautiful Perth beaches? These guys are used to seeing giant icebergs just off the beaches in Dunedin (seriously) and teams of doctors standing by the beaches ready to amputate the frozen limbs from anyone who accidently comes in contact with the water over there (not so seriously).

Young Oliver learns to drive the Moke, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Young Oliver learns to
drive the Moke, WA

We had booked the bus into the tail shaft workshop to have two of the universal joints replaced. The rear shaft is the only one that was not touched when we fitted the joey box so the uni's were quite old. I had also incorrectly phased the shaft when I last had it off the bus - this did not help. The guys did a good job and I took more care with the refitting.

We decided to give our guests a taste of bus life with an overnight trip to Lancelin, north of Perth. Travelling with four adults and a baby onboard is very different to our normal "just us" lifestyle! I think everyone enjoyed the experience and were perhaps a bit disappointed when we turned the bus around to head back to the big city.