Leaving WA

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The move from Perth to Macleay Island
Of course, we had to have a final party ... the Last Hurrah ... Guy's pix will come later but I had to put these up ... somehow, everyone ended up looking a trifle intoxicated. Was it because it was 4.30am? A week later, the removalists came in and took my little Ford KA off on a huge transporter on Thursday morning and the poor little pussycats on Thursday night.
On Friday morning, in came Allied Pickfords to remove our furniture and cartons. Friday evening, we spent with Jane for Chinese, then Leo and Maureen's for last drinks before catching up with Carolyn and Quentin back at home.
Finally, on Saturday, we departed WA at about 7am ... late, as usual!!! Said farewell to many people on the way out, including Leo and Maureen. (I have to admit to a snuffle or two when we left Britnall Place for the last time as residents.)

The trip across Australia
Just to get you all up to speed, we did the trip across Australia in 6 days with a 16' boat and trailer behind the Landcruiser.
We had a few problems  at first with the tarp covering the boat ... within 7km of home, it was ripped and blowing in the breeze and threatening to lose all the possessions we had stored in the boat. We managed to get it subdued and made our way (with several other tarp emergency stops) to Cunderdin, where we bought another tarp. This too we had problems with, ballooning up into the air and threatening to carry off the boat. However, we made it into Norseman and booked into a motel for the night.
The next morning, Sunday, we rearranged the tarp, covering the ballooning parts with heavy items and moved off again. It still took several stops before we could get the pesky thing under control and we required several rocks from the roadside to help us on our way. (You can tell we are not good at trailering, can't you?)
We had also discovered that the trailer lights were not working. This really, really annoyed us because we had paid a mechanic to check them and he had vowed they were all working 100%. We didn't check them ourselves and it was only in Norseman that we realised they were not only not working but the lhs ones were actually missing!!!
This meant we couldn't drive at night. However, we did well and got across the WA border and into Nundroo.before dark. Nundroo is a petrol station and motel in the middle of nowhere, freezing cold with wind blowing in from the Bight. We had planned to tent it but the cold decided us to have one more night in a motel.
Monday saw us up early and heading to Ceduna, where we bought some lights for the trailer, which Guy fixed. Thank goodness for Guy!! It would have taken days to get a mechanic!!! We continued across the Eyre Peninsula towards Port Augusta. We were now trailerwise and made good time. As we now had lights on the trailer, we planned to drive until sunset and drove through The Gutter, as it is locally named by truckies and wound our way up into the hills beyond. We had hoped to find a caravan park soon but nothing eventuated and we eventually drove into Broken Hill about midnight ... a drive of 1200km plus all the stops to buy and fix trailer lights!! We were driving around aimlessly, looking for a caravan park when we saw a cop car. Pulled over and asked them the way and they were terrific. "We're short of something to do. Follow us and we'll take you there." they said.
So we crept into this park in the middle of the night and tried to find a space for the tent. I have to confess by now I was very crabby. When I'm tired, I need to go to sleep and I can sleep anywhere so I saw no need to put up a tent. I could sleep in the car, sitting in the driver's seat if need be. Poor Guy couldn't so insisted we needed to erect a tent. Rather snappily, I helped. (Very snappily, according to Guy) But eventually it was erected roughly and we crawled in and died.
We were up next morning at 6am and drove off. One good thing was that nobody was up so we couldn't pay for our half a night on a corner of grass. Rather naughty, but hey ......
Now into NSW, we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery .. some very interesting sights, such as huge haulpak parts being transported cross-country with a tail of disgruntled motorists waiting their chance to overtake. We crossed the Takawalka flood plain where concrete ramps have been built for boats to moor when the fields are flooded. The many small country towns we travelled through on this plain were surrounded by various crops  - cotton,
sunflowers and (I think) sorghum. On Tuessday,  we ended  up in Warren for the night in a lovely caravan park, well grassed and with huge gums overhead. At sunset, thousands of galahs came in to roost in the gums and the noise and colour was incredible. We took some great shots of them.
Off again in the morning and we could quite easily have got to Brisbane that night but we needed to pick up the cats and get to the vehicle barge for Macleay Island. So we had a short drive to Warwick where we found another caravan park for the night. The tent got another airing and we ordered pizza.
Thursday morning saw us up at 7am and driving to Brisbane. We had a leisurely brekky en route, which proved our undoing. When we got to the cattery at 10.10, there was a sign on the door - closed between 10 and 2pm. AAAAAAARGH! They hadn't mentioned that when I called the night before!!! We were sitting in the car, pondering the situation, when I saw a JetPets van arrive. I leapt from the car and grabbed the poor man and explained our problem. He was terrific ... rang the owners, explained the situation and said we needed to catch our vehicle barge to the island which was already booked. They agreed to let the puss cats go and we grabbed both of them and gave them a HUGE cuddle.
 Teisa of the uncertain bladder was consigned to our only catbox and Chyna sat on my lap. Teisa set up a wail that lasted until we got to Redland Bay, whilst Chyna proceeded to cover me with cat hair and saliva, in equal quantities. Yes, she was pleased to see me.
Unfortunately, because of the delay at the cattery, we missed our booked barge and couldn't get on the next one, so had to wait 2 hrs until we could get on another barge.
But eventually, we arrived at La Boite, complete with cats, boat, trailer, etc, etc. Plenty of daylight to unload the car and boat and start arranging our tiny abode. It was certainly great to sleep in a bed again, albeit a fairly old bed with one of those wonderful saggy mattresses. We piled into bed, with cats all over us, and slept very, very well.
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