Friday, January 31, 2014

1 February 2014 - Riverside Caravan Village, Bli Bli, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Gary from Darwin did get back to us, back and forth with questions and suggestions. We emailed him this and that and he stayed keen despite the logistics of the whole transaction. Friday morning saw us back in Maroochydore ordering two new rear tyres, suspecting that the vehicle would fail a Safety Certificate inspection without them, and a visit to the Queensland Transport Authority to talk through the hypothetical interstate transfer of a vehicle. We came away from the first with an appointment for the morrow and the second delighted to find that we would simply take the number plates from the vehicle and it would enter the Northern Territory as an unregistered vehicle. In some ways this sounded like a simple solution, although it is not quite what Gary had been thinking. We drove back up to Yandina in the afternoon to a garage he had organised to do a pre-purchase check and managed to pick-up some pre-sale tips from the mechanics ourselves.

While we continued to enjoy the balmy breezes of the Sunshine Coast, interspersed with the very occasional shower, the state further north was being bludgeoned by Cyclone Dylan. We had been concerned for our friends’ daughter and her family, who had recently moved to part of the low lying flood prone part of Townsville. We watched the news for a glimmer of hope and found that it had passed over the coast missing the larger metropolis, but still saw a lot of damage. The politicians called it a rehearsal for something that might come later; for now that was good news.

Later in the afternoon, after Gary had received the report from the Yandina garage, he rang to confirm that he wanted to go ahead with the purchase. We agreed to a price but were wary of confirming unconditionally. We were still not 100% about the caravan, the whole affair had been most unsatisfactory with the goal posts moving every time contact was made. We were now in a position of having to consider accommodation and rental cars but all relying on the caravan transfer going through on Monday.  It was all completely unsatisfactory.

This morning dawned fine and noisy with the wonderful birdlife of Bli Bli and the sounds of motor boats heading out early for Saturday fishing; we are right on the river which is really quite delightful. We headed back into Maroochydore where we had the new rear tyres fitted and were back home in time for lunch, even after a stop at the Bli Bli aquatic park where dozens were queuing up for a ski rope tow on the wonderful facility there. Elsewhere within the same park, children played in another swimming pond on an array of curious inflatable shapes and families picnicked beside yet other waterways inviting even more water activities. We were satisfied with five to ten minutes observation before travelling on across the river and into camp.

After lunch Chris gave Jess a call to check how her grandfather was and to see all was on track for Monday. She assured us that he had turned a corner and asked if we had received the email with the photo of the bank cheque her father had picked up from the bank? No? She would resend it right now! Yea, right.

Chris then rang Keith, the ever suffering Keith of Lowood who has had a variety of requests and calls from us as our plans have swung this way and that. We explained where we were at and that all options were now on the table: we would have the landcruiser to store, or the landcruiser and caravan to store or perhaps nothing at all. He was most understanding and cautioned us about the dodgy nature of bank cheques, once amongst the safest of financial transactions, now not necessarily so. He told us that he had been stung a couple of times; that made us feel really good, as you can well imagine.

Gary emailed through a sale agreement that mirrored the emailed resume of our communication to date, we tidied up some of the spelling and technicalities and emailed it back but hastened to emphasise that this was still all conditional on the caravan sale going through. Poor Gary! He has flights, transporters and banks to sort! Poor Keith! He will be worrying about which vehicles to move around to accommodate us, or not. Poor us! We have rental cars, Brisbane accommodation, Bli Bli accommodation, storage or not, to sort out!

We spent the afternoon growing piles out on our concrete pad; a pile for the charity shop, a pile to be offered to the pawnbroker, a pile to be left in the caravan and piles which were duly lowered into our Samoan suitcases. Samoan suitcases are of course those plastic woven tartan bags you buy for $3 in the variety stores, zip topped and stitched with little quality control. They are used by the poor or unsophisticated who travel in from the islands, hence the name, or by those who have no space for proper luggage, such as ourselves. When we purchased our air tickets in Morayfield, we joked about them to the woman in the travel agency; she was totally ignorant about these excellent pseudo suitcases. We explained how ours would be enhanced by the strapping of masking tape and security of rope. She was quite appalled! She had thought us better than that; more likely to chase image, than practicality.

The relieving manageress of the park came down and spent some time chatting with us, sympathising and telling stories that did little to cheer us up. So what with all the human interaction or lack of, today, along with the fact that a preliminary weigh-in of the luggage has made it quite clear that our music CDs and favourite books will have to be left for others, we can only hope that tomorrow will be better.

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