So here we are in Australia. We bought the tickets kind of at the last minute and landing on kangaroo land two weeks ago we still did not know exactly how we were going to visit the country...
"On foot and by hitchhiking," Lucile suggested at the beginning. And then we walked 30 minutes with our bags under a deathly sun. When we arrived at our destination looking red like tomatoes, sweaty like pigs and snorting like cattle (a real farm on our own!) that we decided by a unilateral decision coming from Matt not to choose this solution...
"We should buy two mountain bikes, two trailers, and it would be really cool!" replied Matt, after our 15 hours of sleep, once we recovered from our emotions given the long journey. And then we looked at maps, places where we would like to go, jobs that we could have. And even if we love cycling, and that it remains one of our dreams to accomplish a great cycling trip, the fact remains that Australia is gigantic, that it is and will stay really hot for a few more months, and that we still remembered our short hike the day before. And it was with groans that we decided by a unilateral decision from Lucile not to choose this solution.
"What if we rent a car?" I finally timidly advanced after several minutes of reflection. We do not know how long we will stay in Australia, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year...A monthly rental at the last minute is already very expensive, so at the last minute over several months....So it was by a mutual agreement that Matt decided that my idea was very stupid.
In short, after a lot of reflections that should surely have happened before we left, we decided... (Attention, drum rolls...unsustainable suspense...question marks around your heads...what, how did they solve the issue?)...We decided to buy a car!!! Yaaaaaaayyyy! What a surprise, eh?
Over the next four or five days, we saw vehicles of all kinds. Vans, 4x4s, very simple cars. Empty ones, equipped ones, half-equipped ones. New and much less new, crashed and sick motors.
And then we came across a 2003 Subaru Forester, with 220000km on the ticker, a REGO valid until November 2017. Roof racks, a kangaroo bumper (yes, we don’t say "bull bar” here!). A little dent in the back, a headlight that works but the plastic has exploded under the impact of a bad parking. But otherwise, the best car we've seen...
If it had taken us two weeks to buy Rusty in New Zealand, we got this one in only 5 days in Australia.
Maybe a little too fast, but what is done is done. For AU $ 4000 (AU $ 3900 if we count the barrier and the cargo mat that we resold), the car was ours!
Five days later we had to take it to the doctor... A metallic noise scared us every time we were on the road, and two belts did not look particularly healthy. At Japline, we then learned that our poor car had to get an internal facelift.
So we started to cut and remove the heat shield on part of the muffler (the famous metallic noise); Replace the air conditioning belt, the alternator belt, cooling system pipes and finally the thermostat. And retrieve a new used headlight. The whole thing went easily without an appointment, with the car of the boss's daughter that was loaned to us (the car, not the boss's daughter!), and for the small sum (bad for our bank account...) AU $ 692...
And we will still have to change the tires (big screw in the left front tire and only a few thousand km left on them) and the brakes soon...but otherwise, perfect condition!!
Once all this was done, we raided at Bunnings (their Home Depot) and Kmart... After long (again!) hesitations, we opted for the solution of mounting a shelf in the back of the car and purchasing a roof tent from Adventure Kings and one of their awnings.
Together we banged, hammered, cut, levelled, mounted, and screwed... A whole day to do it, and the result is not bad at all!!
Gas, cutlery, dishes, everything necessary to live is now in place in the car, Matt has changed the headlight, and the tent and the awning are mounted...
We also wanted to name our Australian car...thanks to Marilyne, Louisette, Michel and Delphine who proposed the name that won the most likes on our Facebook page...The promised postcard is on its way!!
So we will travel aboard Chocolatine (Choco for its nickname...)!! Let's go!!!