Adventures in the Sherwood

Nanga Music Festival

We enjoyed going on a really short trip, so much less packing and planning! On arrival in Dwellingup we went to the Lane Pool Reserve, which is over the river from the Nanga Bush Camp. It was mainly to kill time until we could line up, but we were able to see the little waterfall. It makes a lot of noise, but isn’t much of a fall. On Saturday we walked there from the other side and realised that we had not been there in all the years we’ve been going to the music camp.

Lane Pool Reserve

At Nanga we parked amongst other small vans and right next to a truck camper, so we felt were were exactly where we needed to be. A little levelling up and it was comfortable.

We look smaller than the other camper mainly because we backed into our spot and he drove straight in.

This year Fred Smith was there, doing a couple of concerts and managing the Sunday night concert. It’s always good on Sunday nights, but this was the best so far.

This group is actually the committee. Each year, instead of formal proceedings they get onstage dressing in some sort of costume and sing something silly, led by Tim Fisher on guitar.

We had all of our meals in the van, not wanting to have meals with lots of other people in the big dining hall. This was partly to be COVID safe, but also the meals are generally not good enough for the money. Eversley joined us for the evening meals and we also met with her on Monday morning at the Blue Wren Cafe for a final coffee/meal together.

Evening at City Beach

Our next test of the Sherwood as our adventure van was having an evening meal at City Beach to watch the sunset. I made a list of food to take, then canned it and we bought food at the little cafe next to the large parking area. We had a spot at the back near the road, but still had a lovely view over the ocean for sunset. After a walk and getting our meal we sat down just in time. We love having the three large viewing windows for our living room.

Dirty windows and it wasn’t a really spectacular sunset. But it was a bit windy and chilly so it was lovely to be indoors looking out. The couple of white spots on the lower part of the window happened when the men removed the aluminium box. Because of the glue it was very hard to remove and they had to sort of bounce it off. The windows could do with replacing, but maybe after we’ve had more adventures and scratched them up more.

Our next test will be when Stephen participates in a concert with Adrea Bocelli at a winery. There is a dress rehearsal in the morning and then the concert in the evening and we will take the Sherwood and have meals, rests, etc. Then he will have me to drive home after the concert. We don’t yet know if I can go and listen to the dress rehearsal, but I may be able to hear the concert from the parking area. Basically, we want to be able to do all of the things we did with our previous van, then more.

Bodyroll

I now have a name for the sort of rolling motion of the Sherwood. And it’s not just because of having a high hab on GVM suspension, apparently the Toyota Hilux is notorious for having bodyroll and there are firms offering stabilizer bars online. We wouldn’t be able to have this on our setup as it might interfere with the suspension which is there to take all of the extra weight. However, it’s reassuring to know that it isn’t just because of the hab.

We’ve been doing research and the Sherwood is quite a capable 4WD vehicle if driven by someone experienced. We have watched a video of it being driven across Australia taking the gravel road 4WD routes. Although we have a high wheel base the rear axle isn’t that high. We would have to ‘ride the ridges’ if going down a track with a high middle section between the wheels.

To gain experience we will build on our experience of some rough tracks and corrugated gravel roads in our other vans to gradually increase our skills. However, that does not mean we will tackle anything too rough. I am still amused that we thought we were doing off roading when we went along the track to the Corella Dam camping area in Queensland, then found there were many small vans, long motorhomes, as well as huge off road caravans there. Obviously the track was not that bad!