This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2000 Travels November 21


We moved today – not far – only to Woodman Point Caravan Park, just south of Fremantle. This was where we were originally going to be for the Olympics (for good TV), but we had managed to change that reservation, without penalty, to one over the Xmas summer holiday period. Now, of course, we have had to cancel that. So, we planned to stay here now, for five days, partly to use up some of the deposit money we paid, and partly to see what we would be missing over summer!

Before we left, John pulled off the van wheel and checked the brakes – the spring was there!

Then we finished the pack up and set off.

The brakes on the van were NOT working! This did not make the man happy!

I did not find it easy to navigate across the southern suburbs of Perth, with only the Road Atlas map to use.

Woodman Point cost $19.80 a night.

It was a lovely park – we would have been really comfortable here, over the holidays.

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Lovely site at Woodman Point

As we were setting up, a man came by and stopped to talk. He had a Defender. He was in the Army in Victoria, and worked on them all the time. He’d bought the new five cylinder one, but plans to go back to one like ours – low-tech – due to problems with the computers in the new ones.

He told us that the wheel bearings can be greased, and gave John some hints about that. He suggested that we contact the customer service boss for help re the repairs and compensation for the bearing problem we had fixed in Broome.

We had lunch, then went into Fremantle. Picked up our mail there. Bought calendars – WA scenery ones – for Xmas presents. Bought a share market book for me and a Harry Potter one for John. I put films in for processing.

We went to Harvey Norman to look at fridges and get an idea of what is available these days.

John got back under the van again. He found the spring was out of its cup – wonder what bump did that? The bushes were gone on a shock absorber and that was worn.

On the advice of the park people, he decided to get a mobile van repairer to come.

John was really unhappy about the things that need fixing. Bits breaking down and wearing out were making him depressed!

The van had now been towed 31,421kms. Guess bits will wear out.

The mail had several lovely personal letters from friends.

Tea was chow mein and rice.

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2000 Travels November 20


I did three loads of washing in the morning, whilst John made phone calls to try to sort out vehicle related stuff. He went to a van parts place, then worked on the van brakes, and thought he’d fixed them.

We then had to really rush to go quite a distance to the north side of town, to get the Polyair suspension bag replaced on truck. John had made a 3pm time for this. We got there half an hour late, but the man was nice about it. It was probably too ambitious to try to do it all in one day.

While the work was being done, we walked to a bank to get the money to pay him cash – it was quite a long walk!

He found the shock absorber on Truck also needed fixing, so it was a more costly exercise than we had expected – some $500. It also took much longer than had been expected!

It was getting on for 7pm when we got back to the area of the caravan park, so looked for a place to get pizzas.

John was really low on diesel and worried about that and finally found  a place to put in some fuel – at $1.08cpl..

It was just all too much of a rushed day!

On top of it all, John couldn’t remember if he’d put a spring part back in the brakes, due to the rush to finish, so he would have to pull it apart again, in the morning, to check.

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2000 Travels August 21


It was another lovely hot day.

John was up early to drive Truck – very slowly and carefully – to Shinju Motors.

I cycled to the shops at the newish Boulevard Centre and had a look around.

Shinju Motors phoned, later in the morning. Both back wheel bearings and axles need replacing. We don’t do things by halves! But the shocking news was when they said that the problem was caused because the back wheel bearings have NEVER been greased! It is not on the service schedule, it seems, because they are supposed to be “whole of life” units”! The mechanic told John this, but also said that there is an “extreme conditions” addendum to the service schedule, and greasing the bearings is on that. Obviously, the various service centres we have used have only followed the standard schedule. It is simply not something one thinks to ask be done – seems so obvious.

I suspect, also, that the time the hot wheels spent standing in cold water, when we were bogged on the Kalumburu road, may have played a role. I had read somewhere that, after such an event, which can suck in water, re-greasing is needed. I wondered if we had gotten this done in Kununurra, whether we would have been ok?

John will complain to Landrover Australia about this issue. It is going to cost us about $1600. However, it may be ready as early as Wednesday.

John has insisted that they keep Truck locked inside the workshop at night.

John began work on this year’s tax stuff.

I cycled to the Post Office and collected our mail. I got some nice letters from friends.

The cruise ship left, late in the day. So it basically had a two day stop here. Guess they did the Cable Beach sunset thing last night.

From the caravan park beach front, we can see the wharf area in the distance.

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Roebuck Bay as seen from in front of the caravan park

Tea was curried beans and rice.

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2000 Travels May 8


John was up early, to take Truck to Landrover. We packed our bedding and the overnight things in Truck before he went. He then walked back to the unit for breakfast.

We left there at 10 and walked to the nearby shopping complex. On the way we visited Harvey Norman and bought computer games. John bought Railroad Tycoon and an update for his Alpha Centuari. I bought  Bridge and Euchre games.

Having time to fill in, we browsed in a tile shop, looking at kitchen tiles and laminexes.

At the shopping complex, bought a birthday card for S, ordered a new mobile phone battery, had lunch.

John checked in by phone with Landrover. Truck needed new wheel bearing seals on the front. It also needed a new tyre as the flat one was beyond redemption.

We walked back there and spent a while checking out new tyres at a nearby place. Decided to buy a complete new set – definitely not Olympics! Went for Dunlops – a new type, SF Road Grippers, replacing their Adventurers. These were the ones the tyre service man recommended as best for our needs. We got a good trade in on the Olympics.

John then realized that the tubes he had in the Olympics were the original ones – now done over 100,000kms! No wonder they had been wearing!

The tyres were an unexpected expenditure, but I think we both had much more confidence that these new ones would be much more stable on the road.

The tyres could not be done until the next day, so we went back to the caravan park for another night. We were in a different unit, but one with a similar layout and price.

While John went to collect Truck, with new seals done, I walked to the shops and bought things for tea and breakfast.

Tea was some salad. John had skinless franks and bread. I just had bread with my salad.

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2000 Travels April 22


Another early start, to go to Beaumaris for bowls. But it was not as early as it should have been, as John was not very organized and had to do a big hunt for the right bowls clothes. We had to rather hurry. Truck blew the fuses again, on the way. When we got to John’s sister’s place, the other men had already left for the club, so sister H offered to drive him there.

I phoned Landrover Assist and they arranged for me to take Truck to the dealer’s at Frankston. That drive of some 20kms In Saturday morning traffic, was a tense one, with no indicators!

The workshop replaced the left hand indicator light, in the front bullbar, which was rusted and corroded – and the blinkers then worked again. That cost $85!

I’d had to phone my brother to cancel today’s lunch and arrangements with him, due to Truck issue.

On the way back to Beaumaris, I stopped at a shopping centre at Chelsea, bought a roll for my lunch, and some food offerings for tea at H’s. I got back there about 2pm.

H took a phone call that said her husband had won a big Easter egg raffle, and that the prize would be delivered.

I walked to the bowls club and watched the last part of the third game. John’s team (him, brother, brother in law, and friend of brother from the MCC club) was unbeaten. There had to be a playoff with three other unbeaten sides. They won the first elimination round fairly easily, but the final was closer. However, they won! The crowd was supporting the other side – all local members. I heard one man describe our team as “mongrel” – I think he meant hybrid! As in made up of men from different clubs.

The guys were so thrilled. They received $200 each – not bad! They also won a souvenir glass each for having one end where all eight of their bowls were winning ones. That is fairly rare. So they were on a real high. It was a pity that the other wives had not seen the final.

Back to H’s for tea – roast rolled chicken. It was a pleasant evening.

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Victorious bowlers – and a big basket of Easter eggs

We got back to Healesville about 1am – long drive back. Drove 210kms altogether today.

It had been another long and tiring day, albeit for different reasons for each of us.

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2000 Travels April 3


We were up early, as Truck had to be at Landrover in Launceston at 8am, for them to try to fix whatever is wrong in front.

We walked around parts of the city for a while. Fortunately, the dealer was not too far from the central city area.

Visited a good looking craft shop, where I bought some embroidery fabric.

Went to the Library, and found they had the Tasmanian Pioneer Records, and a good family history research set up. I began to research mum’s family, using the microfiche and found out quite a bit, including that my grandfather could not write. His name, on his marriage record, was signed with a X.

We got a phone call to say that Truck was ready a lot earlier than expected. John went to fetch it, while I worked on at the Library. It just needed a proper wheel balance, apparently – the Burnie K Mart one was not done properly.

On the way back, went to the mill at Legana because John wanted to swap one of the pieces of wood he bought yesterday, for a better piece. We arranged to go back tomorrow to collect same.

Tea was chicken dijonnaise.

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1999 Travels July 6


Truck had to be at the Landrover dealership at 8.15am, for its service. So, it was an unusually early start for us. It meant a day to be spent around the town centre, as it was a bit far to walk back to the caravan park, then return. The dealership is out in the industrial area, to the north of town.

Walking back towards the main part of town, in the early morning sunshine was quite pleasant, although it was still chilly.

We meandered along, looking in car yards and other businesses that interested John. Every time he stopped to look at something, I read – I was trying to finish a library book before returning it.

We had a really thorough look through The Residency – a house that dates from 1928, with a somewhat complex history. From 1926 to 1931, this southern section was a region independent from the rest of the NT, so the Residency was built as a home for the Administrator. Then, when the NT was run as one area, it housed the Assistant Administrator, from 1931 to 1942. At this time, it was taken over by the NT Administrator, a refugee from the bombing of Darwin, until 1945. After that time various officials lived there, until relatively recently. In 1963, renovations were done before the Queen and Prince Phillip stayed for two nights. Extra bathrooms were put in for them! I guess there were no posh hotels in Alice Springs then, but they must have found The Residency rather basic, compared to their usual accommodation.

I found The Residency really interesting. The building seemed a sensible design – something that was not always the case in our earlier times. It is made from cement and sand bricks that were made on site, although they are patterned to look like stone. The roof is corrugated iron. It has big, overhung verandas and a central large breezeway that is big enough to use as a living room. Rooms open off this to each side. Floors are cement, with lino covering.

According to information in the place, Prince Charles contracted gastro after a visit to Alice Springs – from eating chicken or seafood in aspic! Prince Charles and Diana visited – there was much emphasis in the information on how she realized here, the intrusive nature of her public. I wonder if there are many monarchists in Alice Springs?

Then we walked around the town centre. At the Information Centre, bought fossicking licences. I returned my library books. John used the internet at the Library to send S an email.

Browsed in some of the aboriginal art galleries.

Went to a hardware shop where John bought some components for mining gear that he wants to make. I bought a large enamel mug to replace the current small and stained plastic one.

In amongst all that, we had Red Rooster take away for lunch.

Truck was eventually ready when we phoned – quite late in the day. So we walked back to Landrover. They had found a leaking hose, and a radiator hose that was on the wrong way – from the last service! They’d fixed that. But they have to get in the replacement for the leaking hose, so we had to book in for Friday 16, to have that fitted. They also said there was a bit of oozing at the back of the sump – not enough original packing there, or something. That was just noted, with no suggestion of a remedy. It is a busy dealership, but small. There is much demand for the new Defenders, they say. Can’t get one in Alice Springs before Xmas. And, of course, one has to book at least a week ahead for work to be done.

So – we will have to come back to Alice Springs.

Refuelled Truck – 81cpl – at the same servo where we get the discount.

Back at the van, we did some packing up. Then John realized that he was using my keys, and couldn’t find his own. He raced off back to Landrover. Sure enough, they were there! It was a good thing he discovered this in business hours – just!

Tea was rather late after all this, as I had a chook to roast, and vegies. We didn’t eat till 7.30pm.