Planning Cape York 2013 – Stage 1.

An interesting negotiation – working out what was actually the route inside David’s head. I’d roughed up a mud map on The Green Machine’s TravelBlog site ,  and so some re-jigging, more rejigging etc etc. Rather than the New England route, David wanted to go up the Pacific Highway to Cairns, fossicking around Ravenshoe, onto Cape York and  back down, north west of Cairns. Much of the Cairns to Cape York & return sections would be in a convoy with a few of his workmates.

After that – possibly across the Savannah Way, as far as Katherine or maybe only Lorella Springs in the Gulf ?. But with a couple of bail-out points, if we got home-sick, or the weather did a repeat of the amazing wet of 2011-12. No illusions that this could happen – we’d seen some people drying out their True Blue camper trailer at the Inverell Caravan Park, after Coffs Harbour flooded in January 2012. And they were the lucky ones – they got out of the Coffs Harbour caravan park fairly quickly.

It emerged that David wanted to head east to Mt Isa, and down to Roma. Fossicking at Roma and a few more places of which  I am yet to hear. From there, it seemed obvious that we continue south to Goondiwindi/Boggabilla ( home of my father’s Adams family), then to Moree and Inverell, before heading east to the coast, or alternatively, down to Gulgong, Mudgee and ultimately home via the Blue Mountains.

In the meantime, the focus was on fitting out The Green Machine – with solar, inverter, freezer, security & a cover. We actually already had a lot of camping gear from our tent camping days. However, did we need another deep cell battery – then where should they be fitted ? Not to mention a wok burner.  I was a little incredulous about the wok burner, but then maybe David was being more realistic about our intended long grey nomad trips away.

And of course the obligatory Prado – we already knew that the Subaru Forrester wasn’t up to trips like this. We’d already driven it home from Greenwith, Adelaide across NSW to Thirroul on the East Coast south of Sydney.  Some bloggers write of their shakedown trips, prior to doing “The Big One”. Bringing The Green Machine home from Greenwith, SA was already a mini-shakedown trip for us. Time for an upgrade to the Forrester.

A quick trip up the M7 over to Penrith to the Supershow to talk about a few repairs and additions to The Green Machine plus find out more on satellite TV and solar power. Not as many exhibitors as we had seen in Canberra and Illawarra Caravan and Camping Shows. We looked at buying some small fishing rods for the double kayak but opted to go to the nearby BCF and picked up small Shimano rods there instead. So Kerrie’s first fishing rod is a Shimano.

In the meantime a trip contemplated to the Oberon area for the October 2012 long weekend – probably in the dome tent as we didn’t expect to have a Prado in time. No way would we be pulling The Green Machine up the Blue Mountains behind the Forrester !

Picking up the Green Machine from South Australia – August 2012

A really quick road trip across south western NSW to northern Adelaide and back collecting the Green Machine – a Cub Camper Spacematic Full Off Road Camper Trailer.

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And we knew we would have to replace the Forrester with something bigger – a Prado maybe ?

Then there was the fun of working out the gas stove (where are the matches ?) , the fridge, the sink water pump, the lights … avoiding efforts to bend the poles on pack up … where are the fuses … lots to learn.