So how did this happen? Mum and Dad seemed happy to prop up my rear passenger wheel to allow water to run off my leaking roof. But, no, Mum still worried. And, I must admit, there is a bit of water damage to the internal walls in the shower.
After ringing around they had all but given up when they were contacted by a caravan storage option in Maddington. They spent time finally getting all of the mud off my rear to get me ready. The rain has helped a lot in cleaning the rest of me.
So, here am I, sadly sitting in a dark wharehouse. The owner doesn’t even work here full time as he has a painting business that occupies most of his time. Mum says she and Dad will pick me up on Friday the 28th July so that I can be ready to go to Ken Peachey Caravan repairs on the following Monday. Mum says she feels confident that I will be safe here as the owner’s name is Matt and he actually very like her nephew Glenn in looks and manner. I’m working on finding consolation in that.
Here is a nice photo of me from happier times. Of course, I’m much cleaner now. Mum says she can actually see out of the rear vision mirror again.
Unfortunately when we rang Ken Peachey Caravan Repairs they were not able to book us in until July 31st. Although we have the Sherwood on a lean in the carport this is not good news. I contacted a number of storage options, but the only vacancy was in Bibra Lake for $350 per month. We would have to pay for two full months, so $700.
We sat on the idea, comforting ourselves that when she is on a lean the water appears to come off the roof without going inside. However, we can’t be sure and I found some water at the bottom of a couple of cupboards when I was clearing things out.
So, it was good news this morning when I got a message that a company in Maddington have a vacancy. Their price is $170 per month and as we are going to pay in cash we may be able to pay just for the time we need. They are a caravan hire company and also have vans for sale and on consignment for private sellers. There were some good reviews on Google.
We decided to get a bit of cleaning done, thankfully the part of the rear that we couldn’t reach, with mud there for a couple of months, looks like it will wipe off. If only the rain holds off long enough so we can clean it. I’ve done some cleaning inside as well, but keep noticing more dirt, so it’s a work in progress.
The Sherwood is now booked in for storage from Monday 12th June to Friday 28th July. That covers times we will be away, fortunately not needing her for both small trips. I feel a lot happier knowing that she will be out of the weather.
Apart from that Stephen had a COVID jab and I had a flu jab at our local chemist. We both have sore arms, but feel glad to have our vaccinations up to date. We went to Mackie Street Singers on Tuesday night and sang with them at a concert at a retirement village in Leeming on Thursday afternoon.
We’ve done quite a lot of food shopping. As he promised, Stephen has taken charge of the cooking (he said he will do it for a month as I did all the cooking on our trip). It’s definitely very nice and he is getting into good recipies as well as. doing basics like tuna and salad.
I baked a loaf of bread in the breadmaker and finished it in the oven. Breadmakers can leave the bread a bit soft/soggy in the middle and putting the loaf in the oven also helped to brown the crust and make it crisp. I think the answer is to make a smaller loaf, but the bread flour from Coles comes in a box of four packs, and I just used the whole pack. Lesson learned!
It was a little longer to take this route, but we really wanted to get off the Great Eastern Highway. So, we had a pleasant ramble through Quairading and Beverley to Roleystone. Although we knew a storm front was approaching the constant sunshine and mild temperatures lulled us into a false sense of security.
The rain started gently at first, but was heavy by the time we turned off the Brookton Highway, enough to make us both anxious, given the heavy traffic on the road.
On arrival we quickly put our rear passenger wheel up on a riser to make the rain run off the roof. Success, because the only rain water inside was brought in by our jackets and shoes.
We had a catch-up and evening meal with our hosts before heading back to the van for a good night’s sleep. The rain was a lot lighter overnight and didn’t wake us up.
This morning our Telstra plans were renewed for the month and we were pleased that, thanks to Starlink, we hadn’t overrun our data quota. We could have bought more data, but we already have 280g per month and we don’t use anything like that in normal life.
With the wonderful wisdom of hindsight we know that if we had taken a shorter break in Beverley we would have arrived in Roleystone before the rain.
This rest area is for self contained RVs only and is just on the edge of town near a large rock, with climbing markers, and a reservoir. Turned out that being on the edge of town was a very good idea as we were running a bit low on diesel and couldn’t get the heater to work. We only discovered this at about 8:30 pm and I was upset because I knew that having the heater in the mornings is really lovely. We were able to pack up a bit, drive to the service station, get fuel and back to our spot without too much fuss.
On the journey yesterday we stopped at Southern Cross for the dump point and water. Stephen accidentally paid for 400 litres of water, but it was very cheap so we didn’t stress, just used what we needed. We also went to the Foodland for groceries and Stephen went to the hardware store and scored a very nice folding bucket. Our other one has developed holes along the folding seams. This new one seems better quality. Our folding dish that we use as a dish drainer has also developed holes on the seams.
Why do we need a folding dish for a dish drainer? We have a large sink and nowhere to put the dishes once they are washed. We have to have something waterproof for the wet dishes.
Our three burner gas stovetop is also very large, fortunately there is still a bit of benchtop on either side when using. We don’t use it much as I prefer to use our low wattage electric cooking appliances and an induction cooktop, which means we have more space when cooking.
Stephen didn’t feel up to driving yesterday, but I might have felt too nervous with him driving anyway. The traffic is pretty fierce and other vehicles sometimes cut us off when passing because they don’t really allow themselves enough room in the face of oncoming traffic. We even had a truck do it.
We are always told that truck drivers are on a clock and have to push through but when we stopped at Yellowdine Roadhouse for a bacon and egg sandwich the manager said one trucking company had forbidden it’s drivers to stop there are they sat in the dining area for up to two hours chatting instead of getting on. He told the owner he would keep an eye on the situation and move the drivers on if they sat too long.
Of course, the drivers didn’t stick to the rules, they would stop their trucks across the road, pretending to check the brakes and nip across to the roadhouse for food. Yellowdine doesn’t have any fuel at the moment, just good food. The manager said he has resigned as the owners don’t seem to be interested in getting fuel and it’s a bit like a pub with no beer😀. He feels thwarted I guess.
Besides, after that truck ploughed into a school bus and caused children life altering injuries you would think they would be a bit less arrogant. On the Ayre Highway truck drivers would signal left right after passing us because we gave way, now they just ignore us, even if we try to make radio contact.
Fortunately there were quite a lot of roadworks on that section which meant we didn’t have to deal with passing trucks and cars for a while.
On the way to Norseman we stopped at Balladonia for hot drinks and our usual order of a bacon and egg toastie to share. We had a look around the museum as well.
We arrived in Norseman in time to go to the Tourist Bureau for tokens to get water. They were apologetic, but the power to the water point was off. She suggested trying the service stations who would allow us to fill up for a small donation. We wanted water fairly urgently so went to the Ampol station. We would have bought fuel as well. But they were out of diesel.
Of course, we also went to the supermarket as well and stocked up a bit. It was fortunate that there were still a few places left at the free camping spot and despite arriving late after visiting the dump point we were able to get a spot.
We enjoyed being at the Diesel RA in the morning and we think we left at about 10.00 a.m. At Cocklebiddy we were able to get some water for the tank, just 20 litres, but that is likely all we use for one night. Their egg and bacon toastie was served a bit less graciously than at Mundrabilla but was still welcome at that stage in the morning. We also ran into another Sherwood and spoke with the owner for a while. They also wanted to get some water. Always nice to happen. They are heading west as well.
When we set up the Dishy we have the cable coming through the window behind Stephen. We do need a dedicated port, but that will have to wait until we get back to Perth. At Streaky Bay I got a shock because a mouse had run up the cable and was poised to come inside. My shriek scared it off fortunately. Since then Stephen likes to have the gap between the blind and the insect screen taped up. A good idea as it has been warmer for a couple of days with more likelihood of insects coming in. Streaky Bay still has a mouse plague and you could often see them, or at least catch the movement out of the corner of your eye.
Last night I left the Starlink on overnight to see whether the battery system could cope. It was OK, with the BMV-712 reporting that it went down to 81%. However, going on the voltage reading it was more like about 50%. Things have charged up today.
Today in the late afternoon it became darker and darker with grey clouds coming in. We know that some wet weather is forecast and have therefore tilted the van to allow for runoff. We arrived just before sunset and it was pretty dark by the time we finished, hence no photos.
There are a lot of campers at this rest area, likely because it is a designated 24hr stopping place. There are trucks parked up in the bay at the front and caravans and campers are spread out through the bush.
I was a bit bemused by the time changes (45 mins and 1.5 hrs) and different times for sunset and sunrise. So, I’m not sure what time we left Eucla. We stopped at Mundrabilla Road House for a bacon and egg roll and hot drinks. Much later in the day we had a proper lunch break, yet still managed to arrive in good time at our rest area. It was perfect, one other camper and we were able to find a spot out of sight. We had an excellent signal for the Dishy and it was up and running quickly. Stephen has taken charge of the very long cable which I found impossible to keep from getting hopelessly tangled. It is now neatly coiled and he has become the cable person for setting up and taking down.
The rest area was named for a beloved family dog who died unexpectedly when the parents were camped at this site. They had a hard time digging a grave in the stony soil. The RA was renamed for him and there is a marker for his grave. Actually, there are two, one looking quite neglected and another with a freshly painted cross and neatly piled stones. We know the backstory as it was on Wikicamps.
It wasn’t windy yesterday and that is so rare that I took the drone up to show our campsite at Head of Bight. When it landed I noticed a bit of fluff near the camera and it has affected the video. Fluff on a drone, what next.
We had a good day of driving, stopping to enjoy views of the cliffs. Where we stopped for lunch was also a viewing point, but shortly along the road was a large, muddy hole, taking up most of the road. So, we had a more boring lunch in a parking area on the highway. Still, it was amusing to watch other vehicles come in and balk at the hole, then back off. Until one went through on one side of the hole, followed by another.
At the border the quarantine officer said she didn’t want to go in our van because they had had so many COVID positive people coming through. She asked lots of questions and told us about a smart arse who said ‘what if I’m hiding stuff in the van’. She handed him a camera and made him film in every cupboard in the van. Message: don’t give the officers a hard time or they’ll give you a hard time.
Before setting up camp we went down to the Old Telegraph station for a bit of a walk. It was abandoned due to sand dunes encroaching on it, but the stonework is still there. We thought of walking down to the beach, but a family coming back from that walk told us it was a lot further than Google Maps said. It was also tough going in soft sand.
We’ve camped on a flat between a couple of small trees, avoiding the stress of trying to get a spot with the best view and having to use levellers. So easy.