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Motorhome Travels - October 2011

10/10/2011

Yes, I know - it has been a little while. It has been a busy few weeks and we are starting to wonder if the red tape will ever end!

After no further dramas  on the road, we made it to our property at Mt Perry (inland from Bundaberg). Apart from some longer grass, it hasn't changed at all in the three years since we were last here. The property is just a few kilometers from the town on a quiet little ridge. It is 72 acres of rolling country and our nearest neighbor is over a kilometer away. When we bought the property we had thoughts of putting a shed/workshop on it to allow us to carry out maintenance work on the bus as and when needed. This project was shelved due to a lack of available funds - with the thought that we would return to it "one day".

The shed plan! - [Click for a Larger Image]
The shed plan!

Well we have decided that "one day" is now. The ideal situation would be to phone a builder and give him a pile of money and get him to phone us back when it is all done. We don't have the funds for this approach - so we have decided to buy a kitset shed and build it ourselves ... how hard can it be?

To complicate matters, we know that the local council will not allow us to stay on the property (in the bus) unless there is a council approved "dwelling" on the property. This means that we have to build part of the shed as a "class 1a dwelling" (ie - a house).

So, the plan is to build a large (16m x 12m) American style barn with a tall center section that will allow us to drive the bus inside when we want to work on it. One of the lower side sections will be built as a two bedroom, council approved dwelling (complete with toilet, shower, kitchen etc.). As there is no power on the property, the bus will "plug in" and the solar on the roof will become the power station.

Hobohome at home? - [Click for a Larger Image]
Hobohome at home?

This all sounds perfectly reasonable right? Reasonable - YES (we think so), conventional - perhaps not. We have spoken to the local council building inspector, and he is actually quite happy with the concept - so no real issues there. The main problem we have right now is understanding all the red tape, the permits, the licenses and applications ... it is a mine field! I think the easiest part of building this thing will be the actual building of it.

I am sure when it is all done - it will be worth it!

For now we are parked up at the bottom of the property near to the well (so water is no issue). There is a small swamp not far from the bus (there is a natural spring there) and this attracts a lot of bird and wild life. Makes sitting outside in the evenings quite interesting.

16/10/2011

I'd love to be giving an update on how we are progressing with the shed build ... but sadly we have made almost no progress at all. The wheels at the local council turn very slowly indeed (in fact sometimes I wonder if they might be completely seized ).

Lightening (over cane fields?) - [Click for a Larger Image]
Lightening (over cane fields?)

We have been waiting on someone at the council to send us the forms so that we can apply for a boundary set-back relaxation (this is to allow us to build the shed closer to the boundary than the 15m that the current rules dictate). If it takes over a week for them to send us the application - I wonder how long it will take to approve (or decline) the application?

Free food! - [Click for a Larger Image]
Free food!

Still - if ya gunna be stopped somewhere, here is as nice as anywhere. We have had a few good thunderstorms in the last week. These have provided spectacular lightening shows. Last nights entertainment was a storm a few kilometers to the east of Mt Perry. The long exposure photo (46 seconds) below shows just how much lightening activity was about. This was taken late at night and cloud was lit entirely by the lightening inside it.

We have a cheeky parrot that arrives at the bus each morning, sits on the awning and demands free food (we bought some wild bird seed for him). He is so tame that he sits on my hand and feeds. Today he brought his girlfriend with him for some free food. I hope he is monogamous, if he brings too many friends we are going to spend a fortune on seed!

I have now built a simple bird feeder - holding my arm out for an hour each day was getting a bit tiring!


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