MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2006
How This Trip all Began
How this trip all began (Spring of 2006)
We had thought about doing something else in the winter besides going to Country Roads in Arizona. We have been going to the same fabulous resort for 16 years. However, we wanted to experience other opportunities available but we just didn’t know where to go.
We also had obligations of family, new grandchildren, a dog and a cat.
In the spring of 2006 we lost our dog due to illness.
At the same time we decided to sell our too large 5th wheel and truck and do something different besides RVing.
Over the past few years we have been tempted to travel to Australia but our obligations and the long flight held us back.
Our friends John and Joyce had given us a great opportunity to know where to start Australia with great accommodation and location based on their 4 years experiences there.
So in the spring of 2006 we started to think of alternatives. John and Joyce stopped in to see us in their annual trip back north to Whitehorse and we got more confidence about making this trip. We then discovered that there are direct flights to Brisbane from LA that are only 13 hours and we started to commit to making the trip.
We started making a plan to cover all of the details that you need to consider to “Go Down Under”
We organized our accommodation based on John and Joyce’s recommendation “Coolumseaside.com”
We needed to deal with the financial implications of changing money and discovered that just converting through your US or Cdn Visa or ATM was the easiest. The savings of converting large sums of money to Australian was the easiest. We ended up using Cdn or Us Visa based on the relative exchange reate at the time. North American travellers cheques even in Australian dollars are not easy to cash in Australia.
We had to find a temporary home for our cat Sarah and Chuck and Helene stepped up and volunteered to cat sit Sarah.
In one of our planning sessions with Helene and Chuck we decided to phone the lady in New Zealand (pen pal) Helene had been corresponding with for 20 years but had never seen or talked to. We phoned her from our home and we all had a great conversation with Dorothy Rush and we committed to meeting up with her on our trip. Helene decided to accompany us on the last three weeks of our three month trip.
We sold our too big trailer and truck and decided to fly to Yuma with our cat as we had a vehicle there at the home we rent out. We were to stay there until December, fly to Australia and we would find some kind of accommodation back in Country Roads for the month of March when we returned from Australia.
Final Preparations at Country Roads
Our Nov-Dec rental was cancelled due to health reasons so we moved into our Arizona home for the first time. We had three major improvements planned and ended up spending 6 weeks working daily on improvements that we saw that were needed. Major improvements included a washer and dryer, water softener, reverse osmosis water system, upgrading the steps, painting, cleaning etc. We spent all of our time there maintaining and cleaning knowing we had three months of R&R ahead in Australia.