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 The GRAYnomad Chronicles :: #065

Editorial

A businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor."

The businessman scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But señor, how long will this all take?" To which the businessman replied, "15-20 years." "But what then, señor?" The businessman laughed and said, "That's the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions." "Millions, señor? Then what?" The businessman said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, "Isn't that what I'm doing right now?"

— Author Unknown

 

How much tuna are you working for?

 

Till next time then, and remember,

Don't Dream it, Be it!

 

Sat 18 Jun 2011

I've been a bit inspired by the products that the boys are using to catalogue their photos and so have decided to both try what they use (Bibble and Lightroom) but also upgrade my home-grown program (SiiMAN, SImple Image MANager).

SiiMAN started life as Picman probably 15 years ago in the heady days of VB6. On a few occasions I've considered a rewrite in VB.NET and I even have a half-working program to show for my troubles. But I've decided that I have too much time and effort invested in my VB6 version so it's time for a revamp.

I still hope to give Bibble and Lightroom a try but for the time being SiiMAN will have to do.

Link to some info about SiiMAN

Fri 23 Jun 2011

We're off today but before I have breakfast Chris gets talking to a fellow camper. I join in and find that he (Lawrence his name is) is a very interesting chap. He's English and has been out here for six months every year for the last six years.

He's a scientist which is well above my pay grade intellectually but we manage to cover subjects from Einstein's Special theory of relativity to plastic bags. Why plastic bags?

Well it started when he said one of his interests was proof reading and changing the rules for war games (one of his hobbies), it seems he has a good eye for ambiguities in wording.

I see this all the time and it drives me nuts, for example just the other day we saw a sign that read

"Please take you rubbish because bins are not provided for"

Ummm, just exactly what is it that bins need anyway?

Lawrence's favourite appears to be (and here's where we get to the plastic bags)

"Keep away from children in case of suffocation".

Well I've always been wary of children but now I know that I can suffocate if I get too close to them I'll never go near one again.

We finally leave the lookout, it's been a great spot and we should be back here in a couple of months but for now we have roads to travel.

We drive to Tom Price and for the first time see the landscape between the Karijiji East and West entrances. It's quite spectacular.

There's some shopping to be done in town, food mostly but Chris is keen to get a doona to fight the night time cold.

She sees one in Coles and grabs it, while there she also sees some nice fleece blankets and gets them as well.

Then we fill the water tanks from the tap near the squash courts and get back on the road, heading for Halfway Bridge where we plan to camp for the night. It's about 35k down the Paraburdoo road but when we get there we see it's not only small but already crowded.

We continue a short distance to the Dingo Creek track and pull in there for the night.

Sat 24 Jun 2011

It was very cold last night so Chris decided I should have a doona as well. We drive back into town but they have all gone. Bummer, but they still have the fleece blankets so I get two of them instead.

Sun 26 Jun 2011

We drive for 250-odd kilometres to House River bridge, a known good campsite but when we finally get there it's a bit packed for our liking. We decide to continue and pull into the first track we find but on our way out Chris sees a spot about 300m from the main campsite so we drop anchor there for the night.

Tue 28 Jun 2011

More driving, this time we plan to stay at the Robe River rest area, however when we get there we find that the only 3-4 good spots are taken. We do a recce 17k up the track to Peter Creek and find an area just as good with no people.

We return to the truck and move the whole circus to Peter Creek.


Our campsite at Peter Creek.

Fri 1 Jul 2011

Of again, this time we expect to get to 40-mile camp, we've been there before and it's not a bad spot. Right on the beach which is nice but lots of people which is not so nice.

There is however a place we haven't been to before about 35k north of the Fortescue road house. To be honest the description doesn't sound that great but it's only 1k off the highway on the Fortescue River Mouth road so it's worth a look.

We get there and immediately set up camp. While one could say the parking area is a large sloping dust bowl with nothing to recommend it, if you ignore that and look the other way you have a lovely pool with plenty of bird life.

And I mean plenty.

There is a mob of corellas resident here that must number in the 10s of 100s and as you may know most of the larger Australian parrots are unbelievably noisy with a screech like a banshee from hell.

So this ain't gonna be a quite campsite.

On the plus side corellas (and their galah cousins) are a joy to watch. They are such comedians, hanging upside down, climbing over each other, holding "hands", pushing another bird away who appears to be getting a little friendly.

And then, for no apparent reason, the entire flock takes off, circles a few times then lands again, sometimes in a different set of trees, sometimes in the same ones.

Hours of fun for the whole family.


Corellas at the Old Government Well.


Sunset and a gum tree.


A grebe takes a bath.

Thu 7 Jul 2011

Gavin and Tracey arrive in Hobohome and set up camp next to us.


Hobohome sets up camp next to us.


Dawn at the Old Govenment Well.

They have some work to do on the bus and figure this might be a good place, especially as it comes with some built-in help in the form of the neighbours.

It seems that they have a wheel alignment problem and also the Bedford's brakes need adjusting.

Now you seldom get the words "Bedford" and "brakes" in the same sentence without other words like "crap" and "useless" included. I think they used to be referred to as "retarders" not brakes because all you can really depend on is that they will slow you down somewhat, as for actually stopping, well that's in the hands of the Gods.

Fri 8 Jul 2011

I help with the wheel alignment, or at least lay on the ground under the bus so it looks like I'm helping. G&T however decide to find a better place to do the brakes, they'll wait until they get into Karratha where they will have access to engineering facilities should they be required.

Fri 15 Jul 2011

Today we drive into karratha to do some shopping. On the way back we pull over for a wide load.


A wide load on its way north.

The entire Pilbara is crawling with these wide loads. This one isn't that large, some of them take up the entire road and you really have to get out of the way.

Sun 31 Jul 2011

I spend some time photographing the Corellas, as I said before they are a joy to watch.



More Corella hi-jinx at the Old Government Well.

Later, when making coffee after dinner, I go to get some M&Ms from the fridge, they don't seem as cold as normal. Maybe we left the door open for a while.

Mon 1 Aug 2011

One of the first things I do in the morning is fill some water bottles and stick them in the freezer so we have icy water to drink through the day.

This morning is no exception in that regard but I notice that nothing seems as cold as it should be. Also the water that has been in the freezer all night is not frozen.

The fridge has shat the bed.

I have a look at the back, remove the power and replace it. The compressor runs for about a second then stops and the diagnostic LED flashes.

I check the manual and that particular flash sequence means either too much pressure for the compressor, a faulty compressor motor, or a fault control unit.

Bugger, and we have a lot of frozen food.

Fortunately we have three other fridges but only one of them us capable of freezing, and that's a small 15-litre Engel.

We start the other fridges and after a while distribute the food between them. There's no way all the frozen food will fit in the Engel so we have to decide what to eat and what to throw out.

Sat 6 Aug 2011

It's our last day here at the old well, we've been here over a month now so I guess it's time to move on.

We've organised with a fridge mob in Port Hedland to have them look at the fridge but we're running OK with the three backups for the time being so there's no rush in that regard.

What we do need is water. We know where to get some in Karratha but the tap is in a location that would not be very convenient for us or indeed anybody else if we plonk the truck next to it for an hour or so during a working day.

So we'll drive up to Karratha tomorrow, being a Sunday there shouldn't be many people around.

Sun 7 Aug 2011

We drive up to Karratha and I pull into the Shell depot in the light industrial area (LIA). This is where the tap is and why I don't want to be here on a week day because I'll obstruct a large part of the forecourt for ages.

I start filling up and a truck pulls in, there's room for us both so that's not a problem. The driver and I get chatting.

He's Irish and over here working as a truck driver. He was transporting live cattle up north but some politician said the wrong thing and insulted the Indonesians who are the main customer for our cattle.

They shut the trade down and this guy was out of work. So he came further south and appears to have found another job.

With full tanks we drive around the corner and set up camp on a vacant lot at the back of the LIA.

Mon 8 Aug 2011

We need a couple of gas bottles filled so drive the truck into an open area near the main shopping centre. I take the two bottles around to the sporting store and get them filled. $39.95, ouch, that's twice what you would pay down south.

We then drive up to Wickam and park outside Andy's place. Andy is a Pom who emigrated a few years ago. He likes 4x4 vehicles and is also something of a photographer and we met some time ago through my web site. He's a prison chef and works on shifts so we set up camp at the end of his cul-de-sac.

Tue 9 Aug 2011

We do some sightseeing today, drive out to Cossack and Point Sampson and have a good look around.

Andy rings and asks if we want to go to the pub for lunch, "You can get a great fish and chips for $20" he says.

As that would be $20 each plus drinks I say no, we can eat for nearly a week on that amount.

We get back to Andy's and he's real keen to go down the pub. We still say no but then he offers to shout (pay) so we weaken and agree. So it's into Andy's Landrover and back down to the Point Sampson pub.

On entering the pub I see a sign that reads "No colours or patches allowed", looks like they've had problem with bikers in the past.

 

From a reader:

The “no colour patches” at the Port Samson tavern comes from a time when the Coffin Cheaters owned it. They bought the tavern, caravan park and fish processing facility back in the late 1980s or early 90s and I think they still incorporate a visit to the tavern as part of their regular runs to the Pilbara. From memory there were issues with other bikie groups visiting, so an edict was made that no “colours” (club emblem patches) were to be worn in the tavern except when the Cheaters were on a run, at which time the tavern was usually used exclusively by them.

We settle onto some bar stools and order lunch. Chris and I order one plate between us, partly to reduce the cost for Andy and partly because we've just seen the plate sizes, they are huge and half of one will be plenty for us.

We spend a couple of hours in the pub, all up I reckon it cost Andy maybe $60-70, that's our food budget for a week but he has a good job and nothing much to spend his money on from what I can see.

Thu 11 Aug 2011

Time to leave Andy's, he's a great bloke and I also really got to like his dogs, they would both try to sit on me an lick me to death. One of them would lie all over me while we were watching "Bush tucker man" videos.

We drive up to Hedland hoping to get to the fridge place before closing but arrive at 4:35, they close at 4:30.

No matter, this is an industrial area, we'll fit right in. We camp about 50m down the road.


Camped in the industrial area of Port Hedland.

 

Fri 12 Aug 2011

The fridge guy has a look at our problem. Fortunately I designed the truck so you have access to the rear of the fridge through a storage bin. If I hadn't done that we would be pulling the fridge out about now.

He gets a new control unit and plugs it in. That fixes the problem. Five minutes and $300-odd later the fridge is up and running. Thank goodness that's all it was, not cheap but better that replacing compressors at $60 an hour for labour plus parts.

Last time we were in Hedland we stayed with a bloke called Reddog, we got on really well so I ring him to see if we can stay again and if the vacant lot behind his house is still vacant.

Yes and yes are the answers, although about half of the lot has been built on.

We move around to the lot and set up camp, Reddog is still at work but he has 4 days off starting tomorrow so we should be able to spend a fair bit of time chatting.

Wed 17 Aug 2011

We leave Reddog's, we are now officially heading for "home", which for the purposes of this diary is generally anywhere over in the east and more specifically our block of land near Gin Gin.

I've had a good couple of days getting to know Reddog better, he's a lay preacher with connections to a certain MCC that shall remain nameless, so we have a lot of common interests or at least interesting things to talk about. We probably won't meet again because he loves Hedland and doesn't plan to leave and I don't plan to come back, still you never know.

Chris is shopping back in South Hedland so I pull into Yule River by myself. This camp spot has essentially been ruined; whereas you used to be able to camp all along the river there are now bollards and boulders that stop you from doing so. The resultant space is not very good and not very large.

We stayed here a few months ago and moved on after one night. However this time I see that people are camped outside the barriers and along the river bank.

Further investigation reveals that a path has been made between the trees in a spot where no boulder had been placed because I think they assumed the gap between two of the trees was too narrow.

I measure the gap, it's 2300mm at the base of the trees. The truck body is 2350 and the wheels are slight narrower than the body so given that the trees lean outwards quite a lot so we might fit. I give it a shot.

With some guidance from a fellow camper I squeeze through with a tank hanger just scraping one of the trees.

As Chris is still not here and I don't want to select a spot without the blessing of 'er indoors I chat with the campers. It turns out that one of them is from Darwin and he knows my cousins. Small world eh?

Chris arrives, we decide on a spot and set up camp.


Camped at Yule River.

Fri 19 Aug 2011

I've got to know a group of campers here, nice bunch Neil, Sue, Bob, Debbie and Shane. They are also "outsiders" (outside the bollarded official area) and we've been getting along well.

Sat 20 Aug 2011

Just as I'm walking over to the other guy's camp with a beer I see a bus coming through the trees. As he exits the trees I see that he will be in trouble in about 10 seconds, 20 at the outside. He's heading for the soft stuff.

Sure enough the rear wheels lose traction and like most drivers he tries desperately to get out of trouble by applying more power.

The arse of the bus drops like a stone. Even then he keeps trying.

Rule #2, as soon as you know you're in trouble STOP, and figure it out, don't just keep digging yourself deeper.

I wander over to see that the rear axle and even belly plates and parts of the body are on the sand.

Rules #3, if the tide isn't coming in DON'T PANIC. Have a cuppa or even better sleep on it.

My advice falls on deaf ears and he frantically attempts to dig the bus out.

There's no danger from staying where he is, the bus is even pretty level, it's getting dark, and it's past beer o'clock so I leave him to it. If he's still there tomorrow I'll help.

Oh, and what's rule #1, don't go there in the first place.

Sun 21 Aug 2011

He's still bogged.


Bogged at Yule River.

I can pull him out with our truck, but that means a 90% pack up just to move 20 metres and I'd rather not do that.

One of the other campers has a snatch strap so he decides to give that a try. I don't know if a 2-tonne 4x4 can snatch an 8.5-tonne bus but I've seen those straps do amazing things if used correctly.

Unfortunately the 4x4 owner doesn't know how to use them correctly and he's really just trying to tow the bus.

I get him to back up so I can triple up the strap, while doing so I notice the D shackles and can't see any ratings on them so I tell everyone to move well back. Then I tell the driver to gun it, but he's too timid and the 4x4 just sits at the end of the strap travel spinning its wheels. It might work with experienced drivers on both ends but it's not going to work here.

I reckon there's a chance we can dig it out so I get my shovels and we make a start. I also get three jacks and we manage to raise the axle by a few inches to pack under the wheels. This take ages because we can't get to the directly to the axle, we have to lift the body first.

After we managed to raise the axle several inches one of the helpers is about to get in and adjust a jack, it's should be pretty stable because one rear wheel is still on the ground, but getting under an 8.5-tonne vehicle supported by jacks that are in turn on wooden blocks on sand is not a great idea.

I tell the fellow to hold on until I get another jack properly adjusted. I no sooner touch it when bang, the bus moves sideways and comes off the jacks. Unbeknown to me another "helper" had been clearing sand from the wheel I thought was on the ground. This meant the the entire rear of the bus was sitting on two unstable jacks.

Any all's well that ends well, it takes maybe an hour before I think it's worth a try.

I tell the driver to rock forwards and backwards maybe 4-5 times until it feels right then go for it and don't stop. Unfortunately the gearbox has a strange pattern and it's difficult to get from 1st to reverse and vice versa so he has trouble rocking properly.

Nevertheless he does get started in the right direction.

He gets just far enough for people to start cheering then he stalls the motor.

I can't face that lot again, I'll pull him out with the truck.

It takes about ten minutes to get everything battened down then I move Wothehellizat to be roughly aligned with the stricken vehicle. We real the winch rope out...


Realing the winch cable out.

Man am I glad we have that plasma rope, the old 5/8th steel cable is a real pain to work with. This plasma weighs nothing and moves easily around the pulleys.

Then I get into the cab to operate the winch. I haven't used it for so long I've forgotten which levers do what and it takes another 5 minutes to get the thing sorted.

Once it's working though it pulls the bus out as though it's not even there.

Job done.

Mon 22 Aug 2011

We're not entirely sure who's land we're camped on but our prospects of tenure aren't improved today by a talk back radio show.

I didn't hear it but the others did and apparently people like us are responsible for all sorts of things from littering right up to shooting the cattle and raping the women (or was it the other way around).

Anyway it seems that one of the people phoning in was the owner of Mundabullangana station (which for some inexplicable reason is usually referred to as "Munda") and he say's that he's "Just driving across the Yule River bridge and I can see all sorts of people camping on my land, including a big truck".

Maybe we should launch a pre-emptive strike and get him booked for talking on a mobile phone while driving.

None of are sure what this will amount to but let's just say we're not planning to be here much longer.

Tue 23 Aug 2011

I spend half the day looking out for a "station ute", meaning a vehicle that looks like it spends it's time as a work horse on a station. My theory being that such a vehicle will contain the station owner.

Sure enough just such a vehicle does arrive, it drives right past the "legal" campers without so much as a how's your father, threads its way through the trees, then up along the track for a short while before making a bee line for of Bob and Debbie's campsite.

Shane is there with them, he's a big bloke and Bob looks pretty rough as well, so naturally they send Debbie out to face the farmer.

Meanwhile I've got my fencing pliers out and am heading into the bush to fix a cut fence we found the other day. I figure that if I appear to be useful that may help.

I don't get to the fence though because I see the farmer's body language change from confrontational to relaxed.

Reasoning that is is now safe to join the conversation I do so.

Cut fences are a problem out here and the farmer eyes off my pliers at first so I quickly explain.

He says its the black fellas that normally cut them and he'll send a worker to fix it.

Anyway as it happens this isn't the bloke that was on the phone yesterday, this is the owner and the guy on the phone was the manager (his son).

We chat for quite some time with the end result being that we have permission to stay here.

Mon 12 Sep 2011

Chris drives into South Hedland while I pump up the truck tyres. She's been feeling a bit crook lately, I reckon she's got Sickalosis, and I'm hoping it doesn't escalate to Reallysickalitus.

Later in the day we get talking about the prices up here in the Pilbara. Now if you're over in the east watching the news and hearing about the fantastic wages here and thinking that maybe you'd like a piece of the action, here's a reality check.

Last time I was here I enquired about a job driving a dump truck. The money sounded good at first but if you divide the hours into the wage it was about $57 per hour. Not a fortune but OK and if you fly in fly out (FIFO) you get to pocket most of that.

But if you live here — assuming you can find somewhere to stay in the first place — here's roughly what you'll pay to rent a roof over your head (per annum).

  • Campsite in a caravan park — $20,000
  • One-room in a shared house — $25,000
  • One-bedroom flat (apartment) — $93,000
  • Two-bedroom house — $120,000
  • Five-bedroom house — $182,000

Like I said, if you FIFO you can do very well, and maybe living in the camps doesn't cost much I haven't got any figures for that. But if you have to rent locally that's a whole different ball of wax.

Then there's the media crap about the mines being desperate for workers, on shows like 60 Minutes you'll see a story about a girl who was a librarian last week and who is now driving a dump truck and gets $150,000 a year.

Now of course I can't say that doesn't happen, but I can say that they are not walking around with "workers wanted" sandwich boards or press ganging able-bodied people into service.

We've been here a few times over the last 5 years and I always look in the employment agency windows. There is never anything advertised for a "greenie" (someone with no experience).

"Must have 5 years on a CAT 953, Hitachi XYZ and and tickets for least two of the following..."

Is typical for an advert in the window.

I went in once and asked for dumptruck work, there was nothing available.

Now I stress that I'm not actively looking for such a job (or any job for that matter) and that will add a bias to what I find.

Tue 13 Sep 2011

I've been helping a mate in New Zealand with some programming, specifically a method of high-speed frequency counting. We've been using a chat thing on the web for a couple of days trying to get this code working, and at nearly beer-o'clock today we finally succeed.

Here is a transcript from the last few minutes of the chat session.
 

[15:25] <@WanaGo> still working :D
[15:25] <@WanaGo> will reset
[15:25] <@WanaGo> still working
[15:25] <@WanaGo> haha
[15:25] <@WanaGo> ok - I am going to have a celebratory beer quickly
[15:25] <@WanaGo> back in 10 mins - that ok?
[15:26] <graynomad> ok
[15:26] <@WanaGo> ill send you the file
[15:26] <@WanaGo> on its way
[15:26] <@WanaGo> back in 10 mins tops
[15:28] <@WanaGo> beer on laptop shit
[15:37] == WanaGo [73bc9468@gateway/web/freenode/ip.115.188.148.104] has quit [Ping timeout: 252 seconds]

Note the entry at 15:28, I think he got a bit excited. And this is a new laptop, the last one died after his wife spilt coffee on the keyboard.

Mon 26 Sep 2011

For about two weeks now we've been leaving here, we just don't somehow seem to get around to it. "We'll go on Thursday", "We'll go on Saturday after I've got the newspaper", "We'll go on Sunday when there isn't as much traffic", "We'll go on ...".

We really must go tomorrow.

Tue 27 Sep 2011

We finally break the hold this campsite has on us. We just have to move camp or we'll never get anywhere, and besides we're getting low on water. Chris leaves first then gets out of her car to guide me through the trees, as before it's a very tight squeeze but I get through unscathed and we proceed up the access road.

After a short time we pull over, it's not one of our longer trips and although my digital speedo is very accurate in general it's not so good with distances of this length.

Best I pace it out I think...back in a minute...OK, that's near enough to 200, metres that is.

Not very far I admit, but the important thing is that we made the effort.

Tomorrow we'll be heading south for real.

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Comments

Date  ::   29 Oct 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Location  ::   Near Leonora, WA
Comment  ::   This is a first attempt at adding a comment facility to the chronicles. It seems to work but only having other people use it will sort things out.

If it's unreliable I'll kill it, and maybe turn to a professional product. Let's see how it goes.

Rob
   
Date  ::   29 Oct 2011
Name  ::   Odlid Dave
Location  ::   Jannali, NSW
Comment  ::   How could I resist such an eloquent request for a test comment?

Hope it works......

Dave
   
Date  ::   29 Oct 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Well that one did, thanks.

Rob
   
Date  ::   30 Oct 2011
Name  ::   Aaron
Location  ::   Lenoir City Tennessee USA
Comment  ::   Hi Rob. Been following your adventures since I drove a desk.and you drove wot 1 from the garage.. Followed your advice and found something better to do..Thanks for allowing me to tag along.
   
Date  ::   30 Oct 2011
Name  ::   Andrew
Location  ::   Perth
Comment  ::   Hi Rob,
This seems to be working well and like many others I have
been following your adventures for some time now and all the
time dreaming about doing the same thing - living on the
road full time. Thanks for sharing your life and travels and
for allowing such easy access to you to ask questions etc.
Regards, Andrew
   
Date  ::   30 Oct 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Thanks guys,

@Aaron, what was it you found to do?

@Andrew, yes I think there may be people who want to ask a quick question but who wouldn't fire off an email. This may
prompt them to ask or otherwise comment.

Rob
   
Date  ::   30 Oct 2011
Name  ::   Karel van der merwe
Location  ::   Randfontein,South Africa
Comment  ::   Hi Rob.
As you know I have been folowing your blog for ever,thanks for sharing your travels. When I come to Australia I will try to find you.
Regards, Karel van der Merwe
Randfontein,
South Africa
   
Date  ::   30 Oct 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Karel,
Nice to know you're still here. Please do look us up if you
get over to OZ. We tend to fly below the radar but aren't
that hard to find.

Rob
   
Date  ::   01 Nov 2011
Name  ::   Cees Beers
Location  ::   Dronten Netherlands
Comment  ::   After traveling 20.000 Km in australia we met Rob i admire you live style wish we could do the same, but surely i hope we gone meet again in this live you gave me some live lessons and what important and in live and whats not , love you Blog and picture's and of course your know -how as programmer , photographer , and you look on the world

Cees Beers
Dronten ,Netherlands
   
Date  ::   01 Nov 2011
Name  ::   Roman
Location  ::   Gulargambone
Comment  ::   Hi Rob
Ihave never meet you but saw your truck home camped at blowering dam. Thought wow that is diferent. than one day I was googling walking in kosciuszko national park and came across your web site and have been following your travels. Thank you for sharing your travels and your beautiful photos.
Roman
   
Date  ::   01 Nov 2001
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Cees, I enjoyed our chat at Policeman's Point, pity you couldn't have stayed longer. I hope the bicycle wheel business is treating you well.

Roman, you should have said g'day. We love Blowering dam and will probably be back there this summer on our way up into the mountains. I have in mind to do a 10 day walk along the main range, but I'm probably too lazy to actually do it.
   
Date  ::   02 Nov 2011
Name  ::   Tony G
Location  ::   Liverpool NSW Australia.
Comment  ::   Thank you for sharing so much of your life and my dream. Your site helps a desk driver like me, dream it and be it,if only for a moment. Like a good book or movie. So what did you get up to in September? Did I miss it? or is there a chapter missing?
   
Date  ::   05 Nov 2011
Name  ::   Richard
Location  ::   Toongabbie NSW Australia
Comment  ::   G'Day Rob,
I too have followed your travels and builds from wot 1, love your photos and comments on life. Recently tried a toe in the grey nomad water with 9,990 km in 6 weeks thru NSW and Qld. ,too far, too short, with a 4x4 and tent. Had a great time. Hope to meet you and Chris one day.
Richard

   
Date  ::   06 Nov 2011
Name  ::   Jerry
Comment  ::   Hi Rob, greetings from Ireland. I'm actually sitting at my desk on a Sunday catching up on your latest entry while having my tea break! Great stuff and I hope it carries on for many more years. Your descriptions and pictures of the places you have been in Australia really bring the country to life for me and I am sure many others. Hope Chris is feeling better...has she been sampling your home brew again?
   
Date  ::   06 Nov 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   @Tony
Sept is well in hand now, after some delay.

@Richard
Good to see you've made start. We did about 15,000k in 12 weeks in the 4x4, way to fast as we had to drive almost every day.

@Jerry
Sorry for the spam knock back, it turned out to be the "script" in description. I'll have to look at isolating whole words. No Chris hasn't been into my beer, she hates the stuff but just the smell of the brewing gives her a headache.

Rob
   
Date  ::   07 Nov 2011
Name  ::   George
Location  ::   Canberra
Comment  ::   Rob
Tried previously but got the spam knock back. Oh well try again!
Have been following your adventures since you built Wort 1 as well at the shed here in Canberra. Always entertaining and luv the pic's. Brings the outback to my work station. Have tasted the corner country and can't wait to be doing it full time later this year.
Cheers
George
   
Date  ::   07 Nov 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Sorry about the spam thing, I didn't get an email so it wasn't a word, did you have characters like <, {, [ etc.

We'll be back in Canberra next spring, I might drive past the workshop just for old time's sake. I haven't been to the corner country yet, one day.

Rob
   
Date  ::   20 Dec 2011
Name  ::   Dave King
Location  ::   Portland OR USA and Formerly Biloella QLD
Comment  ::   G'Day mate... GREAT read you've put up for us adventurers aye. I can't help but notice you're from Gingin asit were and it's aplace near and dear to my heart. I lived in Biloella for a few years and worked on Kroombit Lochenbar station. Our property had access to the Kroombit tops NP (20K acres of it were donated by Allan years ago. I spent ALOT of time out in Rocky, Yepoon and had friends with a small place near Gingin... Reading about your adventures has sure taken me back and made me miss OZ even more then I usualy do aye. Keep up the great work and I'll be reading all of your pages in the mean time. Hope your travels go well and I'm taking notes for my triumphant return to my favorite place in the world: Australia.

Cheers

Dave King
   
Date  ::   29 Dec 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Dave,
Yep we're heading back to Gin Gin for some R&R. I've never been up to the Kroombit Tops, maybe one day.

Big change from Biloela to OR, I've not been up to the US NW coast but it's always been on my todo list.
   
Date  ::   29 Dec 2011
Name  ::   dburt
Location  ::   NE Oregon US
Comment  ::   I sure do enjoy your blog, and the stories of your travels. I have always wanted to take a 5-ton surplus US military 6X6 truck and do somewhat the same thing you have done. You are an inspiration to the rest of us traveler wana-bees. Sometimes your pics do not enlarge as they are supposed to when I move the cursor over them, and sometimes they do. Not sure why, but when they do enlarge enough to properly see them, I enjoy the pics very much as well. It allows me to see some of the land down under without actually getting to go there! Please continue the postings, and the pics too!
Take care and God bless- D Burt
   
Date  ::   31 Dec 2011
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi dburt,

Glad to hear you enjoy my infrequent postings. I don't know what the poblem with the images would be.

If you decide to get an ex-army vehicle in the US look into issues with taking it to another country (Canada & Mexico) as I've heard that can be a problem.

Rob
   
Date  ::   30 Jan 2012
Name  ::   Andy Brennan former pom proud Australian citizen !
Location  ::   wickham western australia
Comment  ::   G'day Rob & Chris how ya both going ?
Liking the site these days It's looking a whole bunch more all together, good work.
Hope you are both healthy and happy.
Love Andy
P.s. I got 20/20 on my citizenship test a few years ago!
How did you do Rob? lol
   
Date  ::   30 Jan 2012
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Andy,

Well done on becoming a citizen, I guess we can't get rid of you now.

I've never done the test but from the few questions I've seen I don't think I'd do very well.

We're finally back east, would have headed up into the Kosciuszko Mnts today but the weather is really bad so we'll stay put and watch the tent people struggle :)
   
Date  ::   31 Jan 2012
Name  ::   Andy Brennan
Location  ::   wickham western australia
Comment  ::   Hi Rob,
You gotta love the Kosciuszko National Park it is extremley beautiful a treasure of Australia.
Look out for your brake linings on the way down, don't know what it's like going the other way but heading this way it's a bit of down hill extraviganza, with the tonnage you have behind you I guess you will be relying on gearing to woow you up.
Did you recieve that thing I sent you or will you get that at some later stage.
Kindest and best
Andy.
   
Date  ::   31 Jan 2012
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   I use my exhaust brakes so don't normally touch the foot brakes at all on a steep down hill. Anyway this time we're going up, the hill at Talbingo is 8k of really steep, not looking forward to that. I just put it in 2nd and plod away for as long as it takes. I may use low range this time, that gives me more gears to play with.

We haven't got our mail for several months, it's either in our PO box in Canberra or with friends up north. Either way we'll get it soon.

Rob
   
Date  ::   01 Oct 2012
Name  ::   Paul
Location  ::   Burnett Heads
Comment  ::   Found you while on the West Australia site. Spent most of the day reading through your adventures. Your wanderings through the gorges in the west left me speechless. Lovely photography. We've been right around, but only on the coast. Inland next time. Hope our paths cross one day. Regards Paul
   
Date  ::   06 Nov 2013
Name  ::   Laurens
Location  ::   Central Vic
Comment  ::   Great stuff... Are you still travelling?

I can't imagine stopping and living in a house or suburbia anywhere and feeling. comfortable and happy after living on the road as you have done
   
Date  ::   06 Nov 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Laurens,

We are still living in the truck but probably can't claim to be travelling at present as we've been sitting on our land in central QLD for over a year now.

I also can't imagine living in a house in town any more, even going into town for shopping is too much for me these days. I suppose when I'm old and doddery I'll have to though :(

Paul, sorry I must have missed your entry, you'll probably never read this now but thanks for your comments. Personally I prefer the inland sights, I've never been an ocean person although I do love it at Ningaloo (or to be precise Cape Range overlooking Ningaloo)
   

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