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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 - August 2010


We are now well out of the desert and safely back on the paved roads. I do not miss the corrugations but I sure miss the peace, quiet and solitude of the outback.

Statue on the salt lake near Menzies, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Statue on the salt lake
near Menzies, WA

The remainder of the Great Central Road was fairly uneventful - we did manage to break the Moke. We were very fortunate to be just 2 km from the bus when a pin on one of the rear suspension arms sheared. This dropped the body of the Moke directly onto the tire and made driving impossible. Nothing else to do but to go and get the bus and winch the broken Moke into the rear and wait to get new parts. The parts were ordered and sent to Coolgardie and have now been fitted. There is no doubt that rough outback roads are tough on vehicles - but this is to be expected. We have been very pleased with how well both the Moke and the bus have stood up to thousands of kilometers of very rough conditions. Oh BTW - the brakes on the bus are still working perfectly!

On the way back to civilization, we stopped off at Lake Ballard near the tiny outback town of Menzies. This interesting salt lake features 56 cast metal statues created by sculpturer Antony Gormley. It is a strange sight ... tall thin alien-like forms standing apart on the wide open expanse of a salt lake. Well worth the 100km detour off the main road.

My sister and her husband have purchased the motels in Coolgardie - so Tracey and I have been helping out with the (quite large) task of getting the place up to scratch. It has been a very long time since any time or money was spent on maintaining the motel units - so there has been a lot of work to do. Last night was the opening night for the restaurant and bar attached to the motel - so loads of pressure and more than just a little stress in the hours leading up to the grand opening ... but it all went off without a hitch.

We have decided to ship our stored furniture back to our property in Queensland (I think I declared that I was not moving it again - last time we moved it) - surely this will be the last move. We have purchased a shipping container and are having this delivered next week. We then plan to make our way over to Mt Perry (slowly) then arrange for the container to be sent over. The big picture plan is to build a shed on the Mt Perry property some time soon. This will serve as storage, workshop and base. After spending 7 years doing maintenance on the side of the road and in rest areas, having a proper workshop with a concrete floor and maybe even a pit will be absolute bliss.

Statues on Lake Ballerat, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
Statues on Lake Ballerat, WA

The new drinking water tank arrived (purchased from Atlas Tanks) and has been fitted. It is about 50 times stronger than the last one, so I doubt if we will ever have to worry about that letting us down. And to be fair ... the old tank had a split in it when we bought the bus 8 years ago - a split that I repaired with silicon that I have been waiting to leak again for quite some time. This replacement plastic tank gives us an extra 20 liters of drinking water.

I do wonder how much longer the last remaining fresh water tank has to live. It is galvanized steel and I have been expecting that to show signs of rust ever since the grey tank rusted out 4 years ago.  I think plastic really is the only option when it comes to water tanks for motorhomes.


Cities are not our favorite places, and yet I am always a little excited as we are driving in, This excitement seems to be extremely fleeting and within hours we are just itching to get out of the madness.

The primary reason for our being in Perth is for Tracey's first appointment with the endocrinologist. We knew that the operation that she underwent in December to remove the brain tumor, was not 100% successful in removing all of the growth and that further treatment would be required at some stage. This appointment is the first stage of that ongoing treatment. Tracey is currently well and has no real issues, we know that the return of the tumor is likely and early detection and treatment is important.

As always, I have a large list of jobs to do on the bus and Moke (nothing major) and am slowly working my way through these. Tracey has elected to get some nursing work while we are here (I think rather than being my technical assistant). She works for an agency that sends her to hospitals all over Perth. It is quite a good setup, it is an Australian wide agency and she just phones them when she wants a shift and tells them where she is ... very easy.



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