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Adventurers Diary

Life on a Bike interview by Indefinite Leave

Would you pack all your worldly possessions into a bag and hop on a Motorbike and go circumnavigate the world?

No?

Our friends Ken and Carol have…..twice!!!

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Dakar Rally finish Cairo Africa 2000

Just 2 weeks after I met Adele in 1987 I met her friends Ken and Carol and immediately liked them for their chilled personalities and sense of fun and adventure. Adele and Carol had worked together and were already good friends when I came on the scene.

In 2015, before we set off on our Australian road trip, we were able to catch up with Ken & Carol as they had a flying visit back to Brisbane. Over dinner at our place they shared some incredible stories and adventures we could only dream of.

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Kakadu National Park, NT 1985

Recently they were back in Brisbane and we would talk often on Facebook. During one of these conversations it was then when I realised I had to share their story with you too. You can see their blog at https://www.facebook.com/Life-On-A-Bike-291982764336402/

 

IL. How do you live on a Motorbike?

The most difficult thing is being minimalistic especially for ladies. Carol has had practice being a backpacker before we met. We carry most things other folks have in 4 wheeled vehicles just smaller, lighter and less of.

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Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia 2009

IL. How long have you been travelling on your Motorbike?

BC (Before Carol) I had been doing this since the mid seventies. We met in 1983 and left in 01/1985 for our ride around Australia and New Zealand as a precursor to our world travels.

First Around the World was 03/1997 to 06/2001. 4 years two months later we arrived home after promising we’d be back in 18 months or two years at the outside.

Our second commenced 09/2007 and is a ride in progress. Now in year ten, we thought it would be done and dusted in seven.

IL. How many countries have you been to?

We get asked this question a lot, do a count then promptly forget it. I’ll have to check but roughly around 80 odd. Need to keep some sort of record but we tend not to be counters. LOL.

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Hand in the Desert, Chile 2010

IL. What model Motorbike do you ride?

1981 BMW R80G/S with a Paris Dakar tank (large). It’s a bit like grandad’s axe. Most bits have been changed, some new, some used. It’s a simple bike and easily fixed. I do most of the maintenance and the range of parts available around the world still amazes me.

IL. What possesses someone to want to travel the word living on a Motorbike? You must be very adventurous and have a good dose of crazy thrown in 😉

As crazy as it may sound you would be amazed how many people are doing this right now and also how many people have done it in the past. When Carol and I first met she was already an international traveller (backpacker). I was the motorcyclist quite happy to plod around in our backyard (Australia). Our passions combined and this is where we ended up.
Crazy is an interesting word. We look at our lives as being quite normal. We feel a lot of envy sometimes because of our life style, but work hard at encouraging folks to have a go. It really isn’t rocket science. We are not particularly brave and tend not to tackle difficult countries. With the internet, research is easy and there are so many people out there willing to assist. On our ride back to Australia in 2000/2001 we were already planning the 2nd Around The World and how it would work. The variance not factored in is how slow we are travelling, dedicating more time to each country. Plus we are at the time in our lives when we lose family members. Unexpectedly, I lost my brother to leukaemia and Carol’s Dad passed away a short time later. These ‘pauses’ in our journey make us more determined to achieve the dream and ride on. Carol’s father was most enthusiastic in his dying days for us to continue our journey.

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Karakoram Highway, Pakistan 2000

IL. What do you do for shelter, showers, amenities, cooking?

We have a ‘comfort zone’ which is applied as best we can. We rarely free camp as Carol enjoys a toilet and shower as I do. In cheaper countries hard roofed accommodation is cheaper than a tent site (campgrounds) which quite often in these countries, do not exist. Cheap hotels, hostels, pensions, cabanas, motels, hotels, Airbnb’s will work for us. More expensive countries we will camp i.e. Europe/UK. Campground facilities in Western countries work well for us and prices are similar to hard roofed digs in cheaper countries. Weather will often dictate accommodation. We have camped (and ridden) in storms, hail, snow, sleet but hard roofs are the better option.

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Natures Window, Murchison Gorge WA 1985

IL. What do you carry with you?

You don’t have enough space for the list.. 😉 😉
Tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, aluminium stools, First Aid Kit, umbrellas, 2 x 6 litre MSR water bladders. Our ‘house’ fits in the 60 litre top box.

We each have a pannier (50 l) for clothes and personnel items. Clothes are minimal as we generally live in our bike gear. Everything is light weight, wash and wear. 3 shirts, 1 long pants, 1 shorts, silk/wool thermals, 3 grundies, 3 socks, pocket size spray jacket. Bike boots, walking shoes + thongs/slip-ons. Electric jacket which doubles as a going out jacket. We need to cover four seasons. Laundry is done frequently usually by hand.

Computers are in Carol’s case and chargers are in mine. This is the nemesis of travelling these days. Crazy number of chargers.

Tank bag is the kitchen. 5 litre folding tub, single burner Coleman petrol stove, two mugs, two pots, one pan, cutlery, Vegemite, honey, coffee, tea, sugar, powdered milk, spices, tuna, pasta, rice, although cous cous when available, is taking over from pasta and rice.

Basic spares and tools are scattered around the bike in plastic tubes (5) and an aluminium box (1). We fix our own punctures (tubes), service and tune the bike. Marvellous the people you meet on the road these days.

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Puncture repair, Brazil 2009

IL. Do you always feel safe?

Yes.. 99.9% of the time. In foreign lands where there is always the unknown we ask our hosts and locals the do’s and don’ts like, ‘is it safe to walk the streets at night’. Different rules apply to tourists and locals.

IL. I remember you telling us the story of riding through Mexico I think from memory and drug barons with weapons demanded you stop. Can you briefly relate that story?

The Drug Cartel story turned out to be different to what we thought. An experienced motorcycle traveller from Texas who travels to Mexico several times a year asked us if we had ever been challenged by the Cartels while riding. Reply was negative but he kindly forewarned us that it could happen but not to worry. Remain calm and answer the questions truthfully. On a highway, apparently little used (GPS’s and maps don’t show this), we were stopped. Three young men with machine guns, pistols and bullet proof vests inquired ‘where from’, ‘where to’, and ‘why’ then, finally, ‘do we enjoy Mexico’? We have flip-up helmets plus we removed our gloves indicating we were going nowhere. No issues, handshakes all around and a “bienviaje”. Discussions later with our experienced Texas rider, revealed that our new Mexican friends were not Cartel but possibly vigilantes fighting against the drug barons. We do not know, but, although the experience was disturbing we remained very calm and friendly and felt we were in no real danger. Our Spanish is/was very limited but the leader of the trio’s English was excellent thinking he had spent some time in the USA. This experience did not detract from the great times we had in Mexico and cannot express enough how much we love traveling in this country.

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Cuba 2014

IL. How much does it cost you to live each week?

Hahahaha.. This is another question we get asked a lot. We all have different levels of comfort so this is always a hard one. We have friends who are surprised at our costs. They do it way cheaper, especially solo guys who free camp. We have friends whose budget is way more as they don’t camp or cook. It’s all about how you travel.

Currently we are based in the UK and living on around $3,000 per month but that being said we generally have a surplus at the end of the Northern summer which provides enough for an return airfare to Australia. Accommodation and fuel costs affect us but last summer we caught up with a lot of travellers from Europe/UK who had stayed with us in Australia plus met on the road which substantially reduced our accommodation costs. This year we will be paying our way so to speak. Camping will be the norm plus supermarket food and self catering. Bring on the fine weather. In South and Central America things were much cheaper and our budget dropped accordingly. We had the same budget in North America as here but covered way more kilometres. Weather was more conducive to camping also.

Another contributing factor is sight seeing costs. Have no idea what this will come to this time in Europe. Apparently these are quite expensive so will need to choose carefully. There are only so many castles we can see.

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Closed bridge-pedestrian stairs, Nicaragua 2010

IL. What are some of your favourite places you have been to?

You don’t have enough space ..again!!!

There are a dozen places in Sth America we could name. Some are the tourist sites and some are just pleasant places few people visit. We could ride Sth America again, take another three years and 100,000 kms and find more fantastic places. Antarctica was also a huge hit with us. If you were to do a cruise and you don’t like cruises go to Antarctica. This place is special, like another planet.

We have literally thousands of pictures and when reviewing, memories are triggered to all these wonderful places.

Ushuaia, Torres del Paine, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, Kuelap, Galapagos, travelling on the Amazon River – Brazil to Peru, Bourda Cricket Ground in Georgetown, Salar de Uyuni, Riding the ‘Che’ route in Bolivia, mountains of Peru, mountain passes between Chile and Argentina, following the Dakar Rally in 2009 and 2010, Gold museum in Bogota.

This is just in Sth America… Mark these spots on your Sth American map, link them up with a line then see what Google has to say about them.. 😁 We follow several travellers and their destinations trigger many memories plus show us places we never even got close to..So much more out there.

We could highlight so many more places around the world… then..there are the people. Unique experiences that are one off’s and never likely to be repeated and others where we have made friends for life. Some we do not speak their language and they don’t speak ours. Hurdles we work around.

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St Basils, Moscow 2015

IL. Why do you love to travel?

This is a difficult question. We were asked this one (several times) in front of a class room full of Namibian school children in 2000.

Our emphasis on ‘it’s all about meeting the people’ which for us is definitely the most important aspect. Site seeing is the bonus but the people are what it is all about.

This reply however, did not satisfy.

We were with another Australian couple who were doing a similar ride. We both struggled to answer. None of our answers satisfied this teenage student. Replies like, to see the scenery, animals, people, travel the roads, camp, taste the foods etc did not meet his expectations. He even asked were we raising money for a charity. He could not understand why we spent money on travel when everything could be gotten from books, television, internet, movies, zoos. Maybe it was because of the poverty they lived in and to see affluent white folks traveling was a bit of an issue.

My final reply, almost in frustration as he continued to raise his hand and ask the same question… was ‘because it is in my “blood” to travel, to explore, to experience, to meet, to speak, to see for myself.’ This appeared to please him or perhaps he heard the frustration in my voice caused by his persistence.

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Unloading bike, Cuba 2014

IL. How long will you continue for?

My quote when it comes to travel is “The first step is always the most difficult.” The second most difficult thing … is “stopping”.

We have a dream to finish this RTW (Round The World) which will take us perhaps another 2-3 years then it will be a slow ride around Australia back to Brisbane. This is not set in stone however. Flexibility is the key.

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Ghengis Khan, Monglia 2015

IL. What is your best tip for other travellers?

Traveling like we do is not for everyone. If you have a desire to travel, test your boundaries. Family ties are a huge influence. Children, grandchildren, ageing parents.

Have friends who only do 3 monthly journeys as home sickness is a serious issue. Have seen some of the most hardened travellers succumb to home sickness. Nothing wrong with that.

Be flexible with your plans. We chase the perpetually cool summer with minimal rain. Avoid cold winters although we have been caught out. Summers in some countries are cold. Carol is the weather watcher and navigator. Our route is generally planned around a weather pattern. Amazing how many Northern hemisphere folks forget the seasons are reversed after you cross the equator. If you’re looking for a white winter that’s fine but it doesn’t work for us on the bike.. 😉

The internet is your greatest friend. Information is at your fingertips and there are websites and people out there very willing to help with your plans. Amazing the number of single women of all Nationalities now riding solo around the world on motorcycles.

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Road to Exmouth WA 1985

On a final note here is that famous quote from Mark Twain.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Cheers Ken and Carol

Thank you for sharing your story with us Ken and Carol and continued safe travel with Life on a Bike 🙂

Safe travels

Kev & Adele

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Adventurers Diary

Australia Road Trip Ep1 – Springbrook National Park

Australia Road Trip Ep 1 Springbrook National Park

Australia Road Trip Ep1 is the first of our series of videos!

First of all, we leave Brisbane and head south with our first stop at Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland. We visit Purling Brook Falls, Natural Bridge and The Best of All Lookouts before crossing the border and heading off to Fingal Head in Northern NSW.

First Day, First Hour…. Ohhh No, What have I done!!

Hope you enjoy the Australia Road Trip Ep1 video and be sure to stay tuned for more episodes.

Subscribe to us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave and check out where to stay from our video reviews on the hundreds of Caravan Parks, Campgrounds and Showgrounds all around Australia!

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Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Canon 800d – https://amzn.to/2vGuQUt – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Canon 50mm lens – https://amzn.to/2Llh4BD. This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAtF9b. This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAuxKZ. I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://amzn.to/2JcLDqn. My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

The new Go Pro 7 – https://amzn.to/2vyuP4X –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.
Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://amzn.to/2URtUXG. This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores. _______________________________________________________________________

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Adventurers Diary

Get the F###ing Fire Extinguisher!!

There’s a major story that we have never told, but a lot of time has gone by and I feel the time is now right. The air conditioner on our Motorhome caught on fire.

You know, flames from the roof, bellowing smoke, fire brigade, campground jam packed with hundreds of people all around us and Adele inside the Motorhome while the roof was alight with flames and smoke.

It was Easter Friday 2017. Earlier to this, we had been to Kangaroo Island in South Australia and arrived back on the mainland a few days prior and went straight to Rapid Bay Campground. Our YouTube channel has a video of the campground when we arrived and another the day of the fire. We were told there were 900 people camping there over Easter.

It was as simple as I plugged in the Generator and started it. Whenever we plug into electricity the Air Conditioner unit goes on standby and the standby light comes on, it’s our way of knowing the power is connected, but on this occasion Adele was inside and heard a fizzing sound and there was no light. She came out to tell me what she heard so I went inside myself to see why the light hadn’t turned on. I checked the unit and tried manually turning it on but nothing. Then I tried the remote control, still nothing.

Next minute absolute mayhem as someone came running over yelling to us we were on fire.

As you can imagine, it was immediate panic and the following few minutes are a blurr now looking back on it. Immediately I raced to the back of the Motorhome and climbed the ladder to see flames coming from the air conditioner unit. Someone had already unplugged the Generator and raced away from the Motorhome with it to take that risk out of the equation. I quickly asked for my 20L container of water to put out the fire when someone yelled out not to put water onto an electrical fire.

I’m glad someone was thinking common sense.

Adele grabbed our fire extinguisher and it was thrown up to me. I’d never used one before but very quickly worked it out and began giving the Motorhome a foam bath. It worked fast but this stuff went everywhere.

On the roof of the Motorhome there was powder residue all over it but the gift kept giving when we got back inside, it was all over our bed and all throughout the Winnebago.

It was obvious the fire was contained to just the air conditioner unit for which I was thankful, no damage at all to the Motorhome or the roof. 18 months later now and the air conditioner has been replaced, twice actually, but I’ll discuss that in a minute.

Matt was out fishing with our mate Mick in his boat so we had Mick’s wife call him to get the message through to Matt to come back.

The Fire Brigade was called to check everything and gave it the thumbs up. They looked right over everything and told me they believed the compressor had shorted and that did made sense.

So here we were, Easter Friday, nowhere to go, no-one to speak to about repairing it until Tuesday when shops opened again. Foam was everywhere, inside the Motorhome as well as outside.

We were the talking point of the Campground and for all the wrong reasons and photos began being posted on Instagram of our Motorhome on fire. The people there though were fantastic and very helpful.

Why the air conditioner decided that moment for the compressor to short out we don’t know.  We were thankful it did do it then, when there were so many other people about to notice it, This also meant there were others to help us to put it out properly, rather than just days before when we were free camping in isolated locations around Kangaroo Island.

Here’s what I do know though!!

End of the drama you’re thinking? NoNoNo, it was only just beginning.

The air conditioner that had been in our Motorhome was wayyyyyy too small and therefore was working too hard when it was used. It only barely cooled the Motorhome down when it was on and it was a hot day.

We bought our Motorhome second hand and it came with a Dometic B2200. It looked to be the original air conditioner unit but there’s no way for me to know for sure. What I do know is that the B2200 Dometic Air conditioner unit is designed for a 5m vehicle and was too small in capacity for our Motorhome – http://etime.com.au/appliances/air-conditioners/dometic-b2200-pop-top-roof-mounted-air-conditioner.html.

I didn’t know about all this until afterwards when I did some research.

Fortunately, we did manage to get on to our insurer CIL straight away the next day, they were awesome even though it was Easter Saturday. We decided to go see CaraRest in Adelaide and arrange for them to do the insurance work of replacing the air conditioner. Soon after Easter we were due to fly back home to Brisbane as I was the MC for my nieces wedding. This meant we could leave it with them for the 10 days while we were away and they would have plenty of time to see to the repairs.

When we dropped off the Motorhome, the owner of CaraRest said to me he would be installing a Dometic Harrier air conditioner, the model suited to our Motorhome.

Fantastic, no problem.

It was 10am and our flight was 4pm, thankfully we had plenty of time because 40 minutes into our taxi ride, when we were almost to the airport, I realised I left my wallet back in the Motorhome. Without my license I had no identification to show at the airport, so we had to turn around and go back to the Motorhome. When I arrived the owner’s daughter served me and took me out to the workshop to the Motorhome. They were already working on it so I jumped in through the open side door to the back of the Motorhome and reached through into the front cabin, grabbed my wallet and we were back on our way.

During the week I followed up with a phone call to the Owner to check on progress, yes everything will be ready by Friday, the day before we were due back to pick up the Motorhome. Again on Friday, I rang to check on progress and was assured it was almost complete, it would be ready when we got there on Saturday. Ohhh and by the way he said, we couldn’t fit that Air conditioner, the solar panels on the roof were in the way so we put in a B2200 Freshjet. I figured he knew what he was doing so ok, see you Saturday.

When we arrived the Motorhome was brought around to us. It was 11.30am and they closed at midday. The owner stood there with his pad and biro watching us while we all had our suitcases and luggage in our hands, over our shoulders and basically our hands were more full than a centipede’s sock drawer.

Given he showed no signs of opening the door, even if it was for a lady with her hands full, Adele decided to open the door to the back of the Motorhome and when she did the handle just fell off in her hands. We all stood there wondering what was happening before asking what the deal was. The Owner immediately responded that Adele had applied too much pressure and broke it.

You’re kidding right!!

A few minutes back and forth, I just wanted to get into the Motorhome and put down the bags. We knew what we were being told wasn’t adding up because one thing he said was they never used the back door. That seemed so odd, that they would lug their tools and an air conditioner unit over the front seats, squeeze their way between the two front seats, over our Waeco 40L fridge/freezer which at that time sat between our seats to access the rear of the Motorhome when there was a perfectly good side door. Besides, I had to come back to get my wallet remember and guess which door they had opened.

I went inside and looked at the air conditioner unit and straight away it looked odd. It was clearly much smaller in size to the previous one and that one hardly worked as it was. Quickly I googled it and found out it is made for a space of 25m3 (we are 49.5m3) and a vehicle of maximum length of 5m (we are 8m). Our Motorhome is W2780 x L8000 x H2230 internally giving a total approx area of 49.5m3. I asked him about it and he just said the one he wanted to put on wouldn’t fit and he put a like for like on it. He insisted that was all he had to do.

Check specifications here

Check more specifications here

At no time were we angry or swear etc, we simply asked questions and believe we made valid points such as why didn’t he call me to discuss options before deciding not to install the one he said he would. It was at this point he decided to yell at us to leave and walked off and slammed the door to the premises and locked it.

Did that reaction suggest he was feeling guilty about something, I guess only he could answer that!!

Here we were with a broken door handle plus an air conditioner totally unsuitable to our Motorhome. It was a Saturday and again the Monday was a Public holiday so we had to wait 3 days before we could get answers to the issues. We were ready to leave for Uluru but had to spend more unknown amount of time in Adelaide.

Before leaving, we rang CIL and told them what we knew and asked do we take possession of the Motorhome to which they said yes. So back to Rapid Bay we went for 3 more days.

Lets just say, we will never darken the doors of that company ever again and I highly recommend you don’t either.

Throughout our entire ordeal, CIL were magnificent. It’s why we were so disappointed when we had to change companies, you can read all about that here –https://indefiniteleave.com.au/caravan-motorhome-insurance/

By this time we wanted to leave Adelaide, we were pretty shattered and were looking for some positive experiences. It was also by this point we had run out of funds, nothing left, zip, zilch, zero. The stress was starting to tell. We spoke to CIL on the Tuesday and they said obviously we didn’t want to go back for them to fix the repairs and we confirmed we didn’t want them anywhere near our Motorhome. We said there was no point testing the air con in Adelaide in 22c cool weather, it will always seem cold.

So they agreed we should leave Adelaide and arrange repairs further up the road, maybe in Coober Pedy or Alice Springs. The door handle worked from the inside, just not the outside.

As we drove out of Adelaide just an hour or two…. Boom!! One of the tyres disintegrated and blew out. It was one of the rear dual wheels so we limped into the nearest town just nearby, a place you’ve probably never heard of called…..Snowtown!!

Ohhh shit……!!

Needless to say, we weren’t thinking an overnight stay here was something we were looking forward to. If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, just google Snowtown. Our headspace was already very ordinary, this felt like another blow. I kept telling myself, this is a test, the universe is asking me how much do you really want this life?

My business for reasons I couldn’t understand just wasn’t happening. I was doing a lot of work but contracts kept crashing and I was left without being paid anything for all my time and costs. Instead of the normal 1 in 5 contracts not proceeding on finance or other issues I had lost 8 out of 9 contracts while travelling. Each one that crashed was a dagger in my back and totally unexpected. Financially, we were now having to go into debt to continue.

This was when we became super awesome at travelling on a budget.

Only very few people know about this dark time we went through, that is our great friends we had met and travelled with and were keen to catch up with again. Jason, Denise and little Millie from the Facebook and Instagram page West Aussie Nomads and Mick, his wife L and their 2 boys all of whom we now proudly call great lifelong friends. We didn’t discuss details with any family or friends back home, we didn’t want to worry them when they were so far away.

Luckily we had been doing this long enough now to know there were going to be great times again, we just had to get through it.

We got ourselves to Darwin and went to see Paul who does Mobile Caravan repairs there and he was sensational. He showed us a caravan he was renovating and it was probably half the size of our Motorhome and he was putting a bigger air con in it, the B3200. Also he said he hoped the Insurers wouldn’t want him to keep the one installed in ours as it was so small he’d never use it.

Once he spoke to the Insurers and provided other really damning evidence and opinion, CIL backed us up entirely, organising the Harrier air conditioner to be installed plus replacement of the door handle and we were told the cost of it was sent back to the original repairer. Whether that is what happened I’m not privy to but it’s what we were told. Needless to say, CIL’s representative told us they were very disappointed with the original repairer.

There’s a comment made by two people within the industry that reflects so poorly on the original repairer that I’d love to share but it’s opinion and not fact, so that one you’ll have to ask me about if we meet one day.

We had the air conditioner replaced in a day, yes the solar panels had to be re-positioned but it was obviously easily done and could have been done originally, and a new door handle was installed. That was a huge relief but the Travel Gods decided we needed one more devastating blow, the time to make a call on our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS. It was time to say goodbye.

Now we were truly shattered, our souls were basically destroyed.

Let me tell you, this is so hard to write, tears are beginning to flow as I go back in time to share with you about this horrific two month period of our life on the road. They were cruel times.

The repairs were completed and we’ve had no issues with them since. We went heavily into debt and had to spend some time back in Brisbane getting control of our finances again. Therefore we headed home for Christmas and spent 4 months focused solely on getting back on track. Just when we got back in front we had to replace the rubber membrane of our roof in the Motorhome and that blew $8000 and left us with no surplus cash once again.

It had been fun times…. not!!

We honoured MACKS in every way we could think and today the Motorhome is called Darwinny, in remembrance of her and her resting place. She will always be part of Indefinite Leave and her collar, mat and lead stay with us.

We thank our great friends we mentioned for getting us through. More importantly, we have remained mates and catch up often and they feature in our next book coming out soon. We look forward to introducing them to you.

We can’t thank Paul from Pauls Mobile Caravan Repairs enough, he really knew his stuff and couldn’t have been better to deal with. Contact Paul on 0438 120 571 if you are in Darwin and need any help.

Also we remain very thankful to CIL for what they did for us even though we are now with a different insurer.

To everyone who followed our journey on our pages and offered us a friendly comment, chatted to us, messaged us and inspired us to keep going, and there were so many, thank you, you really don’t how much you helped us through that journey of our adventure but we sure do.

Our Blog became our place where we could go, put on a brave face and share positive thoughts and get back more in return.

Now go check your Fire Extinguisher, check it is accessible, in good working condition, isn’t out of date and all of you know how to use it, it may save your vehicle or even your life.

Safe travels

Kev& Adele
Indefinite Leave

_______________________________________________________________________

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Canon 800d – https://amzn.to/2vGuQUt – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Canon 50mm lens – https://amzn.to/2Llh4BD. This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAtF9b. This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAuxKZ. I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://amzn.to/2JcLDqn. My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

The new Go Pro 7 – https://amzn.to/2vyuP4X –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.
Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://amzn.to/2URtUXG. This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores. _______________________________________________________________________

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Adventurers Diary

I Can’t Do 4 Walls

I keep saying it, over and over, to anyone who asks and those willing to listen – I can’t do 4 walls again.

Although I don’t know everything about my future and I reserve the right to change my mind, after 2.5 years of living in Darwinny our Motorhome, I love it so much I don’t want it to change for my foreseeable future.

Adele is happy either way, she loves this life but could also go home. I think that’s mostly because she misses her Mum a lot and wants to be close to our sons Matt and Cameron.

During our time back home, we just had 4 months in Brisbane, we had lots of times where we were invited to friend’s places, sometimes even offered a place to stay. On a number of occasions, we received text messages from friends “I’m away for the weekend, the spare keys are under the mat, go relax in a bed and use the pool for a few days”.  We were so grateful for their offer and thoughts for us. Plus, we love that we have so many wonderful and kind friends.

When we did a housesit for my niece, it was awesome, beautiful pool, nice home, Foxtel, heaps of room to park the Motorhome. It was perfect, except I found within just a day or two I was back doing what I used to do, sit and watch TV, stay at home and not be productive. I wasn’t LIVING!!

We visited family and friends in their homes and all I see is “stuff”. The same stuff we used to have. All those possessions I thought that made me happy. Every now and then you’d blow off the dust and get a broom to the cobwebs and use my “stuff” again but for the most part it would just sit there doing nothing. Just money wasted which made us believe we needed to go back to work again week after week to fund the life everyone else has and we were copying.

Our friends and family may read this but I’m sure they’ll understand the context of what we mean. We discussed this with them anyway. While we passionately respect and love our family and friends, a house just isn’t where we’re at any more.

When my Dad passed away I found myself asking the question “there has to be more to life than work and do chores”.

We really miss our Mums, both of us have lost our Fathers now, and we miss our sons Matthew and Cameron. Also we miss our friends. I miss playing cricket and all my mates. It’s not easy to just pack up and leave and it’s even harder to stay away.

For me, my entire life of 51 years before we left was lived in Brisbane. I grew up living in the same family home, we didn’t move house even once, until I was married. Adele had lived in different places and moved around different homes, but I hadn’t. Therefore, I was very used to routine and stability. Given my personality that was probably a good thing.

We recently spent 4 months in Brisbane and the South East seeing everyone we could, pushing my business and exploring places we had never seen in our own “backyard”. I didn’t enjoy the traffic being back home in Brisbane, the hustle and bustle doesn’t do it for me now, but it’s still home and our Family are all there. Brisbane is home and always will be.

During this time back in the City was when I realised I yearned for things I learnt to love when road tripping around Oz. 3 specific things stood out that I missed.

• Sunsets
• Open fires
• The Stars at night

Nobody at home talks about seeing an amazing Sunset. There’s something special about them that we just love. The colours, the differences when there’s a cloud or fire in the distance, the different views across oceans or rivers, over barren land and between mountains or ranges. Sunsets can be so different yet all so spectacular. We just don’t appreciate them at home.

Cooking over an open fire, sitting around it with a Rum in hand and chatting to new friends, seriously, does it get any better than that.

I love waking up in the morning, getting the coals fired up again and cooking some bacon and eggs. Lighting a fire in downtown Brisvegas is a sure fire way to upset the neighbours and have the local Council issuing a huge fine.

While settled in over that fire at night, it’s so wondrous to look up and absorb the big picture. Who am I, why am I here, what else is out there, what would it be like to go to the moon, how amazing is life and how our planets work. I really enjoy looking up to the stars at night, imagining a life where I get to choose my tomorrow.

Yes, don’t box me in.

How does that song go:

Oh give me land, lots of land, and the starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in…….

Did I mention, I can’t do 4 walls…..

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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