Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22nd

Well here we are folks, safe and sound in OZ and it is raining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a journey to get here, one forgets one is not 21 anymore and therefore, as much as we would like to believe is robust, one is not.  We left Abqaiq around 11 p.m .on Wednesday night for Bahrain and then our flight to Dubai.  After Dubain it was the long haul to Perth due in at 1:00 a.m. the next morning whichever day that is.  All I know is that I had one breakfast and two dinners but no lunch, The flight left early and we arrived in Perth early with the only pitfall being there were no landing cards available.  We found the cards at the start of the queue for immigration which was very short.  Alas by the time we found pens, did out best to read the very small print on the cards through eyes that would not focus, made sure we ticked all the boxes of things we were bringing in even if we did not have them to avoid being deported or fined, the queue at more than quadrupled in size.  One hour later after being very well behaved (although I think if I had started crying we would have been quicker as folks with kids who were creating were removed from the queue and taken to the front!!), we met the very nice immigration officer who wanted to know if I had a gun on me or a knife.  Yes, a very blank expression from me, I had ticked the box for prescription medication but that box also included knives and guns.  Next stop baggage reclaim, great the bags had traveled on the same flight as us, another officer checked our declaration landing card thingys and waved us through the green channel.  We were officially back in OZ :)  We were told on the plane it was 10 degrees, now we had not planned for that but still, in lightweight clothing, no need to stop for anything, straight outside to find a bench and replenish our dramatically decreased nicotine levels.  Now what to do was our next question. It was now 2:00 a.m. and Britz did not open till 7:30 a.m.  It was all a bit like Christmas Eve and no room at the inn, all reasonably prized rooms were fully booked and there was no way we were paying around 300 pounds sterling for a bed for 5 hours.  We stayed in the airport, sleeping like vargants on park benches until 7:30 a.m. when we got a taxi and went to Britz.

Lo and behold, our vehicle was ready complete with a proper toaster (for my crumpets).  We unpacked the luggage and arranged the vehicle as best we could, left the spare suitcase and overnight bag in storage at Britz, gave back items we did not want or knew we would not use to save space for more important things.  One of the items returned was the proper pop up toaster, we discovered we needed to be connected to a power supply, in other words be in a civilized campsite with other humans and hopefully that will not be happening this trip.  There was a very surprised look on their faces when they saw the luxury items returned.  Now to get the sim card for the mobile phone and the mobile USB modems for the laptops then off to Lyn's for a couple of night.

What a welcome from Lyn, it is so strange meeting up with friends in their home environments instead of surreal Abqaiq.  Rest assured, for those who know Lyn she is just the same <g>.  Lyn had obviously seen my comment on FB about crumpets and presented me with a couple of packets and the jam for breakfast the next day, now that is what I call the perfect hostess.  Here is the first pic of the blog - CRUMPETS!!
As you can see this pic was taken this morning after
Alan and I had eaten 4 crumpets
Today has been shopping day, return the modem to Telstra in the shopping mall number one priority.  Thank you Carla for all you help, I told you I would put you in the blog <g>.  Seriously can't fault the service, no quibble once the modem had been tested and found to have a faulty sim.  Alas the activation took ages but that gave us a chance to get the rest of the supplies purchased. When Carla knew what we were after she mentioned we should see Russell at the camping equipment shop and tell him she had sent us.  Yep, we could do that, anything for a bargain :).  We even knew exactly where the shop was as we had seen it yesterday and comment to each other about the roundabout which was close by.  Today Carla said go to the 'nasty roundabout' and turn left.  We had to laugh because that is exactly what we called it yesterday. So here we are the second picture has to be of the Nasty Roundabout.

The Nasty Roundabout!!!!
After the camping supplies, including two new Aussie hats, it was back to the mall were Telstra are to do the food shopping, now that was stressful, oh how I hate supermarkets.  Bless Alan who is an even worse shopper than me for not complaining, I think I would have blown a fuse if he had <g>.  Done and dusted with the exception of Marmite.  Now Mich, this bit is for you :)  we found Bovril and Promite but no Marmite so you can sleep easy that I will not haunt you in your sleep as I packed our jar for Saudi (it was the food item we declared on entry into OZ).  The sim card for the USB modem was now registered and ready for our collection so back to see Carla and finalize that so I can now start the blog.

Checking to see if the USB modem was working (it didn't
want to know the Mac but was working so Alan completed
the final setup when we got back to Lyn's).
Carla is there in the background proudly showing
the working product <g>
Once back at Lyn's house it was time to unpack yet again and repack the vehicle - not bad at all, we are far more organized this time than last year. All the food is tucked away safe and sound in the cupboards, the Coke, Red Bull and VB (yes Mich, this year it is VB not XXXX and it is in cans <g>), the wine is in the fridge along with, you guessed it, the sausages, there is space for the camera equipment and one piece of luggage tomorrow and still room to put you Skippy when you join us soon!!!! :):):):)  And it is raining again :(

Here is this years vehicle, anybody got a name for him,
really don't want to call him Britz :)
We are just back now from a lovely dinner out with Lyn at the :-
Are Lyn and Brian missing Saudi!!!!!!!
And tonight we don't have a sunset because it is raining!!!!! so we will end up with a lovely photo of my precious Alan and Lyn who is the most perfect of hostesses.  Thank you Lyn for making us so welcome xxxxxx  Night night folks.

Alan and Lyn at the Thirsty Camel!!!!


  1. So pleased to hear that you arrived in Perth safely and that you are now organised to start your 'big adventure'. Now, where did you store that Italian Seasoning - that eventually turned up in some obscure place last year ..... along with some cheese. Anyway, your vehicle looks good and strong to me .... rather like a 'Bulldog' to me - unafraid to tackle the challenges ahead. If you want a more personal name than 'the Bulldog' 'Winston' might be appropriate or give it the name of one of the early intrepid explorers of Australia because you and your vehicle will certainly be exploring together over the next few weeks!! I hope you have such a brilliant time.
    How on earth did you manage to eat 4 crumpets between you - looking at the size of each in your photo 1 looks as though it would be a banquet!!!!!!
    Strikes me that shopping malls are pretty much the same the world over .... a must to be avoided though, at least you've got your technology sorted. Could you not have ordered your groceries on-line to save you braving the supermarket ..... just imaginine giving your address as (say) 'Winstonmobile' Middle of no-where and having it delivered..... I suppose the supermarket van could just have followed your gps signal to find you!!!! :-)
    Hope you find the sun and some warm weather soon. Have a great time.
    All my Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. The Britz vehicle has now been christened Winston - a good name, nice one Ingrid. The crumpets were big but at least 99% fat free so we did not feel guilty in the least. Wish I had thought of groceries being delivered, that would have been so much less stressful, guess I have been in ABQ for so long I forget that can be done in the real world . Wonder where we will be sleeping tomorrow night? . Lots of love and a big thanks for the fab comment, love it. Lots of love xxxxxxx

  3. I wish you both and Winston a very enjoyable 'big adventure'

    Although crumpets are indeed calorific in their own right the biggest damage is 'what one puts on them' - I wonder what your secret pleasure was??!!

    I hope that wherever you find yourself sleeping tomorrow night you start experiencing the incredible sunsets you were able to share last year through your incredible photography.

    Lots of Love to the intrepid team, Jane, Alan and Winston. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Glad all seems to be going well so far - pity about the weather, but surely that won't last....I know have a craving for crumpets and good work Lyn for getting them for your arrival :) You can get Marmite in Oz, obviously just not at the supermarket you went to :)You'll have to let me know what you think of VB (don't like it personally), if you find Broo on your travels, you should give that a try (100% aussie owned, no preservatives oh and I have share in it :)...Did you get your maps? Any ideas where you're heading yet (except Nth :) Excellent start to the blog, can't wait to read the next installments! Have fun xxxxx

  5. Thanks for the reply posts folks. About to do the next blog post now. Mich - thought you liked VB but when we devour the case we have we will look out for Broo lol. Yes have maps but you will have to read the blog to find out where we are going. Lots of love Jane, Alan and Winston.

  6. Yay, glad you have left room for me. What an excellent start to your adventure, can't wait to read the next page......


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it means a great deal to me. Hoping you have happy crafting days ahead. Hugs Mimi