VALE TRAKMASTER – JAN – JUNE 2012
The year started in line with what seemed to have been the main theme of recent times: I had to have surgery. This time, to release a trapped nerve in the ankle, that was causing foot to go numb.
When I told the physio who was overseeing the ongoing shoulder rehabilitation, about the coming foot operation, his response was not reassuring…..enough sympathy and comments like “Poor you!” to make me suspect he knew things I didn’t. Like, the shoulder reco was a breeze, compared to tarsal tunnel surgery!
Some people can never really master the use of crutches, and I am one of those. It all did not go smoothly, with the wound becoming infected, a common occurrence according to the surgeon, after the event. But with time, most feeling was restored to the foot.
The last day of March was a milestone event – for the first time this year, I was able to walk around the supermarket! By mid-April was again walking dog around the lake at Lilydale, although the surgery wound on ankle was not pronounced fully healed until the end of that month.
Any prospect of renewed van travel seemed even more distant. Clearly, the remote regions we used to frequent, and the extended trips, would no longer be sensible or possible. So the offroad van would go.
Crutches and rehab aside, I managed to remove all the permanent travel gear, and stores, from the van, and give it a thorough cleaning. I reckon there were generations of red dust in the more out-of-the-way cracks and crevices. Yep, I recognize that colour from Central Australia, and that patch from the Pilbara……
Van came up looking pretty good for its age, and was duly advertised.
There was clearly interest in used Trakmasters and we fielded initial shows of interest. But one wanted single beds, another a bathroom, yet another a major reduction in our asking price.
A lady came from the ACT to inspect van and seemed on the verge of purchase. Then, she found a suitable one closer to home, that saved the hassle of coming back with a tow vehicle.
Friend M headed off in April to house sit for friends in Toowoomba. Then we heard from her. En route, the Troopy’s engine had seized. Near Coonabarabran. That part of the country has not been kind to M! That was a “new” reconditioned engine, too – put in after her accident up that way, last year. Now it will need yet another reconditioned engine. That work would be done up there.
While M was in the Toowoomba/Brisbane area, she planned to go and have a look at a factory that converted Coaster buses and other small bus-like vehicles to motorhomes. She was curious, as was I.
Daughter and family celebrated 40th birthdays with a holiday in Thailand. We were invited to go, but – health issues aside – travel to international resorts really did not appeal to us. I’d visited assorted S.E. Asian places to attend work conferences and the like, and had no ambition to return to any of those.
After a series of “accidents” and messes, we worked out that we had a dog who can’t eat bones without getting a badly upset stomach. Who would have thought?
Daughter and partner visited with their six month old son. It was dog’s first contact with the baby – she was curious about the interesting smells and different noises coming from that direction.
In May, we sold the caravan, for the price we wanted – to a man who lived a couple of blocks away! All that money spent on advertising far and wide…… Whilst he was finalizing the arrangements, the ACT lady got back to us – her van purchase had fallen through and was ours still available? Too late.
I shed a tear as I watched our little van depart the driveway for the last time.
I worked out that we had slept in it for about nine and a half of the past fourteen years, since commencing travel in early 1998. We had towed it some 120,000kms, a good third of that on rough dirt roads. We’d certainly had our money’s worth from the van – and sold it for almost what we’d paid for it, new. Trakmasters certainly held their value well.
Then, there was that big vacant space off the drive, where once the van had lived…….