Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Bye Bye

Happy New Year to everyone!
As many of you might have done on the 31st December, looking back to the 2015, we did likewise and realised once more how wonderful it had been for us and what a great time we have had. Our trip around Australia was just fantastic. A lot happened and it might be of interest for the readers to look into some figures and numbers of our trip: 

We were away from Switzerland for a total of 354 days. Of these were 297 nights of sleep, mostly deep and sound, in our home Kasbah. 37 nights  – some 10%! –  we were offered the master bedroom with ensuite at the „Taylor’s Inn“. The company was fabulous and what came out of Robyn’s kitchen is best described as a 5-star dinner —every single night.
We started our trip in November 2014 and went to New Zealand first, where we spent 13 nights in the cozy sleep-out of our friend Nicole’s place on the Coromandel Peninsula. We arrived both very excited about the upcoming journey and completely knackered after the exhausting finish in Switzerland. We enjoyed very much being part of Nicole’s life and after two weeks our batteries were recharged.
Over New Year’s we spent 5 nights in the capital Sydney where we booked a room through Airbnb, which was a first-time experience for us and worked out so well, that we did it again a few months later.

 Living room of the luxurious Taylor's Inn

Our fabulous hosts – the Taylors

 Nicole's lovely house in Kuaotunu

Our friend Nicole and her dog Max

In total we drove 40’140 km on Australian roads of which probably around 20% (or 8’000 km) on gravel roads. The worst road conditions we encountered in the Kimberley region: the 78km drive from Kalumburu Road to the Mitchell Falls and back again. Nowhere else was the corrugation as bad as there. Some parts of the Tanami Road, and the drive up to Cape York (and back …) could keep up with this but were shorter.
We varied the pressure in our tyres quite often and the range was between 12psi (0.8 bar, Big Red in the Simpson Desert) and 45psi (3.2 bar, sealed roads). 
The old Telegraph Track and the Old Coach Road (both on the Cape York peninsula) as well as the Deddick Track in the Alpine NP called for driving in low range for hours at a time. Other than that we used low range daily to drive up the levellers in order to have a level bed ;-)

Kasbah on the Big Red – the highest sand dune in the Simpson Desert

The average diesel consumption we calculated as 13.2 litres per 100km and in total Kasbah took 5182 litres of Diesel. In our camp kitchen we burnt 26 litres of Shellite and 16 litres of Methylated Spirits. Furthermore we pushed 2640 litres of water through our ceramic filter and had perfectly safe and utterly tasteless drinking water all the way. 
Our truck used13 litres of motor oil (of which only 1 litre for topping up), 6 litres of coolant (because of our problems with the radiator), 1.5 litres of breaking fluid, 1 new radiator, 0.6 sets of tyres, 1 spare tube and tyre. And we used at least 2 cartridges of Sikaflex 252 to fix and glue things which came loose or to implement new ideas. 

Oliver did the last service of Kasbah himself together with Adrian in his workshop 

The two of us went through 500ml of Daylong sunscreen, had to replace 3 T-Shirts and one pair of trousers which were worn out, 1 pair of runners, 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of hiking boots and 4 pairs of socks.

As mentioned in several posts we really liked the Australian NPs where the views and the camping were often nothing short of spectacular (see pictures below). In total these were 63 nights (plus some more in nature reserves and the like not included in this number). 
In our opinion most of the parks and states do an outstanding job, however, the booking system in Queensland is a nightmare for travellers. As are the pricing politics in Victoria (where some of the campgrounds cost $42 per night, most of which were free 5 years ago). Nevertheless we spent 15 nights in Queensland NPs, 3 in Victoria, 4 in South Australia, 16 in Western Australia, 17 in New South Wales and 18 in the Northern Territory.
During our journey we crossed state borders 11 times with no problems at all, we just had to accept the restrictions for some food items. We could either precook our fruits and vegetables or even better eat them before the border crossing.
Weatherwise we had a lot of variety. 42°C being the maximum temperature at the Murray River in Purnong on February 22nd. The lowest temperature with 1°C we experienced in the Red Centre close to the Uluru at the end of June. We had a fabulous longest period of no rain for 147 days but also 9 days with rain in a row (but only once).

Our list of the most-frequently-used equipment includes our two cookers, the billy, the Hema maps and road atlases (App and hardcopies) and the highly useful Wikicamps App on the iPad.
Must-have equipment were the fly screens (for pop-up roof and door) and the headnets, plus the fly swat, the breaker bar for the wheel nuts, the Staun deflators and our ARB compressor (which was gifted to us by Peter Bladin, thank you very much!), the Cobb oven to bake bread and pizza and prepare steaks. And, last but not least, Jeannine’s EasiYo yoghurt maker that saved us from the prevalent thickened, sweetened and artificially flavoured low-fat Australian yoghurt.

 Surviving without a headnet was very unpleasant at times

Our fly swat with a victim

 The Cobb oven....

... and what came out of it

Unfortunately this final blog post took much longer to publish than anticipated. There was just too much to do and to prepare because we needed to get into our nomad’s life on another continent. It’s South America where we arrived mid November. Kasbah arrived in Chile in the second week of December and we are very glad to have our loved home back!
With this post we conclude the She’ll be apples blog but continue with a new travel blog about South America. We do publish this in German only but for the ones interested Google translator might be handy and the pictures don’t need words anyway.

So long and she was all apples

In the Termas de Colina, Valle de Maipo, Chile