SATURDAY 4 AUGUST HOME TO……HOME 38 kms
Packing Bus for travel had been a strangely enjoyable experience. Much of the “stuff” that had been permanently in the van was now transferred to its new home.
I bought two lengths of mattress type memory foam, some six inches wider than the bus mattresses. It was firm enough to act like a bed extension but still be comfortable to sleep on, and this was a big improvement to those narrow beds. It didn’t look the tidiest, though.
John had put together a slightly different set of tools for the new vehicle, too. Bought some wheel chocks – big yellow things – that we could use to level bus. This motorhoming caper required a whole different way of thinking – and gear to match.
A new acquisition was a Garmin sat nav system. This attached to the vehicle windscreen with a suction cap. John used it in the Passat but moved it to Bus for travel.
I’d done some research on toilet cassette management and discovered that Napisan was widely used as a neutralizing agent, rather than the official, expensive, chemical. What a learning curve……
We had decided upon a relatively short shake down trip with Bus. Up to the Murray River, then follow it downstream. Perhaps, from Mildura, we would go up to Broken Hill to visit John’s daughter there.
A question had been – how to restrain dog for Bus travel? In Truck, her travel harness had attached to a back seat seatbelt, which had given her some freedom of movement, but not enough to reach us in the front. Free range dog was not an option in Bus. Apart from her own safety in the event of a sudden stop, the Driver was not keen on the idea of suddenly finding dog trying to climb onto his lap! In the end, he attached a fastening clip to the wooden side wall, under the dinette table. Her harness would be attached to this with the same short strap we’d used in Truck. Some bedding would go under the table for her to curl up on, and sleep. That was the theory, at least
It was already evident that a minor challenge would be fridge management. In our previous mode, the Chescold fridge that travelled in Truck, provided supplementary space for John’s beer, as well as limited food overflow. Now, we only had the bus fridge – a similar size to the one in the van. I told John that he would just have to manage with only a couple of cold cans in fridge at a time!
There had been no crisper drawer in the fridge – only shelves. To make accessing food easier, I bought some different sized plastic containers. Two larger ones became like crisper drawers, sitting on the base of the fridge. Several smaller ones holding cheeses, assorted jars, bacon and the like, meant I could pull out items that were at the back of shelves, without having to go down on my knees to see what I was doing.
So…..all ready, off we set, at about 1.30pm. That was later than planned, but a lot of last minute stuff had to be packed – John’s mostly.
Dog was not a happy traveller in the unfamiliar vehicle. She wouldn’t settle under the table and kept straining to reach us. There was a lot of barking – guaranteed to irritate John. I thought guys became more deaf as they aged, but he seemed to be increasingly sensitive to noise.
Apart from the dog problem, John was really comfortable driving the bus, though, and we sailed happily along the familiar roads to Yarra Glen.
On the edge of that township, John saw a low price fuel outlet and drove around the block to go in there to fuel up. While he was doing that, I tried to calm the dog, who seemed to think she would now be getting out of this horrible moving thing. I certainly wasn’t watching what John was doing. He went off to pay for the fuel, then came back quite agitated, saying he’d done the worst possible thing…….he’d filled the diesel bus with petrol!
Luckily, he realized this before attempting to drive away. The man at the servo counter had remarked something about $x for petrol. John had said no, it was diesel. There was a discussion….. What had happened was that this brand of fuel outlet used different colours on their hose fittings to those John was used to – their petrol one was black, which he was used to for diesel. Very confusing.
We had to use our newly purchased Roadside Assistance much sooner than planned!
I phoned son, who drove across and collected dog and me and took us home again – because we’d figured dog would not be able to travel in a rescue truck. Later, John arrived with Bus on the back of a tilt tray truck. The Yarra Glen fuel outlet had not had a mechanic on duty, so they had been unable to help in any way. John had decided to bring Bus home and then work out what to do.
Another discovery was made – getting Bus off the tilt truck on our uphill sloping nature strip and road was guaranteed to scrape rear end of Bus. We could just hope that the water tank at the back was tucked securely up into its space!
For tea, we ate the cold chicken Maryland pieces that I’d cooked last night, for our first meal in the Bus. I certainly hadn’t been expecting to be sitting munching on them, gloomily, at home again.