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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus

Motorhome Travels - September 2010


We are happily out of Perth as I write this. We quietly slipped out of the city on Friday morning and headed south to a great bush camp about a hundred km south of Perth.
Unfortunately we are heading back to the big smoke tomorrow - we have a few things to do and Tracey has an appointment with her endocrinologist on Wednesday. The time here at the camp has been great but not relaxing.

Hobohome at the POW camp south of Perth, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Hobohome at the POW camp south of
Perth, WA

We have taken the opportunity to get quite a few things done around the house (the bus). When we crossed the Great Central Road we had lots of dust in the back of the bus where the Moke lives - I could never quite figure out where it was all coming from. After some careful detective work I found that some dust was coming through the T&G floor and there was also a few holes in the floor. After talking to a commercial flooring guy, we decided to lay some (supposedly) super tuff tiles. We purchased the tiles, glue sealer and plywood to do the job and carefully laid the plywood and glued and screwed it into place. We then started to lay the tiles and found that even as we were putting them down, they were getting scratched. Not good! The damn things weigh heaps and the last thing we need is heavy tiles that are going to look rubbish before we even get them down. The ramps for getting the car in and out of the bus are stored under the Moke when not in use, sliding these in and out has almost completely destroyed the old floor covering - so the process will surely make short work of these tiles too.

Plan 'B' - we seal and paint the plywood and will put some extruded aluminum angle on the floor to slide the ramps on. This will be about 50kg lighter and be far more likely to last than the tiles.

The Moke storage area - all sealed and painted, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
The Moke storage area - all sealed
and painted, WA

Tracey had her MRI (brain scan) last week - very quick due to a late cancellation. We should get the results of the MRI on Wednesday along with the results of the battery of tests done at the hospital last week. We are not expecting anything unexpected (does that make sense?) and apart from some fairly nasty headaches, Tracey is quite well.

Facebook - You may have noticed that I have created a Hobohome Facebook page. This is by no means intended to replace the travel blog published here. The reason for this page is to remind friends who regularly visit Facebook about our site and encourage them to visit us. Having a Facebook page also helps our rankings with Google (so feel free to click the "like" button if you are a Facebook user) - and this ultimately brings more visitors to Hobohome.com. I can post tiny bits of information and photos directly from our phone to Facebook, you will see small snippets of  updates added to our Facebook page more frequently.

SPOT Tracking - From the feedback we received, it is clear that lots of people enjoyed following our progress via the SPOT tracker. Our agreed time with the device has now come to an end - but great news, we have reached an agreement with the great people at Soft Rock and now the SPOT Tracker device is permanently located on the dashboard of Hobohome and you will continue to be able to see our travels in real time.



It seems that even doctors get sick! The Endocrinologist that Tracey had an appointment with last Wednesday called in sick and the appointment was cancelled. We managed to do some fast talking and get the replacement appointment scheduled for this coming Wednesday (which just happens to fit in really well with our plans to vacate the city on Friday).

We have started preparing the bus for the visit of Tracey's parents - (no, not setting aside places for walking frames and false teeth (they are not that old!)) - just moving some of our gear to make some space for them to put their gear. I sure hope it warms up a bit as we head north, four of us huddled inside avoiding the cold is not going to be that much fun. Thelma and Norm arrive on Tuesday (after a long flight from Auckland via Sydney) and the plan is for us to tour them up the west coast for a few weeks and show them what we have been so impressed about for the last few years.

The hydraulic ram on our power steering has been leaking off and on for a few of months now. It is quite frustrating as it will not leak at all for a month, then all of a sudden, in a few hours it will drop 100 mills. It never seems to leak when the engine is running for some reason. I have finally decided to do something about it and have asked Adrian, the Bedford guru, to send us a reconditioned one to replace it. Hopefully that will be here on Monday. It is not really a big job to fit it, but I did need to go a buy a good quality puller to get the I-rod off the taper (the last time I did this was with a "SuperCheap" puller - it was the last thing the puller ever did).   



Tracey waits for her parents at the airport, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Tracey waits for her
parents at the airport,

The in-laws are here! We picked up Tracey's Parents from the Perth airport on Tuesday afternoon. They were very tired after the long flights and were very glad when the well loaded Moke arrive back at the bus. Thelma and Norm will be with us for about a month and we plan to show them some of our favorite places north of Perth.

We had our delayed appointment with the endocrinologist yesterday. With the results of the battery of tests available and the MRI imagery at hand, the endocrinologist was able to tell us that Tracey's brain tumor is again growing and causing issues with her growth hormones. He wants her to start a medication to block the effects of the excess of growth hormone and hopefully shrink the tumor. Getting this setup and the dosage correct is going to take a few months - so I guess we are going to be near Perth for a few months. There are worse places to be stuck.

I have replaced the power steering ram on the bus (with a reconditioned one), the intermittent leaking was driving me nuts. Hopefully that will be the end of that issue.

We are taking Thelma and Norm to the Perth comedy lounge tonight. That is always a good nights entertainment. Depending on what is happening with Tracey's medication, we may get to escape the city for a while on Friday or Saturday. (and no, I did not take the photo because of the sign on the pillar). :-)

It has been decided that the loss of the three license points due to a slight mis-judgment at a set of traffic lights, will be attributed to the driver of the bus and not the registered owner. Not as I feel it should be!



Spot the Tourists (the ones with the flynets on). WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Spot the Tourists (the ones with the
flynets on). WA

The Comedy Lounge (at the Charles St Hotel) was as entertaining as always and well worth a visit if you happen to be in the Perth area. It is always as Forrest Gump would describe it, 'like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gunna get'.

Thelma cleans the black mud from Norms feet - now this is love!. WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Thelma cleans the black mud from
Norms feet - now this is love!. WA

Leaving the city always feels good and heading for Cliff Head feels even better. I think that this time I even managed to beat my record and made it into the water less than 5 minutes after the bus wheels stopped moving. Stopping for a few days is a great way to relax - there is no pressure to get moving and everybody gets a chance to have a good look around. Thelma and Norm love the beach and the bush area, but they are struggling a little to deal with the flies (as I guess most visitors to Australia are).

Norm has tried hiding, flicking, spraying, swatting, dancing and even shouting at the flies - none of which proved to be of any great benefit (it did however provide a little light entertainment for the rest of us). By far his most ambitious tactic was to cover his hands and feet in smelly black mud - this turned out to be by far the least effective approach (it did however keep the flies off the rest of us for a short while).

From Cliff Head we drove north stopping off at Coronation Beach for a night before proceeding further north in the direction of the tourist magnet that is Monkey Mia. For the life of me, I have never seen the appeal of places like this - but I guess if you have never seen dolphins before it is something to see (personally I'd much rather be covered in flies in the bush than covered in tourists at a resort - but that is just me).

The temperature continues to climb as we head further north (no surprise there) and all thoughts of newly installed diesel heaters turn to thoughts of air conditioning ... NEVER!

From Monkey Mia we plan to continue north (so long as our guests don't melt) and head for one of the nicest camping areas on the entire west coast (yea I know ... big call). 14 Mile beach camp is on Warroora Station just a short distance (14 miles to be exact) from Coral Bay. White sand and clear turquoise water paint a post-card like image. I am sure that there will be plenty of flies there too to keep Norm (and thus the rest of us) amused for hours :-)

Fishing at Cliff Head, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Fishing at Cliff Head, WA

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