Fading Memories

Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, September 05, 2021

A Slight Delay.


 When we last spoke of our build, we were ALMOST ready to leave, but in the face of a fair level of fatigue and the kind of weather that's best suited for pottering around and doing  little tidying up jobs, we chose the latter.

Of course those sorts of jobs have a propensity for expanding to fill all the available time so it was not at all early the next morning when we closed the garage door with an untidy shed full of building detritus and finally hit the road.

As it turns out, in our excitement or perhaps anxiety to get on the road, we actually did't closed the garage door.  Our delightful neighbours phoned when we were not half an hour into our journey to ask if we'd left the house open on purpose. Thankfully they took care of that little oversight for us, and as a tsunami of relief rushed over us, perhaps tinged with just a little nervous anticipation, our journey had properly begun.

Naturally we hadn't departed as early as we would have liked, and traffic on the narrow black scar on our landscape which passes for a highway was heavy and slow moving, so it was well after sunset by the time we had finished setting up for the night, not ideal, but by then working in the dark had become second nature.

Our Trip from Tip to Tip had begun.


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Saturday, September 04, 2021

The Cape

 

We'll get back to the story in a day or so, but for the benefit of our friends from other parts of the globe,  let's delve into the geography of the country in which we are currently incarcerated.

By most measures, Australia is a fairly big place, and the state of Queensland covers a fairly big chunk of it.  To put that into some sort of confusing perspective, if one was to travel norther from the southern most bit of the "North Coast" (of NSW), one would have to travel 700 kilometres or so until one reached Qld's "South Coast". 

A few hundred kilometres north, you'll find us, tucked away in beautiful downtown Dicky Beach in what is known as Queensland's South East, and we think of those in New South Wales as "Southerners".  

1200 kilometres further north you'll find yourselves in Townsville, officially in "North Queensland" unless of course you are talking to someone who lives in Cairns "Far North Queensland", who call people from Townsville "Southerners".

Sadly for them (the people of Cairns), while they may actually live in the most populous city in the region  (by far) they are actually still 1000 kilometres give or take, south of the tip of Cape York known simply as "The Cape", which is the Northern most part of the Australian Mainland and of course is far enough away for people living there to think of the people living in Cairns as "Southerners".

Not all of that road is sealed.  Some of it was once the stuff of which legends were made, although these days while it does take a certain amount of determination and a tolerance for red dust, there is not a lot to fear for those who take the time to prepare their vehicles properly, and whose dental fillings are secure.

Many of you will have seen this postcard, a copy of which we carry on our boat to put things into some sort of scale.



 



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Friday, September 03, 2021

Friday - Wheel Alignment!


 Not many more than twelve hours after we'd picked up the van from its wheel alignment, we'd unpacked, repacked, bolted most things in, got the fridge working and generally only had to throw the mattress in, make the bed, and we'd be right to go!

Kind of.

The truth was that there was an endless list of tiny things that needed attention and not to put too fine a point on it we were a bit too tired to even think about them.   The others, finally freed from the current round of Lockdown arrived well after Lily's bedtime, in no better shape than we were, having endured a similarly exciting fitout and preparation.

And the rain had begun.

The forecast for tomorrow, our first day on the road, was for an expected 50mm of rain along the whole five hundred kilometre stretch that we had planned to travel.  Not willing to even think about what setting up camp for the first time in the rain might be like, while moving the as yet unfitted bits from the bed to who knows where, we turned in for the night, wondering what the morning would bring.  

MONDAY - install frig cupboards, frig and switchboard.
TUESDAY - help Sean with the wiring and reinstate the cabin
WEDNESDAY - install the remaining cupboards
THURSDAY - pack the van full of all we need to get it up to working load
FRIDAY - get a wheel alignment with everything on board
SATURDAY - leave for the Cape!

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Thursday, September 02, 2021

The day we were supposed to pack!


When the new tyres were fitted, we postponed having a wheel alignment, preferring to wait until the final load was in the van to ensure the best possible result.   Naturally we booked well in advance for the day before we were due to leave.

It did sneak up on us, that appointment.  Despite the daily schedule we had been referring to hourly, with all it's crossed out bits of jobs done, it came as a bit of a shock to discover that the day before we were due to leave was... tomorrow!

Praying for any excuse to give us a few more days, we phoned the nice people at the tyre place looking for a Covid lockdown reprieve.  "We're an essential service" they cheerfully replied, see you at eight in the morning!  Don't forget your mask!"

There wasn't going to be much sleep for anyone in the house that night!

MONDAY - install frig cupboards, frig and switchboard.
TUESDAY - help Sean with the wiring and reinstate the cabin
WEDNESDAY - install the remaining cupboards
THURSDAY - pack the van full of all we need to get it up to working load
FRIDAY - get a wheel alignment with everything on board
SATURDAY - leave for the Cape!
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Wednesday, September 01, 2021

WEDNESDAY - reinstall the cupboards

 


There's a bit of a theme developing in the photos of late.   Every one of them has been taken after what civilised people would call "bedtime".

We are starting to discover that there are indeed twenty-four hours to every day, and the ones known as "daylight hours" are very few indeed, while the "night time" ones seem to come around very quickly.

There's a sort of calm descending on us as we are starting to think that we might make this, or at worst are only going to be a day or two late!  Or is it fatigue?

MONDAY - install frig cupboards, frig and switchboard.
TUESDAY - help Sean with the wiring and reinstate the cabin
WEDNESDAY - install the remaining cupboards
THURSDAY - pack the van full of all we need to get it up to working load
FRIDAY - get a wheel alignment with everything on board
SATURDAY - leave for the Cape!
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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tuesday - Electrics

 

It was barely two weeks ago when that lightning bolt of reality struck and it became clear that there simply would not be time for someone with barely a basic knowledge of twelve volt wiring to muddle his way through by our deadline. 

Fortunately, barely two weeks was exactly the lead time Sean needed.  It was therefore with just a large amount of anxiety that one of us exhibited while peering down street at five minutes past the appointed time this morning searching for a small white van with an electrician in it.  

We shouldn't have worried, but we'd just gone into a Covid Lockdown, and while we were completely isolated from any chance of infection, that did provide a degree of difficulty in picking up the various "essential" parts.

By the end of a very long day we were wired, except for a little tidying up that couldn't be done until the rest of the cupboards were in.  

"Little" tidying up things like the actual installation of the battery, but there's always tomorrow when there will be just four days to go


MONDAY - install frig cupboards, frig and switchboard.
TUESDAY - help Sean with the wiring and reinstate the cabin
WEDNESDAY - install the remaining cupboards
THURSDAY - pack the van full of all we need to get it up to working load
FRIDAY - get a wheel alignment with everything on board
SATURDAY - leave for the Cape!
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Monday, August 30, 2021

MONDAY _ Frig and Switchboard IN!


 By about now that everyone reading this journal should be thoroughly tired of it.

If indeed that is the case, then I have been mildly successful in conveying exactly how we felt about the work in hand at this time.   The mess in the garage, combined with the sheer number of unfinished parts looked like an insurmountable mountain.

One of us was really doubting his ability to get it all done.  

The other however, kept baking cakes and food to keep him going and a little more to take on the trip without doubting for a moment.  We had five days to go after all, and from her perspective at least things were going swimmingly.

MONDAY - install frig cupboards, frig and switchboard.
TUESDAY - help Sean with the wiring and reinstate the cabin
WEDNESDAY - install the remaining cupboards
THURSDAY - pack the van full of all we need to get it up to working load
FRIDAY - get a wheel alignment with everything on board
SATURDAY - leave for the Cape!



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