Last month we reached the milestone of six months on the road. Shortly after that our travels, like so many others, came to a screaming halt due to the Corona Virus. We made the decision to return to the Gold Coast for the duration as we have somewhere to live, (Thanks kids!) and I was able to return to my old job. Brenden has also been able to secure a driving job, so we feel very lucky to be safe and to have jobs. We know there are many who now don’t.
A DAY OUT IN BEECHWORTH
After leaving Dimboola we headed to Wangaratta as we had our van booked in for it’s 10,000 kilometre service at Wangaratta Caravans. We decided to spend part of the day exploring Beechworth. Beechworth has been high on my list of ‘must visit places’ for a very long time. I don’t think we realised how much there is to see and do in this charming old town. A couple of hours was definitely not enough time to see all Beechworth has to offer so we will just have to come back at another time.
After leaving Wangaratta late in the afternoon, we decided that we would stop for the night in a great free camp at Wallendbeen which is just outside of Cootamundra. Wallendbeen Rest Area has clean toilets, plenty of space and is also not far from the local Wallendbeen Hotel.
TWO WEEKS ON THE GOLD COAST
After a quick tidy up of the van, we left it in Cowra and made our way back to the Gold Coast to spend some time with our kids and celebrate Miss Oz’s 21st birthday.
We had a lovely party and enjoyed seeing her celebrate this special milestone with all her friends. It was also a great opportunity for us to catch up with some of our friends too.
I also did a few shifts back at work in order to maintain my ‘casual status’. We also had the BT50 serviced at our regular mechanics in Brisbane – BAM Garage – where they discovered that we had a leaking water pump. We also had a couple of medical check ups. Very important as we get older!
Not long before we left Dimboola, Brenden noticed that one of our auxiliary batteries was starting to get very hot. As they were second hand truck batteries to start with we decided it was time to replace them with a pair of 135AH Lead Crystal batteries which was another expense we weren’t expecting but we know they will keep our fridge running in the BT without a problem.
At the same time that we were on the Gold Coast, we were starting to become more aware of the Corona Virus. In fact, I witnessed first hand the start of the panic buying as I just happened to working that day.
HOUSESITTING IN COWRA
We headed back to Cowra on 12th March as we had promised to housesit for our family there way back in 2018!
At that stage, there were no travel restrictions in place, although we could still see the result of panic buying in the local supermarkets. But for us, it was business as usual. Our son Ben flew down to stay with us for a few days the following week and it was only a couple of days after that, that border restrictions started to come in along with social distancing and the closure of so many businesses.
We were able to go on a few outings, but as restrictions tightened we stayed put at home. We did manage to spend a morning at one of our favourite spots – the Cowra Japanese Gardens. It was the day that cafes and restaurants had to move to take away only and we literally had the gardens to ourselves.
RETURNING TO QUEENSLAND
As the situation with Covid 19 continued to change daily we wondered what this would mean for us. We thought of staying in Cowra, but we needed to work to top up our funds. A couple of quick messages to my old boss and I found that I could return to my old job so we made the decision to head back to the Gold Coast and live with the kids until we are free to travel again.
Brenden has secured another driving job and we are fully appreciative of how lucky we are to be employed at the moment. Our aim is to save as much money as we possibly can over the next few months. This will then enable us to travel for a few months without the need for work.
When we hit the road again we hope to be able to spend our hard earned cash in places that have done it so tough during the bush fires, drought and subsequent Corona virus.
We had a massive month and spent a lot of money! But we knew that we would as we had the car and the van serviced plus Miss Oz’s birthday.
Income (All sources) $2,924.22
Our total expenses were a huge $8,025.99
- BT50 Service and parts replacement $1541.47
- Auxiliary Battery Replacement $764.02
- Fuel $770.24
- Car Insurance $109.21
- Parking $7.00
- Van Repayment $1213.17
- Van Service $734.25
- Caravan Accessories $190.01
- Groceries $953.02
- Eating Out $480.13
- Alcohol $242.27
- Gifts $418.55
- Health Insurance $252.85
- Medical $126.57
- Clothing $148.18
- Mobile Phones $68.40
- Business Expenses $6.65
If you have read our previous expense reports you will know why we are still paying the van off and at least I know that it will be fully paid for by the time we are able to hit the road again!
This will be our last expense report until we are on the road again. We hope that you are all safe and well and dreaming of the day you can start travelling All Around Oz again.