The days leading up to getting away have been very busy with a lot of other things on our minds, especially for Stephen. The pressure to get ready for a longer trip, with possibly quite warm as well as cold weather has been intense. Plus organising the food.
The pantry is full, and our breakfast cereal (3 containers) is in yet another cupboard.
We’ve checked about the Hyden-Norseman Road, and it seems that it is in good enough condition for us to take that route. Of course, we will have to check campsites to make sure that they are not too muddy from the recent rains. But our planned route is open.
Despite that, we managed to get packed up and ready to leave yesterday by about 11.15 a.m. Our first stop was a weighbridge to check that we aren’t overloaded. We found a public weightbridge in Welshpool. It is automatic, meaning that you drive on, then interrogate a sort of parking metre and pay the fee of $40. Stephen was very worried about our weight as it was close to the line, then he added his weight. However, we realised that when the slip of paper said driver’s weight included it actually meant him as he was standing on the weighbridge. We are 40kilos under the maximum, which isn’t a lot to play with, but we will rarely have completely full water tanks and a full tank of fuel, which will save weight. Plus we took a lot of food from home which will get eaten. Basically, I wasn’t prepared to ditch any camera gear to lighten the load.
If we had had recovery points and a bull bar installed on our vehicle it would have meant we could carry less, so I’m rather glad we didn’t go down that path. We don’t have much storage space and it would be a pity to not be able to fill it. We are also carrying a bit of stuff under the dinette table. When we stop for the night it goes into the front cab, which means we don’t have to move stuff around from day to night positions as we did in the Adria. The weighbridge gave us weights for front and back axles, with the rear having more weight on it than the front, so we tried moving a couple of items (about 20 kilos) forward to just behind the front cab and it definitely made a difference to the handling of the car, which surprised me, I wouldn’t have thought such a small change would make a difference.
After the weighbridge our next port of call was to visit Marie and Geoff. Marie provided rolls, cheese, cold meat and salad for our lunch and we had a good catchup. It’s great that our route east takes us past their place.
We headed off about mid afternoon with about 100kms to go. We stopped half way for coffees and ginger nuts, which left me feeling refreshed for the final leg. We are staying at the Brookton Lions Park rest area which is beside a little stream. It took a bit of driving around to find a level spot that didn’t have ants zooming through, but eventually we nailed it and facing the right way so that we have a good view from the dinette.
We spent time settling in and getting stuff sorted, then relaxed for a while before tea. We had leftover shepherds pie and salad, followed by icecreams. Stephen was gifted a couple of tiny bottles of wine for singing at UWA on Sunday, so we shared one with our tea.
We have enough of a signal to watch ABC Live and sort of enjoyed the news. I felt the focus on the famous West Australia abduction and rescue case was a bit much. I hope the parents changed the child’s name, which they spoke of after her rescue. It’s clear she wasn’t physically abused due to the abductor’s mental issues, but the psychological impact will always be with her. He pleaded guilty, which has also saved a lot of trauma for the family.
When we switch the fridge on with gas we often run a burner on the stove to get the gas flowing. It was then that we found the button wouldn’t work to light the spark for the flame. We will get a lighter today, but we used electric applicances and didn’t need it for cooking last night. However, it’s good to have the gas stove as a backup. We also seem to have left our small knife at home, probably when we washed up the van dishes in the house. So that’s on our list as well.
We had a lovely night’s sleep despite being close to the road. We went to bed at about 9.00 p.m., I went to sleep and Stephen came to bed to listen to a podcast on his phone. This morning was sunny at first, but it’s clouding up a bit now.