17 October 2000 (Melbourne).

Venture into Melbourne and visits to the factories that built the caravan only reiterated my old feelings of Melbournians, which is their unfriendly nature and unwillingness to help people. Although I had success in finding the right places and parts that I needed I was less than impressed with the attitude in offering assistance. Anyway enough of slanging, I have to learn not to let it bother me as we will have to do dealing with these people in the future so we will have to put up with it.

We decided to move camp into Melbourne because after looking at the map it is not far out of the way of our planned journey and it will save us a return trip from Geelong. We found a park in North Coburg not far from Sydney road and will be close to the restaurant where Narrelle is having their reception, so it could prove to be the place for rellies to stay when they come for the wedding.

We have also decided to stay in Melbourne for a day or two so Linda can do some window shopping in the city in readiness for buying a dress for the wedding, and there are a couple of things we want to do while we are here.

We had tea with Nelle and Matt tonight and made a few arrangements needed before the wedding and planned for a weekend meeting in Wodonga to be introduced to Matt’s parents. This will be the 11th of Nov. so this is the only plan we have before the wedding to work around during our travels.

I have had trouble with Email using my mobile the last couple of days and I suspect that a low signal level may have been the problem, especially now that we are in a strong signal area and it worked no problems. I must soon make up my first message to send off to the family group, might just do it now.





15 October 2000(Geelong).

The wedding was a great success and all had fun. My most observant point on the day was the fact that for the first time at a party with most of my relatives I remained sober. A question to Linda about wether I ever got that raucous when intoxicated, her answer was an emphatic yes, which I appreciated to be correct.

My toys were a hit with all that had a chance to preview on the laptop the photos that I took at the wedding and reception. One photo taken at the reception really stood out so I made a print of it and everybody was so engrossed, especially Michael and Courtney who were so pleased to receive this as their first wedding photo they wanted to frame it.

A leisurely day was had today and an afternoon tea was had at a café so Courtney could meet the rellies on Michael’s side before they went on their honeymoon and rellies went home.

Hopefully a good rest tonight and a good sleep and we should be ready to venture into Melbourne tomorrow to buy replacement parts for the caravan and possibly visit Narrelle and Matt before we start our travels.



13 October 2000 (Geelong).

We have arrived at David and Marnie’s at Geelong. They live on the Bellarine Highway at Wallington on the western side of the bay. We have set up camp in their back yard, 5 acres, plenty of space, and will be here until possibly Wednesday so I can go to the caravan factory to enquire about a new rim and other parts damaged in our little mishap.

While in Devonport I, with the help from a friend, attained some replacement u-bolts for the axle, which were worn down after skidding along the bitumen, and replaced the them after crawling under the van for a couple of hours.

A bit of an upset today when I attempted to download my photo’s from the camera taken over the last few days and some how they all ended up in software heaven some-where, I have an idea what happened and apart from admitting to being a novice with my new toys I am not elaborating on anything else.

This is short and sweet, but after not getting any sleep on the boat last night I am looking forward to a good nights sleep so I can enjoy the wedding tomorrow all the more.


First Trip, Tassie

Chapter 3

First Trip.

11/10/2000 Wednesday, (Tassie).

What a start to the trip, a very eventful day, lost a wheel off the caravan, ran into the back of another car, I hope this is going to be all our problems gone for the rest of the trip.

The day started well with all done that we had to do to get organised before our departure. The house is now on the market with a real-estate agent taking full control in our absence. He has organised an open day for Saturday and is rather optimistic of a sale, but he is a chap with a weird sense of humour so wether he was serious or just over optimistic who knows. If he does sell all well and good because we are hopeful that when we return all we have to do is move out and be free to return to the mainland after Christmas.

We have cleaned out a lot of things that we will no longer need after the sale, a heap of articles for Narrelle to help her with settling in after her marriage, and some to Matthew and Adrian. The articles for Narrelle didn’t help on the day because they were all in the back of the panel-van, and being my fault and not realising the extra weight, I found it more difficult to stop the car when problem situations arose, like one less wheel on the caravan than should be and following too close to other cars in peak traffic.

We were fortunate with our mishaps in some respects though, no.1 that we decided to travel to Devonport a day early so we would have a relaxing day on the day we board the boat, No.2 that the wheel fell off in a 60 km zone and near a service station, no.3 that it was a day early because if it had been tomorrow (Thursday) shops would have been closed in Launceston due to show day holiday and no.4 the mechanic at BP Hagley knew where to send me in Launceston to obtain the replacement parts.

What actually happened is, which I should be ashamed of but see it as having learned a lesson, several weeks earlier I did some work an the wheels on the caravan and removed the offending wheel in the process. On completion of the job it started raining and even though I do have a recollection of tightening the wheel nuts I obviously didn’t. The lesson is to check all wheels before moving off in the future. On our travels the wheel nuts came loose and obviously one by one fell off. When most had fallen off and the wheel started wobbling the studs with nuts still on, snapped off. The wheel became jammed in the wheel area and the caravan then skidded on the springs, or the ‘U’ bolts holding the axle to the springs, and the wheel drum. After removing the wheel drum and taking it to the mechanic, he then informed me where to get replacements so then made a trip to Launceston and would you believe it, while returning by the northern outlet obviously too close to a 4 wheel drive vehicle I found that I didn’t have enough room to stop with all the weight in the back of the car. It sounded like the complete front end was destroyed. The other vehicle then drove off so thinking that he was looking for somewhere to stop safely I followed him and to my amazement he just kept driving as though he wasn’t even aware what had happened. After failing to get his attention and noticing that there was no damage to his vehicle I decided to not bother any more and found a place to stop and check my damage. I couldn’t believe the small amount of damage, I guess that plastic makes a lot of noise when it is hit and then restores itself to it’s original shape.

All spares purchased, a return trip to Hagley, and parts put together by the mechanic, saw us safely on our way again.

We finally settled in to the caravan park at Devonport at about 7.30 and enjoyed the relaxation that followed after such a hectic day.

New Life Start

Chapter Two

New life start

Monday 4th Sept. 2000.

A few days have now passed since leaving work and I am finding it rather enjoyable knowing that we can arise from bed whenever suits us.

In the weeks gone by I have taken the opportunity to buy myself a laptop computer, a CD writer and a new digital camera. Most of my free time so far has been taken up with loading all these devises to work on the laptop and practise using them. I feel these toys will be very useful in the future to write the story that I am now doing and to take heaps of pics of such things as Narrelle’s wedding and of our travels around the large island of Tasmania (Australia).

Plans have started to sell the house, as we have decided, so that we can invest the money’s from the sale to give us something to have when and where we decide to settle in the future. The organization of the will has also commenced, which is something we should have done a long time ago.

Things to do in preparation for the sale of the house are being delayed at this stage because of things like the weather, moving Adrian from one flat to another which is tying up the use of my panel van and shed as all our travel equipment which belongs in the panel van is stored in the shed and I cant put it back in the van until it is free. Painting of the interior of the house will have to wait until the weather improves because it is really too cold to paint right now, but a Real estate agent has agreed to commence the sale procedure now on the basis that who knows what will happen.

Tuesday 12th September.

My redundancy payment turned up today and my investment plans have been set, so we can now happily settle into the life of relaxation. We treated Adrian and Matthew, plus family, to a celebration dinner this evening and all had a fantastic time, even the other dining patrons who were taken aback with the antics of Elly (grand daughter).

The past week has been one of the most enjoyable for a very long time as there have been no worries of any kind, especially no alarm clock. I have had the opportunity to sit back and think about and plan things to happen in the near future. I have changed our boat bookings to the mainland for Michael’s wedding in October and Narrelle’s in November so we can have the 7-week trip, and practice run in the caravan, that we had originally planned but a lack of sufficient leave from work prevented. We don’t have to worry about things like that any more as we have all the free time to do whatever, whenever we please.

The house fixing can basically wait now until we return from our trip with the exception of tidying up the yard and perhaps a little paint I may be able to spread around the inside in the meantime.

We have started proceedings with the will and hopefully finalise them this week.

Our appointment with centerlink is tomorrow to work out if we are entitled to any allowances from the government, I think it about time something was paid back after all the years of paying tax. I am not holding my hopes too high on receiving any benefits but anything that we can pick up will be a bonus to making our life that little easier.

No benefits are forthcoming immediately, but after a minimum wait of 13 weeks I will be entitled to a portion of the allowance called New start and Linda will be eligible for a partner allowance. One of the conditions of receiving this allowance is that I will be expected to either look for work or, because of my age, partake in some form of voluntary work. The voluntary bit sounds ok but I don’t know how long I will be entitled to the allowance after we start travelling. I would doubt that we would be entitled to anything.

I guess things from now until we head off to the mainland in October will be a little mundane so I guess chapter three will start with that trip, or at least the preparations.

Ronald & Linda Tew, All over the countryside