We had a purpose for returning to Geraldton and it all went extremely well apart from one instance which i will mention a bit later in this post.
Arrived at long time mates Geoff & Vickie's place around midday and straight away Geoff and i got into the job of replacing all the white cotton fly screens in the Dometic windows with black fibreglass mini weave mesh. The standard screens are useless in Australian conditions, bugs enter the van by crawling around the mesh, the mesh itself shrinks and gets stained easily from dust. Geoff had changed over his a month ago and the job was excellent so it was organized then to do ours when we got back.
Our van has 6 windows plus the small bathroom one and we managed to finish five that afternoon with the sixth getting completed the next day, we couldn't be any happier with the result, the screens not only look good they fit nice & tight, time will tell if they stop 100% of the bugs but we are confident. Geoff had also changed over the tungston downlights in the range hood with some LED style lights, another idea we gladly copied, instead of having 22watt globes the lights now don't even register on the load output on the regulator, the amount of light they put out is amazing! The next job on the list was to replace a gas strut on the bed lifting mechanisim, lucky for us we were in Geraldton and near a very good Caravan repair business that was well stocked with all the goodies. A longer 600mm gas line was also purchased to replace the shorter one that was on our gas regulator, no need to remove gas bottles and swap positions any longer, i can just swap over the gas hose. All these jobs that i have been wanting to do for a while now have just been completed in less than two days.
I neglected to mention that Vickie went with Geoff & myself to the Caravan repair business and spotted a stainless steel BBQ for sale, Vick has been wanting one of these for a long time now, We are very happy with the Weber Baby Q for it's roasting & grilling but we felt the small hot plate that can be purchased was inadequate, So upon spotting the Sizzler Marine BBQ it was suggested we buy it, I wanted to try the other option of getting some Stainless plate cut to suit the Weber and after running around town with Geoff getting some expensive prices just for a plate i decided to just surprise Vick and buy the Sizzler. We used it this morning and very happy with it.
So with all the jobs completed and Geoff having to work on Wednesday we decided to leave and catch up again at Mount Magnet on Thursday, Now getting the van into Geoff & Vickie's wasn't difficult, their home is one of four on a large block and access is via a central drive with tight turn at the end, with the help of Geoff getting in it wasn't a problem .... BUT getting the rig back out with Geoff at work was a nightmare!!! With the front of the ute milimetres away from one fence and the side of the van millimetres away from the other side we couldn't go any further - Then it was mentioned that Geoff unhitches and uses the power jocky wheel to swing the van around the final few feet .... Aaaargh !! Our van has a different mounting bracket and not designed to take the moving weight of 3.5 tons but i had no choice - Eventually THREE HOURS later after having to use the winch on the Ute, dismantle and reassemble the power jocky wheel to replace the tyre that had rolled off the rim, combined with the help from Geoff's Son Aaron we had the Van pointing in the right direction and i was able to hitch it back up and finally left Geraldton.
1st night we stopped at Pioneer well on the Yuna road just before Mullewa, we had a great camp fire all by ourselves, a few bourbans & coke and the stress of the day dissapeared. Geoff & Vickie caught up with us at Mount Magnet around midday the next day and just down the road we met up with Vickie P's Sister Julie and hubby Darryl - The Billabong Bonkers, Together we all drove out along a track and spent the night around another great camp fire with lots of laughter. Next morning we went into Cue before heading out to the abandonded Big Bell Mine, what an interesting place this is! We spent a few hours with the metal detectors out and Geoff found what we think is a small piece of gold, I found some wire, a survey peg and some alfoil.
Last night it rained and we awoke to more rain this morning, the tracks were already water logged and we wont be moving today so it gives me time to catch up on the important things like writing the Blog.