To the North: we’re baking in the van

We spent the night at the Nillibubbica Rest Area which is on the Great Northern Highway between the Derby turnoff and Broome. It is a big area and there were about 15 Rvs of various types here last night.

We tried for a shady spot which didn’t work out that well for shade and even less for privacy as a caravan of three RVs looped around two sides of our van. Fortunately, they were nice people and overnight we felt secure enough to leave our sliding door open with just the screen door in place.

By ‘baking’ I literally mean baking as in using the Omnia stovetop oven to bake some muffins. This morning we took advantage of the changeover time to move our van into a spot which has shade all day. We are not getting much solar and if we weren’t planning to drive to Broome after lunch we would put out our external solar panel. But our batteries are on about 80% and we are not doing very much, just using the fan and doing a bit of charging of our multiple devices.

The muffin recipe today is 3/4 cup of self raising flour, 3/4 cup of yogurt, one egg, baking powder, turmeric, salt, vanilla, sultanas, coconut and wheat germ, at guessed quantities, not measured. I used a bit of olive oil to make the mixture moist enough for cooking. I’ve baked these muffins in the omnia oven before and they make a very nice snack at morning or afternoon tea. As we’ve already had morning tea of coffee and ryvitas with vegemite these should be good for the afternoon.

I have two silicon inserts for the Omnia, one for muffins and one just round. I’ve seen people do nice baked potatoes by this method and that’s something we’ve yet to try.

It is presently 32 degrees in the van, but there is a slight breeze and we have the fan, so not too uncomfortable. Stephen is using the time to research the science of lithium batteries.

We will get a Victron BMV-712 when we return to Perth which will allow us to actually assess battery levels and output. At the moment I am using a chart to gauge percentages, a different one to the one used for our AGM batteries as the required battery volts are quite different. the movement through volt levels is very slight and my chart doesn’t give all the possibilities, but is helpful as a guide.

This rest area does have quite good internet and I was even able to talk with NDIS about Matt’s travel allowance. They claim it wasn’t paid because they didn’t have his bank details, but I am sure they had them, but just didn’t put it into the system. He is now owed over a year of back payment and I’ll be checking his account to see if/when it happens.

We can also watch YouTube and do our other social media stuff.

At about 2.00 pm it was really hot in the van and we followed through with our plan B to drive back to Broome. It is definitely cooler here. We will stay for two nights, then Stephen has the jab on Thursday, so we will stay Thursday night in case he has a reaction, then head north again on Friday.

We have things we can do here and the time won’t be wasted.

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