Posts Tagged ‘holiday’


March 22, 2015

Well it’s been a long long long time since I updated this blog so at the start of my 2015 holidays (my first in 3 or so years) I decided to pull my finger out.

I’m going to drive from Perth to Melbourne, get on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry and get myself down to Ross in Tasmania to visit dear old Mum and Dad and then catch a plane back to Melbourne then to Wellington, New Zealand, and hop on an even smaller plane for the last leg to Westport. In Westport I’ll probably drink too much but that’s OK because it’ll be at a wedding and that’s kind of expected.

From the wedding I’ll retrace my steps (sort of, via Auckland this time) back to Tasmania for a few more days and then load up the trusty Hilux for the 3000km+ drive back to Perth in the west. This whole adventure is supposed to take 21 days….mmm maybe.

It will be the longest holiday I can remember taking for, well, I can’t remember one this long! I’ve always just sort of kept on working – even taken my holidays and spent the whole time working for someone else. Yeah, possibly very stupid but I’m just used to working.

My plan this was to get out of the state for a bit so I could ignore any phone calls pleading for me to come back to work. To do that I used the excuse that I needed to visit my parent (who retired to Tasmania) and go to a wedding in New Zealand. All perfectly plausible.


Roof top tent fitted to the Hilux

I could have flown all the way both ways but the reason I bought a four wheel drive was so I could go and see the place. I have driven across the country many times in a truck but always with a deadline to meet and no time to stop and really enjoy the trip – this time would be different!

So I bought a roof top tent. I was going to use my swag all the way across but I’m getting older and a bit softer and the tent looks bloody cool! I look down on people in swags now, literally. The frame supporting the tent is something my brother and I designed and put together in an afternoon – total materials cost was around $100 .I haven’t had time to fit a long range fuel tank so I’m doing it the old way – got a 44gal drum and filled it with diesel and a hand pump. Should see me most of the way there. I have to ditch the drum before I get on the ferry because they frown on that sort of shit but I’ve organised with someone near Melbourne through a 4WD forum website to look after my drum until I get back. Networking!

I would have liked to have the roo bar fitted too but that will have to wait until I get back. I did manage to get the dual battery system installed so I can run my fridge 24/7 without worrying about the vehicle not starting in the morning. Also a few other little extras where chucked in like a valuables lock box that can be secured to the vehicle – it won’t stop a determined thief but it definitely will stop an opportunist.


MaxTrax slung under the tent

Tomorrow (the day before I leave) I’m going to see about installing a “helper” spring leaf to my rear spring packs – the standard Hilux springs are feeling the pressure a bit with all the fuel, water and equipment on board and I need something to level the vehicle out or face realigning the headlights and driving nose up all the way across.

I also expect my fuel consumption to be higher with the tent sticking up into the wind and the extra weight. This will be the first real test of the Hilux even though I bought it new over two years ago. Prosser Toyota in Gosnells took care of the service several days ago and I’ve got my hands on a modest selection of spare parts such as filters, hoses, fan belt and my usual collection of assorted nuts/bolts/cable ties/electrical joiners/fuses/brake fluid/etc. When I tried buying the hoses and fan belt (non genuine) three stores I asked did not have them in stock so I can only imagine what sort of downtime I would have in the middle of bum-fuck waiting for such a simple part.

Tomorrow I hope to have everything organised and mostly packed onto the vehicle and the day after I will buy my perishable food supplies and head off at midday on my first leg of the trip, Perth to Hyden, where I will stay overnight with friends before travelling on the gravel road to Norseman.

Holidays-The Aftermath.

August 1, 2011

You know that sound that signals the return of reality? That really loud, discordant,crashing,unearthly sound of the alarm clock telling you to get up and get behind the wheel right now or you’re going to be late and you probably won’t be able to make up time for the rest of the week? Well, that happened to me last Monday and pretty much all I’ve done for the last week is eat/sleep/drive.

Welcome home. Welcome back from holidays. Welcome to work. Welcome to my reality. Now go away and let me mope around and complain about the unfairness of it all.

Ok, I’m not that heartbroken about it. It was a good break and if it had lasted longer I would have had to plan more stuff to do so I didn’t start climbing the walls or ring all my friends to find out what I was missing out on (although I did call twice to check up on my truck).

I will admit my first week back at work was a little rougher than ideal. A few issues with trailer light wiring, a faulty speed sensor (causing the cruise control to not work), a flat trailer tyre and the loss of power to the bunks interior lights. The trailer tyre is no big drama – considering that I have 62 tyres , not counting the 6 spares, and I haven’t had to change any on the side of the road for the last 6 months. I think I’m ahead of the game there. The bunk lights have proven to be more then just a blown fuse though, and I haven’t had the time to start tracking the problem down with the circuit tester. I’m not due home for 3 more days so I have to either make time to fix it or do without – it’s not a critical fault so my deliveries come first. The show must go on!

Cheers, Mike.

Holidays-The Middle

July 20, 2011

Five days into my holiday and I’ve re-learnt how to sleep in. Well, maybe. I think the time difference between here and home in the west has something to do with it. Getting up at 8:30am in Tasmania is like getting up at 6:30am at home. Does that count?
Went and annoyed the residents of Bruny Island yesterday. Nice place. Caught the ferry over there in the morning and drove around the whole island. Found and logged two geocaches, the second one was located at the Bruny Island lighthouse – worth the drive to go and have a look. I could see myself buying a few acres there and doing some navel gazing when I get old and decrepit.

View from Cape BrunyCape Bruny Lighthouse

I’m still not coming to grips with the cold though, too much time in the Pilbara I think. The Pilbara can get cold but at least it warms up when the sun appears and I haven’t heard of snow there either.
But holidays are supposed to take you out of “the everyday” and give you something to remember until to you manage to escape on the next little adventure.

Harts Mountain

Cheers, Mike.

Holidays-The Beginning

July 16, 2011

Well, I did it. I finally decided to go on holidays! As I write this I am sitting in the Melbourne airport sucking back a Corona while I wait for my connecting flight to Hobart.


Really it came down to “take a break or go batshit”. So I took a holiday. Also, it was a good excuse to visit my parents who moved to Tasmania a little while back. Keep my name in the Will and all 😉

So here I am, finally separated from the truck and able to stand on my own two feet without having to rely on an air-ride seat to keep my arse off the ground. Strangely liberating. Can’t help wondering how the run is going without me. I did manage to leave the work phone at home though.

Oh, and Melbourne weather is atrocious

Cheers, Mike.

Ah, The Luxury!

November 24, 2008

Three days into my week off on break and I’m just starting to wind down from full-on “work mode”.
Catching up with family and friends, stocking up on reading material to take with me when I go back to work and buying more jocks and socks. Can’t have too many jocks! Also, loading up my new iPod Touch with heaps of audio and video content to keep me occupied during my 4 week shift when I head back to work.
I have a list as long as my arm of other things to do while I at home but, realistically, there is only so much you can achieve. The best I can hope for is to take care of the important things and let everything else ride. Banking and paying accounts I can take care of over the net but it’s the personal contact things that present a problem. Being a truck driver it’s really hard to remain in contact (face to face) with my friends in the industry – given time time we all end up in the same place eventually. But eventually can be a very long time!
I have been lucky enough to spend the last three days with my daughter, although it has seemed to be one expense after another. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. I look at it as an investment in the future : when I get old and decrepit she will be obligated to pay for my catheter bags ; )
Every parent has their revenge on their offspring!

Cheers, Mike.