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Motorhome Travels - March 2010

03/03/2010

Tracey arrived back in Perth (with Tivoli the cat) on the 25th of Feb. I guess it almost goes without saying that we are both extremely happy to be back in Australia and more importantly, back in Hobohome.

Rockingham grain loading pier - a nice snorkle , WA, Aus - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
Rockingham grain loading pier - a
nice snorkle , WA, Aus

Looking back on the last few months and our urgent return to New Zealand, I can't help think about how much I enjoy being able to do what we are doing. I am sure that everybody experiences some hurdles in life - some are more challenging than others. This hurdle has taught me to appreciate the lifestyle that we are able to lead and enjoy every moment while we can.

 

We spent a few days at a little town north of Perth with my sister and bro-in-law. Unfortunately this coincided with the most extreme heat wave that WA has seen for many years. Temperatures soared in the face of light easterly winds that came directly from the desert. Daytime temperatures reached 45 degrees (inside the bus it peaked at 49 deg) and the nights were a very uncomfortable 35 deg. Needless to say, we have decided that moving south would be a great idea.

 

The Inverter

Brother-in-law Howard purchased a new inverter for his bus from eBay. His existing Xantrex unit is a modified square wave inverter and he wanted to replace this with a pure sine wave model.

The inverter chosen had great specifications ... 1600w continuous rating, 50amp battery charger and of course pure sine wave output. These units are sold on eBay Australia by a company called Taiwan Motors. I fitted and tested the inverter and all seemed fine - until we came to test the charger. The charger refused to output more than 7amps. To cut a long story (a very long story) short, the inverter does not come even close to performing to the specifications quote. After a number of (slowly more angry) emails the company finally requested that the inverter be returned to them for checking... the cost to return the inverter to Taiwan ... over A$300.

 

I have written a full review of the supplied inverter in the articles section, (low cost inverters) . Lesson learned ... purchasing an item like an inverter from overseas is not a good idea!

 

We are in the final stages of cleaning out our storage unit in Rockingham and this weekend we will be setting up at market to try and sell all the furniture and household items that we do not want to move or store any longer. Once that is all done, we will be free to head south and enjoy some cooler weather for a month or two. This morning we took a couple of hours out to explore under the Rockingham grain loading pier on snorkel. It was very interesting with lots of marine life, we even managed to collect enough mussels for a tasty lunch.

07/03/2010

Market time ... we decided to sell all of our excess household goods at one of Perth's largest markets.
We were warned that sellers arrive very early in the morning at the Belmont market to secure a good spot. We decided to beat the rush - we arrived the night before. Now this seemed like a good idea at the time, it seemed like less of a good idea at 2:30am when everybody else started arriving and setting up for the days trading. Not much sleep was had in Hobohome from then on.

Market time for Hobohome! (no the bus is not for sale) , WA, Aus - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
Market time for Hobohome! (no the
bus is not for sale) , WA, Aus

Market day was quite an experience and while I am sure we were selling things for about one fifth of the going rate, I was very glad to have to take very little back with us.

It was quite funny to see people come and buy some of our stuff only to take it to their stall and offer it for sale at twice the price. (I guess what is even funnier, is that we have paid to have this stuff stored for the last 6 years!)


We are having a new floor welded into the Moke to replace the very rusted and almost non existent original floor. Tracey has been commenting for some time that when she looks down she sees more road than Moke. As the Moke won't be ready for another week, we have decided to go south of Perth for a few weeks without it. There are some very good fishing and diving spots on the coast and the weather forecast is for another bout of high temperatures in the next couple of weeks - we think being south of Perth on the coast is the best plan.

13/03/2010

The daytime temperatures here are still fairly extreme - not quite as bad as it was north of Perth, but 36deg is still a bit too warm. We visited some friends in Mandurah a few days ago and were both awoken at 2am by the sound of a small kitten crying near the bus.

No! We can not keep him - Hobo the hitchhiker kitten , WA, Aus - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
No! We can not keep him
- Hobo the hitchhiker
kitten , WA, Aus

It sounded distressed so we went outside to look for it. As soon as we left the bus the crying stopped and we could not find the kitten. The following day we left Mandurah and headed back to Rockingham, we were very surprised to hear the same kitten cry when we stopped by a beach. That was just too much of a coincidence - time for some serious investigation. It did not take long to find the little hitchhiker tucked away in a small space under the bus. This little fellow had travelled nearly 50kms while perched on this platform under the bus.

We managed to extract the kitten, fed it (he was quite hungry) and then started to make a few phone calls. Our friend in Mandurah scouted the surrounding neighbourhood for the owner of the kitten - but they were not to be found. I had quite a job convincing Tracey that we could not take care of a kitten in the bus ... and keeping it was NOT an option! The kitten (by now named "Hobo") was left with a local vet who acts as an agent for the pet rescue group. He is a fighter and very cute - we both hope he finds a good home.

 

We are currently visiting Cape Naturalist National Park - just south of Busselton. There is a good ocean swell here and the entire coast line is infested with surfers. Every available parking area is packed with vehicles and the sea looks like it has been polluted by a thousand blond headed, bronze-bodied insects clinging to boards.

We will be heading back to Perth in a couple of weeks for an appointment - from there ... perhaps north (if it cools down a bit).



28/03/2010

We are currently back at a favourite spot near Perth called Nobel Falls. It is close enough to be handy to the city - but far away enough to be left alone by rangers etc. Thankfully we missed all the hail that did so much damage in Perth - I am not sure how our glass solar panels would stand up to that sort of punishment. I think if it breaks car windscreens (as it did), then the panels would be in trouble.

The coast south of Perth, WA, Aus - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
The coast south of Perth, WA, Aus

 

Our poor wee Moke has been in for some major surgery - well it did not start off that way... "just a few rust patches to sort out some holes in the floor".  This has grown to almost a full floor replacement - every time Dav (the welder nephew-in-law) tried to grind back some rust to find something to weld to, he found more rust. We promise to look after the Moke a little better from now on (especially now that I have seen the cost involved in procuring a replacement!)

 

We are in the process of hatching a fairly ambitious plan for this years winter travels (and we are quite excited about it). The next update will contain full details.



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