Ukerebagh Passage

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    • Day 12

      Camper Vans - Tweed Heads South

      October 23, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Our plan .... no, it’s not a plan because we are not allowed to have one, our thoughts are to buy a camper and go walkabouts. Head north, see the barrier reef, do some diving, back to Brisbane for Christmas, see the kids, see in the new year, head south, Sidney, south coast, Melbourne, maybe Adelaide, back to Melbourne, catch a plane back to KL. Simple. Just need a camper van.

      We have been looking at vans on the Aussie gumtree. There are many good looking vans. Some basic, some quirky. The cost is less critical than what we lose on it between buying in Brisbane and selling in Melbourne. The most basic camper will cost us around Aus $50 per day to rent, approval $7,500 for 5 months. However, the most basic won’t allow us to take the six of us when Toby, Jessica and their partners come over for Christmas.

      We decided to go to a dealer in Tweed Heads South (THS) so that we could have a look at a range of.vans.

      THS is across the border in New South Wales. The time zone is currently one hour ahead of Queensland. If we were to fly the airport terminal is in NSW but part of the runway goes into QLD and is, technically, in a different time zone.

      The dealership had about 20 vans, we were looking at the more budget end. The photos on gumtree must have been taken by the same person who does house sale photos and can make a tiny box room look like an enormous double bedroom. We learnt a lot, mostly about what we didn’t want, a little about what we would lik (all round mosquito curtains) but couldn’t find a van we liked. Decided to retire for a coffee and rethink.

      The coffee shop was in NSW, south of THS and shut at 4. We set of and were due to arrive at 3:30 if we got a wiggle on. When we arrive£ we found that, despite being in NSW, they worked on QLD time and it was only 2:30. Very confusing.

      The previous day we had arranged to meet Carl and his girlfriend who had a quirky camper for sale. They had driven it from Brisbane to Sidney bcuase someone had said that they would buy it, but then didn’t. They were driving back from Sidney and we arranged to meet in the IKEA car park south of Brisbane. The van was certainly quirky and had been built to a high standard, but it was tiny. Not sure our marriage would have survived the time in that van.

      We drove back through Brisbane and continued the search for vans on gumtree and eBay.
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    • Day 25

      The start of our walkabouts adventure

      November 5, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      While our presence in Australia appears to have solved the drought problem (…) the last two days have been frustrating. We had hoped to have been on our way several days ago. We’d hoped to have Big Bertha on Friday but it didn’t happen.

      On Sunday we made a trip to an enormous DIY type warehouse that sold everything, literally everything. We made a list of things we would need for Bertha, a couple of camping chairs, a camping table .... repairing stuff, kitchen stuff, emergency stuff, eating and cleaning stuff .... quite a list.

      On Monday we hung around awaiting the call to pick up Bertha but received a call to say that the part still hadn’t arrived. While the engineers had cut a hole for the new part, so that it will be fitted as soon as it arrives, the work still needs to be approved by the gas inspector.

      Today we were told that the part had arrived and was being fitted, but we still had to hope that the inspector would have a chance to inspect it and approve it. Today is Melbourne Cup day so we just hope that no one involved is a horse racing fan.

      So that we didn’t spend our time kicking our heals we decided to head for the Gold Coast and look around or lay on the beach. On the way we would drop into IKEA to buy Bun an orthopaedic pillow for her neck. On our way we received a call that the van was finished and approved, no beach today

      When we arrived to collect Bertha she was wired up to the mains with the a/c working and was beautifully cold inside. When she had been sold to the dealer, she contained “everything needed” and this was in a pile in a garage. We were told that we could take anything we wanted. Cutlery, cleaning materials, fuses, spare fan belts, picnic chairs,and table, toaster, kettle ... and so forth. We loaded it all on board.

      Bertha comes with about 3kg of keys! I don’t know how many sets there are. There are a number of storage spaces each accessible from outside and each with their own door that has a lock or two. Why each lock isn’t suited the same, I don’t know. Tomorrow we will sort them all.

      We were shown how to sort the toilet, the gas, the fridge, the cooker .... information overload. Then we moved Bertha and were shown the awning. Time to go home.

      We travelled 20yds to the fuel station and filled Bertha up I was using my hone for satnav and it sat happily on the dashboard until about 400yds down the road and I’d turned onto the motorway. The remaining 50 miles (plus detours from missed turnings etc) was miserable with respect to directions, but Bertha behaved well.

      She’s parked up, locked up and will be sorted out tomorrow. Will we leave Brisbane tomorrow or Thursday? No plan yet.
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    • Day 239


      May 17 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Visited Mo’s family in their wonderfull house up the hills of coolangatta. The first week of holiday is over and we’re going to byron now.
      Had a few rainy days aswell but we used every minute to relax.Read more

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