Friday, January 23, 2009

another toy for the boys

We bought a boat. Not the great value one that we looked at on the weekend. Missed out on that by half a day! LOL! But a similar one for a bit less with a few less extras. It's not a proper car-topper so Tim is setting things up for it to carry above the truck on the roll bars he had made. We'll have to add a service to the motor to our list of things to do.

I still need to get mattresses organised. The innerspring from Jayco and the one for Made to Measure are essentially the same price. MtM would be a nicer bed but i'm trying to make sure they will fold ok in the expanda.

Looks like we have work lined up a the tourist season at Litchfield Cafe in Litchfiend National Park so that should be a great place to be based for a few months or more. yay! Although we know there is a lot of work around and people can just turn up to a town/area and find something we wanted to have something more reliable so i joined WorkAbout Australia so we can keep an eye on what is out there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

choosing a camera

i love taking photos and i think i got a few good ones on our holiday to Europe a few years back. But they are just point and shoot photos on a compact digital. I'd really like to improve my skills and get into photograpy a bit more. Our lifestyle over the next couple of years will certainly lend itself to a new hobby.

So i am looking for a new camera. So far the contenders are the Nikon D60 and the Sony A300. i think i am leaning towards the Sony....

They also have a neat little GPS gadget that you can use to date/time match you photos on your PC and load it onto a google map so that you can record exactly where an image was taken... if it was not $250 i would be totally sold. :(

Now it is just hard to resist the tempation to get a tripod, and a cool camera backpack, and maybe some nice lenses....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

take it to the experts

Dad took their van (second hand 2000 Regent) to Cruiser Caravans to have a check-over. After they bought it Dad discovered some water damage and leaks in it and a few other issues that really had him concerned. Actually, for a while he was really kicking himself thinking he had just bought one big problem... but the guys a Cruiser went right through it.

Looks like the leak was in the lights so they were replaced, new seals, they treated the damaged timber etc etc, the sink tap had a leak so that was replaced... a few other bits and tidy-ups. It cost $1100 including parts but for the peace of mind that it is all done properly i think that's great value.

Tim and i are getting some quotes for our annexe. The Kakadu awning walls look good but the really snazzy setup is quite pricey. The Awning Man does a nice annexe with a beer garden!! :) and it's not a bad price. Essentially for the same price as the basic Kakadu setup we would get the full beer garden extension through The Awning Man. Under Cover Canvas in Ballina is nice and close by and their website looks good too... I think it will end up around $2,500 which, although expensive, will be worth it for us seeing as we will be living in the van for so long and it will double our living area. The extra beer garden shade area too will be great.

I'm getting the Lemair washing machine from The Good Guys for $350. I could have bought it direct from the Sydney factory for around $300 but the factory is not near where we will be so it's not worth the extra travel.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

where we've been

google map of places we've been and things we've seen.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

unmissable sights

a google map of unmissable sights- places to see and things to do on our trip around Australia...

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

cooking in the van

i've been trying out new recipes and ways to cook in the caravan without an oven. One challenge is finding easy ways to do vegetarian meals for me and meat for Tim in a confined space and without using 60 different pots!

I'm really amazed at how easy and nice microwave meals are. We've always steamed our vegies in the microwave but i've never cooked mince or chicken or real main meals in it. Or done anything special with potatoes etc. But i've discovered sliced potatoes in the microwave are sooooo much nicer (and quicker) than boiled/mashed potatoes. And with a few practice goes i'm learning ways to adapt meals i am already familiar with to suit the microwave.

I'm in the process of creating my own cookbook with recipes using a combination of the main ingredients that we will always have on hand that are practical with our microwave/stove/bbq combination. And even more importantly recipes that i can adapt to suit when fresh vegies are low!