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Elephant Cove, Denmark, Western Australia.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Van Naming.

I.have named my van. 
Hubby rolled his eyes and thinks I am nuts.
Her name is "Wanda" 
And together, one day, that is what we will do. 
Me and Wanda, we will wander.

She is booked in to have the starter motor looked at next week. 
I have been driving it around, usually it starts but a couple of times we have had to get out and give the SM a few bangs before it will start, not a big deal but it is easier when there are 2 of us.  Getting it fixed though will mean I wont have to worry about it.

I still haven't emptied it completey or thought about what to put in the back but I am going to make a list and make a start next week.  Once the mechanic has looked it over and given it a good report we will take it away, maybe just overnight but we might wait until the school holidays are over.  That will make more sense I think, so really, that gives me around 4-5 weeks to get it ready for an overnighter. That should be plenty of time, even for me.

One thing I REALLY need to do is find out how to get to the engine.  We have looked but haven't worked it out yet and as there is no book with it...I need to have a look on the internet, or ask someone.  If I haven't worked it out by next week than I will get the mechanic to show me but I really should find out before then and before I drive it too much, just in case...

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Looked. I'm Back.

I rang, it was still there so we left.  Fremantle isn't very far from here, maybe an hour and a half...give or take...
We ummed and aahed about whether to take my car or his and finally decided that we'd take mine because if we did buy the van I'd rather drive mine home than an unknown one.  He drove up and we did call into Woodman Point and that area will stay near the top of the list. 

Found our way to where the van was parked and looked it over and talked about it.  It wasn't set up as a camper but had a mattress and some wooden stuff in the back.  A shower cubicle like the two we had bought before was in there.   The body was a bit rough, after all it is nearly 20 years old.  No rust but you could tell some had been cut out and the body repaired.  Bit of a dent.  It had a roo bar but no towball.  .  The bloke was asking $3800.


Because it was a bit rough I thought I'd make an offer of $3500.  If it started OK and the inside wasn't too rough.

So we rang the guy, arranged a time for him to come meet us and went and had lunch while we waited. 

He came, we looked, he opened all the doors and we could see a couple of batteries and an inverter under the bed.  It had seats in the back and the bloke said that they come out or can be turned around.

We are thinking it would be OK to get so ask to start it.  It wouldn't start...he banged on the starter motor and it started but me and Hubby had already decided I think.
I pretended that we were looking at it for our daughter and were a bit concerned about it not starting so he said he'd drop a few hundred off.  Down to $3200.  We have had 2 cars that had to have the SM banged on sometimes before they would start.  Not a big deal, easy enough to replace if needed so I thought his amount was fair.  We were going to get it but something made me say "if we took it now would you take $3000"  He said yes so, done deal. 

He had said he would put 6 months rego on it too so, better deal.  He said we could follow him somewhere and get it licenced and changed over so he drove the van and we followed him about 15 minutes away.   We were behind the van so could see if the flickers were working or if smoke was coming out.  It looked fine.

Got to the licencing centre and the car is now mine!!!

Hubby drove home and says it drives good.  I took it for a drive once we got home but thought it had a very slow take off and pickup but he says that is because it is diesel  But it is a turbo diesel so I just had to put my foot down more.  It will take some getting used to having a very short front but shouldn't be too hard.

I have Ultimate RAC cover so if it conks out while I'm driving it over the next couple of weeks I'll be right but will get it looked at and serviced before I go off in it alone.

Hopefully there wont be any major dramas with it.

We will pull out the bed and all the framework, get it cleaned and decide what we will do on the inside.

I'm Going To Look At A Van today.

It is under my budget and fits most of the criteria.
It is automatic.
power steering.
under 200,000km though that wasn't on the list it is good mileage.
Less than 20 years old, also not on the list but we have always had old cars, 'cept for the one I bought near new and always have trouble with...
It was advertised as a campervan but didn't say anything about the setup so that is something that I will see about today.  If it has nothing in it it is not that important, we can do that ourselves but it may affect what I want to pay.

It isn't far away and I rang the guy last night and it was still there so I will ring him again this morning to confirm and we will be off.

If nothing else it will give us a chance to check out some places to stay at Woodman Point.  That place is up the top of our list of places to go and see so this will tell us if it stays there or gets knocked off.

I will be back...

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Don't Fish... So...

When we went to GreenHead in June and the others went fishing I stayed back at camp.  After them coming back and telling me about the things that they had seen down near the water I decided that next time I would be going along as well.  But I don't fish so what was I going to do?  I would take a book!

So...While we were up in GreenHead, back in November, it was just Hubby and me this time but I did take a book and some magazines to read while he went fishing.
I needed to be on the spot as I didn't want to miss out on seeing *things*

So while he fished for Whiting in Billygoat Bay this was me...

Until I decided that that was a waste of  lovely looking water and went swimming.  Much more fun than sitting on the beach reading.
But wasn't Hubby a Dear to set up a flyproof area for me.



When he went fishing for squid off the jetty I was there.
But it was cold and windy so this time I was rugged up and looked like...
I was warm and cosy though and wasn't going to miss out on seeing any creatures if they were around and seeable...There weren't any though but if there was going to be, I was there.


While he was out in the boat with the bloke from the camp next to us I was out riding along the coastline.  Way down there are these birds.









While he fished in the little cove down behind the caravan park I was there.
I walked along the water and found some creatures.


Yay, I saw some things.  OK they were only black snails but pretty cool. I wonder if you can eat them.















                          There was a cool looking bird there too.








                                     I walked in the water






and discovered the hidden lair of a wolf like creature.









OK, there's a story behind this.  Read it and decide whether I'm *full of it*  Or not.

Hubby and I were walking along a track when we saw a wolflike looking animal up ahead of us.  It wasn't an ordinary looking dog, it made you think 'wolf"  I made him slow down a bit because everyones knows that wolves eat people...Anyway, the next day we were down in this cove and I saw the prints.  They led to a small cave.  There were scratching marks in the sand out front of it..  The cave went back a long way but we could see where the sand had been dug out to make a hollow.  For the "wolf" to sleep in.  We stepped back and walked away.  Goosebumps running up the back of my neck...


I have decided that next time we go somewhere, even if there is fishing involved, I will leave the book and mags back at camp.  There is a lot to see and do out there in this great country of ours and I'm going to see and do it firsthand.  I don't want to be living out of a book.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bike Carrier.

We have sometimes taken our pushbikes with us when we've gone away, putting them on top of everything in the back of the Cruiser.  It is awkward getting them out again and I can't manage it at all.  We've talked of buying a bike-rack to go on the back of his car and then I could use it when I get my van. 

On Thursday as Hubby was lifting the bikes in he said that he would call into Pinjarra and get one.  So we called into Auto1 to see what they had.  They had a few sorts and we ended up buying one that goes onto the towball and will hold 3 bikes as there will probably be times when there is an extra person and bike with us.  It cost over $100 but I'm not counting it as expenses for this trip as it was needed and will be used often.
Getting it outside and preparing to put in on the car he remembers that his towball is stuck and doesn't come off.  But we are next door to a workshop so we get them to cut off the towball and we then put on the new one that he had to go in and buy.  Looking at the rack though and reading a sticker on it I see that my bike, girls one so no crossbar, won't fit.  It needs an extension bar.  Back into Auto1 I go and ask about that but they said they had never come across that before and had no idea.  They ring the bikerack people who don't sell them, I need a bike shop.

So we have a bikerack on but the bikes are still in on top of everything.

Coming into Perth we call into a shopping centre, we need a book of maps as well, no shop has that, but we find a bike shop that has the part we need.  Another $44 and we are on our way again.

The bikes were finally able to be put on and the rack works fine. It is suggested that the bikes are tied as well which I think is kinda dumb, I think a bikerack should safely hold bikes without them needing to be tied on as well. 

Anyway, it's still another job that Hubby needs to do, I cannot lift either of the bikes on or off.  It is easier for him though than getting them in and out off the car.
Not sure if I will be able to use it with a van but as that will be lower I may be able to.  I hope so, I do like my bike. 


        

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We Ate This. GreenHead, November.

Eating when away camping is still a new thing for me, I mean, I know how to eat, that's obvious when looking at me but menu-planning and what to take away is not easy for me to fiqure out.
At home Hubby rarely  eats breakfast or lunch.  But says that he might when away.  But he doesn't eat cereal.

For this trip I planned on eating fish but took a couple of frozen meals just in case.  I took my oatmix because I need breakfast and it makes a good healthy snack as well.  I just need to add hot water to it so this is an easy cheap meal.  My kind of food.  I took 2 dozen eggs, also quick, cheap, easy but 24 eggs for 2 people over 4 days...maybe too many from a health perspective.  I also took my bread, his bread, bit of fruit, salad from the garden here, some bacon...some other stuff.

The day we left I made myself some lunch, just a sandwich and a banana and put it in the car fridge with us but because he doesn't eat lunch I didn't worry about anything for him.  There was food in the back in the esky though if he wanted to stop somewhere.  Well we had to call into a shopping centre near Perth, looking for a book of maps and a bike part, and when we were walking through the foodhall he decided that he was hungry.  So of course I had to buy something as well. Yep, them's the rules!  It was OK but not planned.  While at the shops he bought some sausages and some fish royales.  There's faith in your fishing abilities.
I had my lunch for tea that night because he didn't want anything. 

Friday.  He had caught a feed of fish so that's what we had for tea.  With eggs.
Saturday. We cooked up the sausages for tea with the intention of taking the rest with us on our visit to the caves the next day.
Sunday. Hubby caught a couple of squid in the afternoon so of course, Salt and Pepper Squid for tea.  With salad.
Monday. Fish Royales and salad for tea with the extras being put in the car-fridge for travelling home.
One day we had bacon and eggs for brunch.  One day we had "rotten banana pikelets" for breakfast and I had them again for lunch.  Eggs were had one day for breakfast, I don't think I ended up having any of my oatmix at all..  We did manage to get through all the eggs.  I like eggs and it's just as well seeing as we get so many from our chooks.
The frozen meals that I took were kept frozen and were brought back home and are back in the freezer.

Salt and Pepper Squid that Hubby caught and cooked.
      


Add a salad that I grew and put together and we had a yummy, healthy meal.  Much better than we get at home!  Even the beetroot and the Bread and Butter pickles were grown and pickled by me.



I took up some bananas to snack on, these were originally rescued from the pig food crate and were yellow to start with but then I left them in the esky for a couple of days.  But we can't waste stuff so what to do? 


Add a couple of eggs, some SR flour, some of my oatmix and there you go.







All up we ate really well.  Too many biscuits, bought ones too!! but not much other rubbish stuff.  The chips he took up came home with us but didn't last the first night back here.  I took up cooking oil in a jar, Hubby would rather it in a bottle so I need to find a short one that will stand up in the food box.  There wasn't anything that we wanted and didn't have so I think we did good.  There's not much that needs working on in the food department, I just need to refill things so we are ready for next time.

Oh, I did forget a dish/bucket/bowl to make washing the dishes easier.  And we could have done with a few more clean clothes.  Apart from that, we were sorted.

Friday, November 19, 2010

GreenHead, November 2010.

It was Thursday before we left for our trip up to GreenHead but as we were leaving a couple of days early anyway it wasn't important that we didn't get away until 9ish.
First stop was Pinjarra as I had to buy more meds and while we were there Hubby decided to call into Auto1 and check out some bike racks.  We bought one but there was a bit of a drama with it.   It was an hour later before we were on the move again.
We got onto the freeway and it was then a quick drive north but we had to make a stop at a shopping centre off the freeway just before Perth.  We were looking for a book of maps and a bike part.  Found the bike part but not 1 of the 4 shops we looked in had the book we wanted.  I had packed food for munching on in the car but the foodcourt called to Hubby and it was more than an hour and a half before we were on our way again.

CERVANTES.
We stayed at Cervantes Caravan Park on Thursday night but didn't set up the tent  We unpacked the table, stove, esky, then the bikes, had a coffee then walked down to the jetty, back for coffee then Hubby went fishing while I stayed at the car *soloing*
No fish, no squid.  Sandwiches for tea.
We slept in the swag on the back of the Cruiser, woke early, had coffee then a bike ride.  Coming out of the park I saw *something* through the fence on the road.  The road had houses down one side but this thing was a kangaroo.  It was munching on someones front lawn then it went hopping down the street.  So cool.
Left here about 8am.




GREY.
I had never heard of this place, we called in to see it as I wanted to go to Wedge but we missed the turnoff.
There is a sign saying "Grey Sustainable Comunity" and the whole area is covered in ramshackle shacks.  There are tracks going off in all directions and each shack looks worse than the last.  Big blue barrels on the roofs for water.  I thought the place was really cool but Hubby just kept shaking his head and saying "what a mess, they should be pulled down"  I'm surprised some didn't fall down by themselves.


JURIEN BAY.
We have stayed here before but we called in mainly to get some information on the "Blessing of the Fleet" festival that was on over the weekend.  Crayfishing was due to open in a few days time.
The caravan park looked busy and on the way out of town we passed a sign saying " overflow camping" so the town knew they were going to be full and had set up an alternative area.  We checked it out as we were thinking of coming back for the festival but we ended up staying in GreenHead.

GREENHEAD.
We arrived in Greenhead late afternoon, drove around a bit then went to the caravan park and booked in.  We had a powered site at $27 a night for us both.
Unpacked, set up camp, coffee then rode down to the jetty, just to make sure it was still there. Back to camp for coffee then fishing Friday night.  He tried for fish and squid, caight a few Herring but didn't even see a squid.





Saturday.  Woke before the birds at 4.30, up and walked out the back of the caravan park.  There are cliffs out here that give a geat veiw out over the water.  I love walking out there and feeling the power of the Universe.  Saw quite a few fat healthy looking rabbits that would go nice in the pan...
After breakfast and a bike ride we drove out to Billygoat Bay.  We kinda intended to fish for Whiting.  This bay was so calm but it looked like the tide was out, a couple of other cars coming and going.
We drove onto the beach, the beaches are easy to get onto in this area and all seem really hard so there is no problem driving along them.  Set up *camp* I was going to read but thought that a waste so did some beachcombing instead.  Found some pretty shells, one quite big, bigger than any I have seen for years.
Was walking through the water, it was so cold but so clean and clear that even though I don't swim in salt water I had to.  It was very *refreshing*
Hubby made lunch.  Gotta say it, that guy does look after me.
Bike ride in the afternoon.  Went exploring then up to a lookout then up to another one.  Some of the hilly tracks were quite steep and one of us had to get off and walk.  Going down the hill on the bike was scarey though.  Loose gravel then a curve through sand.  Not good but I only landed on my face once, the other few times I managed to save myself.  You'd think I'd learn but no, it was kinda fun and what's a few scratches and bruises when you're having fun.  We did find a Geocache on our travels though.  Back to camp for coffee.   Fishing in the evening and a couple of Herring were caught. 

Sunday. Up just after 4am again.  Out the back for my walk, explored a little cove that we had discovered the day before.  Back to wake him up for coffee.  Fishing down the jetty but only caught 1 Wrasse.  On the way back to the car we saw some blokes dragging a net out off the beach so went over for a look.  They had pulled in a few dozen Mullet and gave us some so another meal sorted. 
Around 10am we left and drove out to the Stockyard Gully Cave.  We have been here before but I really like it so we went back for another look.  We saw  parts of the cave that we never noticed last time and I explored a cave within the main cave.  So dark with the torch turned off and scarey in a fun sort of way.  Back to camp for lunch then I read/slept while he went squidding out the back.  Caught 2 so tea was sorted.
It was very windy most of Sunday afternoon.  Hubby made Salt and Pepper Squid for us for tea.  I did put together a salad to go with it and as I had grown most of it I didn't feel too bad about him doing most of the cooking.  In bed by 7.30.

We were planning on leaving GreenHead on Monday but on Sunday the bloke in the campsite next to us invited us out in his boat.  Hubby agreed I declined, it wasn't a very big boat and it was windy and I don't fish...blah, blah, blah...Wish I went now though.

Monday.  Walked again, this walk will be a regular thing whenever I am up here.   Out the back squidding by 5.30 but nothing there so back to camp for coffee and beakfast.  The boat was suposed to be leaving at 7 but it was so windy it was put off for a bit so we went for a walk then back to wait and see if the wind dopped.  It did so the men left around 9.  I was going to tidy up camp but went for a ride instead.  I was back around 10, a quick tidy then read 'til the boat came back.  Doesn't seem like boat fishing is much better than any other fishing as he only ended up with 5 Herring.  At 2.30 we went out the back, caught nothing off the rocks so went down to the cove and caught a blowie.  Back to camp at 5.30.  We did see an Eagle Ray at the cove sand a big, yellow beaked bird so that was good.  Went down the jstty but didn't have any decent gear with us so caught nothing.  Lots of Wrasse swimming arounf but we couldn't catch them.  I must look up on how to as they are nice to eat and there was a lot of them, taking the bait but not the hook.  A lady down there fishing had caught a squid, a wrasse, some herring so hopefully it was just our lack of gear that was stopping us.

Tuesday.
Slept in and didn't start my walk until 5.  Went down to the cove and saw a small shovelnose shark swimming along the shoreline.  Back for coffee then walked out the back again with Hubby.  Back at camp and had breakfast and was packed up and ready to leave by 8.20.


WEDGE ISLAND.
Called into here on the way home.  With the new road going north from
Cervantes there are quite a few places that are now easy to get to but why do all the best spots have *No Camping* signs up?  I had heard of this place years ago but thought that it had been closed down and was just an area where motorbike hoons went for their fun.  I was wrong, there are heaps of shacks there and most looked in a lot better condition than the ones in Grey.  We drove down onto the beach for a look and it is one of the loveliest beaches that I have seen for a long time.  Wide clean white sand beach, blue water, the island way down the south end.
We drove down to where some boats were on the sand and could see right away how the place had got it's name.  The island is just like a wedge.  It looks like something a giant would stick under his door to stop it slamming shut.
The beach was hard and easy to drive on. It was windy but not too bad but we weren't there long. We decided to come back another day and went back into the shack area.  We stopped and I spoke to a couple thatwere outside their shack, they have been going there for 38 years, that's a long time but according to them it is the only place to go.


I will add to this over the next few days as I remember stuff.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back and Busy.

We had agreat time while away and arrived back here around 5pm yesterday. (Tuesday)
First thing I had to do was check that the gardens and chickens had survived the daughters looking after them and I am pleased to say that everything did.  I have put a few things away but still have most of it to do but as Hubby has taken the car into town I'm using that as my excuse not to do it yet.  I have done the washing we brought back and emptied an esky...

Another reason for not doing it is I have been busy out in the yard.  http://barbsbackyard.blogspot.com/

I will do some more when he gets back but I need to write about all our wonderful adventures as well...And I need more time outside... but that will come later...How will I manage to get it all done...Maybe I could make a start.  There's an idea.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Going to GreenHead.

We are off to GreenHead again, either this afternoon or early tomorrow, depending on when I can be ready by.  I have had 3 months since our last trip so more than enough time to have everything organised but I didn't do a damn thing and now I have to do it all.  In fairness though I did think we were leaving on Saturday and that I would have 3 days to get everything sorted but he sprung it on me that we would leave earlier and stay away longer.  I should have been ready anyway but I am such a S.A. that I never do things until the last minute.

And instead of being out there doing it this morning I have been out in the garden planting stuff.

I need to find my list and check the camping box, decide what food to take...but I'm not sure how much I need...lots to do...so I better get out there and make a start.

I am hoping to get some use from my Whiz while we are away
and then do a report when we get back so that will be a post for
you all to look forward to. 
Smile

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Whizz Is Here.

I wrote a bit about Female Urinary Devices a while ago and said that I was thinking of getting myself one.

Well I did.  I bought myself a present. It is purple.  Need I say more?


 

 I bought it from a lady in Perth, WA at http://www.ezypeezyproducts.com.au

I haven't tried it out yet but will have a play in the next few days.  
We are off to Green Head in a few weeks time and I will be use it up there  then report back.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sore and Whingey.

This is a whinge but I gotta get it out there. 

I am having doubts about being able to go solo camping anytime at all.
My arms are so sore today I can hardly use the keyboard.  I kept dropping the book I was reading and I have burnt myself by spilling hot coffee on myself.  And I forgot and shut the toilet door and it took ages to get it open again.
So how am I going to be able to safetly drive a van to get me places.  I might be able to get there but what if I can't drive to get home again.
I have been so sore all week.  And I'm tired all the time again.  I may need another blood test but I think the iron is getting low again. 

So just having a little Sookylala day.  Nothing to stress too much about just a whinge where it wont bother too many people.

I smell good though.  I have covered my arms and back in Deep Heat.  Not sure if it is helping but I do like the smell.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Converted Bus That Wasn't.

We had lunch at a sisters place yesterday and they had some friends there that have a campervan/motor home thing.

I had heard about this bus that these people had bought and converted and had in my head a picture of a...well, converted bus.  Well let me tell you, this was no *in my head converted bus* this was luxury on wheels, a motor home to beat all moter homes.  This bus was better decked out than my little house.  And nearly as big!

They bought the bus intending to convert it themselves but didn't have enough time so got people to do it for them.  Custom designed, it took 2 years to complete.

They intend "doing the block" in it, in stages next year.

Now while this thing was very impressive it is definitely not what I want.   I liked it but was not envious at all.  Maybe a little shocked at the thought of the cost to own and run such a machine.

As they say though, "it takes all kinds" and I am still looking for a small van that I can camp in.

I will up the looking next year but in the mean time must play the nice wifey thing and get Hubby to take me somewhere.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Race Is On.

Daughter L is a Hippie (hippy?) that doesn't like cars and hasn't wanted to learn how to drive
Until recently.
She now has her Learners and I heard her say that she is looking for a van.  For her to buy. What!
Not before me you don't Little Miss.

I don't think she wants hers for camping though so it may be OK.  I *think* she wants to live in hers so if she finds one before me I will just smile.  And borrow it.  With her van and her dog I'd be off like a shot.

So you go Girl.  Find us that van.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Was Cross.

I was a bit cross with my husband last week.  He *promised* that we would take the Cruiser and go up to GreenHead again for a few nights, on his next break.  Well 2 weeks at home for him and 6 days in a row for me is, to me, his next break.  He even gave me a day when we would leave.  But other stuff had to be done so we didn't go.

So I was cross and disappointed.  Understandably so in my opinion.  So there!!

This is why I need to get a van, though I'm not sure if I would have gone there by myself.  But other places...

He says we will go next break.  Then says that it's now Spring so breaks will be few and far between.

I know...that's why we should have gone last week...GrrrGrrrGrrr.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Myalup Beach.

Myalup Beach is a lovely little place between Bunbury and Perth, 3 km off the main road.   It has a little shop but not much else so if you are into peaceful walks along a lovely clean, quiet beach this could be the place for you.


We have a caravan on-site at the caravan park there but I will admit it is not as nice as it was a few years back. They now seem to be jamming in as many c'vans as they can so the room we all had before has gone but if we pick our times for going out we can still get the place to ourselves.

I was out there from lunch time Sat  to Tuesday  morning, 3 nights, and maybe saw 6 other people that were also staying at the park.  Holidays though...it can get BUSY.

Depending on which level you stay the walk down to the beach is short and pleasant.  We are up on level 4 so a bit longer walk down but also a longer walk back UP.

The toilet blocks are old and have been known to run out of hot water during busy times but they are kept clean and we have never had any reason to complain about them.

We always used to walk up to the water tower that is out there as it is the highest point but I found on Sunday that the water board had closed it off.   Luckily I spoke to the manager of the park and he informed me that they had built a lookout on their property.  A bit longer walk to get to but the same great views.

Below I am looking back westwardish over the caravan park.  That road that can be seen is the way up to the lookout.  It looks a bit daunting from this shot but it wasn't too bad a walk.
Looking down towards the entrance and office of the park.





Looking Southwest.  There are a few ships out   there, probably heading towards Bunbury. 










Down on that sandhill there is a person with a camera.   Maybe taking photos of the sunset like I was.










Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Claytons Camping.

The camping you do when you're not really camping.  Cheats camping.
Otherwise know as staying in an on-site caravan at a caravan park.

We have an on-site van with solid annexe out at Myalup Beach and the idea was for me to go out there and stay by myself to see if I was brave enough to handle it.  If I was too scared to stay out there then there is probably no point buying a van.  I stayed for 3 nights and only scared myself a little bit.  Mind you, once it was dark I locked myself in the caravan so not sure how brave you'd call that. 

I planned on using it as a *camper* but I did cheat and used the electricity as it was just too dark at 4.30am when I woke to do anything.  I put the lights on to read a book.  I cheated again when I watched a vidio...or 3.  I did use my little camping stove for coffees and heating the frozen meals I took out there so points to me for that. 

I think I need to go a out by myself a few more times before I advance to the next stage so will head out there again, solo, in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I've Started Looking At Vans.

We went looking at vans on Monday.  Drove to Perth as we were told of a place that sold camper vans but they only had big and expensive, to us, motor homes.  So what's the difference between a CV and a MH?  To me a CV is a small van while the MH are big and flash and cost more money than I have.  CV's probably wouldnt have a toilet or shower and aren't as fancy.

We also looked at vans that we could *convert* ourselves.  Mainly we would build a base for a bed and storage. Maybe a sink...I have too many ideas and need to be more realistic.

Vans that fit my budget are old and have heaps of km's on them so I need to find out what is too old and how many k's is too many.

I spoke to my mechanic this morning and he suggested 2 makes that were reliable and 1 that he wouldn't bother with so I probably won't get a Nissan.  One make that he said were good was the same as a van we looked at on the way home yesterday.  It was a 7seater, automatic, power steering, duel fuel...but old with lots of k's...but enough room if we took out the back seats...and it fits my budget...
If it is still there next week I will take it for a test drive.

This same place had a manuel van going *as traded* real cheap and I did really like that and took it for a test drive but because I have *health issues* I really do need an automatic.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Expensive Shower.

We have been given a shower unit, one that was no longer needed at
Hubby's work as they have upgraded to an inside shower.

This unit runs on gas and heats the water so you can have long hot showers when camping rough out in the bush.



Hubby likes it, it is what he has been using for the last year or so
when working away, and wants to take it with us when we go away again. 
I kinda think it is big, it will take up more room then the 12volt one that we have, we will have to take a bigger gas bottle...It does run on small gas cylinders but as they are not refillable I wont want to use them.  It is heavier and taking the gas will add a bit more weight to the car.  Not really issues for me though as I wont be driving his car or paying for his fuel so maybe they shouldn't be added into the equation...

As I won't be driving, paying, setting it up or packing it away again I probably shouldn't have any say in it, aye?
But I will have...smiling face here...
But in the end, his car, he drives, he pays so I will allow him the final say, aren't I a nice little wifey.

And I do appreciate the fact that we were given it so the least I can do is give it a fair trial.

Will let you all know my thoughts on it after we have used it in a camp situation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Choosing A Camping Car. More Thoughts. Again.

We were kinda thinking about going to Tasmania in 2012 and hiring a camper van when there to explore the place.
My wanting a camper van and getting it set up so I/we can just get in and go has started us thinking about driving over and driving our own van around Tassie..  Hubby says he would want something bigger than what I want though so we are now trying to work out what would be better there.

1.  Do I get my small van and use it for my solo trips but we use his Cruiser when we both go somewhere.
2.  We buy a bigger camper for the Tassie Trip and sell it when we get back.
3.  We buy a bigger camper van to start with and I use that instead of a small one.  
4.  We hire when we get to Tassie.

1.  This is what I want to happen and if it happens by the end of this year then all the better.
2.  This would probably be an expensive option but it would be easier if we had everything we needed with us all the time.
3.  I'm not really happy with option 3 as I don't like bigger cars.  I think it would stop me going off by myself.
4.  Hiring as an option would mean flying over east, getting the ferry over to Tassie, picking up the hire van that may not have what we want in it, worrying about crashing and insurance on someone else's car...

It doesn't sound like I am too keen on option 4. does it?  Option 3 isn't what I want either.

Hubby suggested that we go up to Perth this week and have a look at some camper vans so as to get an idea on size and setups.  A great idea.  But then he goes to work and we can't.  How rude!

He thinks we should get something already set up but I quite like the idea of buying a van and setting it up ourselves.  That way we can do it the way we (I) want.   Trouble there is that he knows that he would be the one doing the work.  If we (he) did the work though we could insulate the van, the setup would be what suited us, the work would be nice and tidy and look good...

He wants different things in the van than I do.  I don't think I need a sink or stove in the van, I could cook outside on one of those little cookers and wash-up in a bucket but he thinks they need to be able to be done inside in case of rain which is a good point but...Isn't that what tinned baked beans are for?
He would need a longer bed than me so if he was going to use the van as well then we need to think about that.  He says I will need a table set up inside...Would I though or would a card table and folding chair be OK?  I want a toilet of some sort inside.  Can this be done in a small van?

If the van was just for me and we used his Cruiser for the 2 of us then it wouldn't need to be 4x4.

How do people decide on things like this?.  Maybe I am over thinking the thing and I just need to buy a basic van, throw a mattress down in the back, add a camping stove and a bag of food, a change of clothes, some water and go somewhere.  Then if things were added in later, bonus, if not then so be it...I wanted minimilistic and that would give it to me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cruiser Camping.

A few days ago we had our first camping trip using the Cruiser as our camper.  We loaded up the back with all the stuff we thought we would need and headed up to Kokerbin Rock.
There are toilets and cold water taps at the first camping area there but we drove around a bit and found a nice spot under some trees.  A few fire rings were here but no toilet or taps but that was OK as we had plenty of water and had taken the PortaLoo.

 It was getting close to 5pm by the time we arrived and being the middle of July it would soon be dark so we, Hubby, unloaded the table, esky and other things from the back and I started getting tea ready.  We put a tarp over the car but had taken the wrong one and next time we will take the bigger one.  Eventually we will buy a *proper* tarp, one that is big enough to cover the car and outdoor area, one that is not blue.  It did end up being a lovely night though and the tarp wasn't needed.


Some things from this trip.

Food.
I had kind of menu planned for this trip so knew what we would be eating and so the meal prep was done with no worries.  We used the small camping stoves that use the butane cylinders and we took 2 of these.  They worked really well and I didn't have to wait very long for the water to boil for our morning coffee.  A big plus there.
We had these and all the cooking stuff in a big metal box so everything was easy to get too.  I had taken frozen meals as I thought they would be easier for me.

Bedding.
We have slept in the swag lots of times but this was the first time using it on the tray of the cruiser.  It was not as comfortable and we will need to do something about this.  Maybe a bed platform or a mattress instead of the swag.  The quilt that goes with this swag is for one person and I had forgotten that so it was lucky that Hubby told me to grab another one just before we left home.  It was definatly needed.



Keeping Food Cold..
I had frozen all the meals that I had planned and put them in an esky with frozen sheet things and everything stayed frozen.  Son has been collecting these icepacks from his work.  they come down in boxes of meat and are then thrown away.   We have 9 of them now, he has a few himself, and he will collect more.  I think it's bad that they are just binned at his work.  These things cost $5+ depending on size.
We took the small fridge that we had been given and that was plugged into the cigerette lighter and kept Hubbys drinks cold enough so that is a keeper and I will plan to use that in future trips.

Toilet and Shower.
We took a 12volt shower and a gas ring to heat water for this but as we were only away one night it didn't get used.  With his new water tanks under the car though we will be able to have a hot shower whenever we want without worrying about water running low.  The shower and gas ring will fit into a metal bucket so it is all together.
We took our Porta Loo but had it in the back of the Cruiser.  It was mainly for emergencies and so I didn't have to pee on the side of the road with trafic passing or if there were other campers in our area.   It was only used by me to pee in and it worked fine.  We will set up a shelter if we set up camp for a longer time.
I used Woolworths no name Nappy wash as the chemical in the loo and that worked fine though it still needs to be tested on solids.
A FUD would have been handy though.

Campfires.
There were a few fire rings in the area we camped, just rocks forming a circle where people had lit fires but the area around them was all cleared and they would have been safe to use.  We had thought of using a campfire while away but remembered that Son had our hotplate so the small cookers were our next choice.
I thought that I had newspapers for starting a fire in the bottom of our boxes as well but found out that I didn't.
Friday morning as I was making coffees Hubby did get a fire going though, using a scrap of paper from his pocket and leaves.  I wouldn't be able to do that, I would need heaps of paper and small sticks, then bigger stuff...Anyway, we sat near the fire and had our coffee before setting off to explore.   There was plenty of wood in this area but I think we should take small wood with us as not all places allow you to use wood from the area.

What do you do at night when it is cold and dark?  We could have lit the fire and sat around that for an hour or so...what else? 
My idea was to go to bed when it was dark and get up with the sun.  So we went to bed when it was dark and we woke up a while later only to find out it was ONLY 8pm!!!  Recovered from that and finally went back to sleep.  I was awake soon after and ready to get up but I asked him the time and he said it was midnight.  What the...He was teasing though as it was nealy 6am so up we got for our coffee.

A bed platform with drawers underneath would be great as then all our stuff would be handy and organised.
Hubby has put lights and power to the back of his car as well so a flick of a switch was all it took to find anything so it wasn't too bad but a platform would be handy.
It has been thought about, talked about and is now a *wait 'til he makes it* thing.

I need to iron out a few minor things but everything will get better as we get away more often and get better organised.  As our first go at camping like this I thought I did pretty good.  

One thing I didn't do...that was to make some cake or a batch of bickies or something so he could have something to snack on while driving.  He doesn't usually eat stuff like that and hadn't mentioned it in the talk of going camping but it is something that I will do next time.  Trouble is though, if he doesn't eat the stuff then I would and I so don't need to.  I might make some stuff up though and put it out in the shed freezer so it can be grabbed when we decide to just up and go.

I did scare myself a few times with stupid thoughts though and will need to learn how to stop that if I want to go by myself.  

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kokerbin Rock.

  






 This is the road to here...........



Finally, after years of wanting to see and climb this rock the day came for us to do so.
Kokerbin Rock is the third largest monolith in Australia so I was expecting something absolutely fantastic but I am sad to say that while is is a goal achieved I was a tad disappointed in the area.
The rock itself was an easyish climb even for me, the fat, unfit, iron deficient 52 year old and though there was some huffing and puffing happening it wasn't too bad.  Unless I tried to talk!  Or walk uphill!

There are different areas of interest on and around the rock but we had trouble finding them.  I think.  Maybe we did find them but didn't know it because this is what the signs are like.


                                                    They are just signposts!
      Wave Wall, Dog Rock, Devils Marbles, Caves...I *think* we saw them all...

The paths were blocked and not clearly marked so we could have been following animal paths for all we knew.   *Someone* had tied yellow tape to trees, maybe as trail markers but a lot of the trees had fallen over so the trail suddenly ended and unless you saw the tape further along you wouldn't know if you were going the right way.   We still don't know if it was the right way though.  Maybe someone just marked out a hazardous trail as a joke.  Who knows. 
Even getting to the top of the rock was an unknown adventure as there was no clearly marked track.  Of course there may have been and we completely missed it but then if it was clearly marked wouldn't we have seen it?  HoHum...anyway, I followed Hubby and we made it to the lookout, which looked like it was the highest point so I can say that I did climb this rock.
The views were well worth the climb so please don't let my negative ramblings put you off going.


I would have liked a sign showing the distance around the rock and maybe an average time it takes so walkers would have some idea on if they could make it but if there was one here we didn't see it so we just climbed to the top, walk around for a bit being careful not to get too close to the edge, then climbed down a different way and walk around the rock back to the car. It took us maybe an hour to climb and maybe a bit longer to walk around.  I didn't think that it was that hard and Hubby didn't have to put in any effort at all.

I had read/heard that you were no longer allowed to camp at Kokerbin Rock but there were no signs saying that you couldn't so we did.  There are toilets and taps for cold water at the first camp/picnic area as you get to the rock.  There are other areas as you drive around the rock that have been cleared and have fire rings but no toilets or water.
A lady from Bruce Rock Information centre later confirmed that camping IS allowed in the area. (July 2010)

The turnoff to Kokerbin Rock is on the Bruce Rock-Quairading Road, just west of Kwolyin.  About 45 ks west of Bruce Rock.   After the turnoff that says KR is 9km you come to a T junction that has no sign.  We turned left and eventually found it but I think there could have been better signage.  At the T junction I would have turned right.  It was Hubby's decision to go left.  He has a much better sense of direction than me...lucky for us as we needed it here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grrrr At Me.... But You Gotta Laugh.

Hubby has been saying for weeks that we will go up to Kokerbin Rock pretty soon, on one of his breaks.  I say great as long as it's not raining...I have been wanting to go to this place for a few years now.

I have had weeks to get ready.  Late yesterday afternoon he came home, says plans have changed, we'll go tomorrow!  
But I'm not ready!  Maybe a little bit but I still have no list, I still don't know what to take.  I don't know how to *camp cook*  What do you eat when you are out bush anyway?  Will we be cooking on a campfire or those little butane burner things...
I thought we were just going  for 1 night but he say 2 maybe 3...What will I need for 3 nights?!

I have been reading blogs and websites about camping and looking forward to finally going to Kokerbin.
I should have been writing out a list and working out what I want to take.  I probably should have some idea about what food to take and made sure that I have enough ice for the esky.  I should have checked that we have an esky here as I think son has one of ours and a daughter has the other one.  I know that same daughter has our big torch...I should have been getting fit so I can climb this rock.  I should have been learning how to use the GPS so we can go Geocaching.   I should have checked that the camera batteries were charged...

So it's 5.30am and I am having a coffee.  We will leave this morning sometime when we have thrown a few things together.

It will be cold.  It will be cold but fun!  See you when we get back.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Water Tanks.

We were over in Mandurah yesterday picking up a couple of water tanks to put on Hubby's car.
He was looking at getting a 100 litre tank to go under the tray on his Cruiser but I pointed out that he could get 2 86 litre tanks for less than the price of the bigger one so that's what he did. 
One will be for drinking and cooking and the other will be used for showers, cleaning. dishes etc.  I think having 2 will also be better as if one gets a hole or leaks then we will still have water.
Maybe 160 litres of water is a bit of an overkill but hey, he won't be able to use the excuse of not enough water to shower so I think that benefit alone makes it worthwhile.
Another benefit...We wont have to take the 20 litre water containers so will have more room in the tray.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Do You Need To Take?

I am in the process of thinking about what we NEED to take when we go away. 
I don't want to take a lot of stuff that we don't need but as I am not a camper I don't actually know what we will need.  Hubby says we need this or that and I think *why*  I am not sure if the things he suggest are what is needed or if he is taking my sookylalaness in to account so I don't end up disliking the whole camping scene.
So today I am going to be out in the shed and I will pack a box of stuff that I think we will need.
If there is any room left then I might add in a couple of wants.

I think we need to just go somewhere NOW but with the rain and his unknown workdays fixing on a day to leave isn't happening.  I do think though that if I can get things ready to just put in the car and go then we can leave anytime the rain stops and his boss says no work 'til next week.
Trouble with that idea is that when the rain stops he will probably be called to go to work...
Oh well, maybe next week...
Either way I do need to get a list together and get packing.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fire. Gas. Wood. Which Is Best?

What is the best way to cook a meal, or more importantly heat water for a coffee, when out in the bush away from power?

We have a small gas bottle that has a screw-on burner that we used for heating water when we were at GreenHead.  It worked well but I was always burning myself on it when trying to light it.  My hands don't always work the way they should and turning the knob and trying to get a light to the gas was sometimes a problem for me.  We were using a cigarette lighter but I think if I bought one of those long handled gas lighters I would have less trouble.  However this gas bottle is old and legally it can not be refilled.  The 9kg bottles are too heavy for me to lift and carry.  I am wondering if we need to buy another small bottle so I can use it.

However we also have 2 of those small squarish cookers that use butane and I find them easy and I think they would be safer.  I don't like them as much though as the bottles are not refillable and I hate adding to landfill.  They are cheap though.  Easy too.

If it was cold and allowed in the area  then of course a campfire would be the go. Not all places allow you to collect wood though so that is something that may need to be carried in with us.  Campfires may not get going though if it is wet but I know Hubby would have no trouble.  I would not be able to light a fire in damp conditions, I sometime have trouble getting the wood stove here at home going and that is inside!

Then there are small stoves that people make themselves.  Some use liquid fuel but I quite like the idea of wood burning stoves that are made using a tin and heat your food from the small fire that is under or in them.  Reading about them they look easy to make and easy to get burning.
The reality is far different!  It was for me anyway.
Yesterday we *had a play* and made some "stoves"  Mine was from instructions found online that took me ages of reading and then working out what I was supposed to do.  Hubby's was a hobo style stove made in a couple of minutes, no instructions.
Mine is the one on the right of the photo.  It didn't smoke as much as his but then it didn't burn as well as his.  Mine didn't get going at all and while his burnt and did heat the can of water there was way too much smoke.  It was a fun thing to try though and something that I will try again.  I know if I can get one to work then I will use that to get the water hot for coffees.



You can see his on the left with the flame heating the water and mine on the right...Must be a design fault.

Shower Shelters.

We have a shower shelter that takes a bit of setting up, lots of poles and stuff.  I don't think we have ever used it though as we haven't been on any camping trips that needed it.

We were looking in Totally Wild a few weeks back and they had the flip-out shelters on special.  I have read that though they are easy to set up they were a pain to fold back up and replace in the bag so when Hubby showed an interest in them I asked the salesman to show us how to do it.  It looked easy enough, Hubby had a go and managed with no trouble so he bought 2.  *Apparently* you need one for the shower and one for the toilet.  Who knew.  My minimalistic list is getting longer and longer.  Lucky it's only in my head or I'd be runny out of ink.  But I am also realistic enough to admit that I will be glad of these things when I am using them.

We had another go at setting them up and packing them away again when we were home and though I am short so had a bit of trouble with them Hubby has it down pat so there should be no swearing or tanty throwing come pack up time.

These shelters are OzTrail Ensuite pop-ups and cost us $39 each.  They are light and seem to be quick and easy to set up.  Ditto for him to pack away.  I can't see them taking up too much room in either vehicle.  They come with poles and guy ropes but I don't know if these will be needed every time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Choosing A Camping Car. More thoughts.

We have narrowed the choice of car down to an automatic van of some sort.  Probably 4x4 but as I won't be using that feature that part is still being discussed.
Hubby thinks diesel would be better than unleaded and as his car is diesel and I could *milk* that if I needed to then diesel suits me.  I don't know enough about fuel issues so going on his thoughts on this are OK .

I need to look for ...
Automatic van.
Diesel fuel.
Roo bar.  We could add this ourselves.
Power steering.

I am wondering if I will sell my car so would need this as an everyday car as well.  In that case I would need a van with a seat in the back for passengers. Not a common thing but it does happen.  I am happy to pay licence and insurance on another car though so not a big deal.

Am I looking forward to my first solo getaway?  I think so but I think that if I leave it too long then it won't happen at all so I'd like to get the vehicle before the end of this year.  That gives me 6 months but at least I have some idea what to look for now.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Barbecue Liners.

Before we went on our trip to GreenHead we bought ourselves a *Hot Sheet*  This is a thin, plastic like sheet that you use on barbecues for cooking your food on. 
We bought it from BCF in Mandurah for just under $25 and are very impressed with it.  Size - 50cmx40cm.

I had read somewhere that Bunnings also sold them and last week when we were over there we had a look at them.  The *BBQ Hotplate Liner* are thinner than the *Hot Sheet* but the wrapper says suitable for barbecues and as they were only $13 we bought one to line the frypans with to make them nonstick and easy to clean.  Size - 400x500mm.

We will try the thinner one on a barbecue and see if it is just as good as the thicker, dearer one and if it works as well we will buy that sort as it is half the price.

I have a crappy nonstick pan that does stick so I cut a circle of the cheaper stuff to line that and it works brilliantly. Eggs and other food just slides out. 

We are very impressed with this stuff and would recommend it to others.

The bloke at Bunnings told us that the sheets they sell are made from Teflon.  I am just hoping that it is not too toxic!  I know that there are some concerns in using non-stick products but I think used properly this should be OK. Below is a link to a page that tells about the danger and safety of teflon.
http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2006/02/23/1576391.htm

I think that most of us would be exposed to more *poisons* than in this sheet every day so for us it is not an issue.

We think that these sheets will save many a family picnic in the park as I know that some public barbies can be real grotty and these sheets will save you having to clean the hot plate before you use it.  I for one do not want to spend time cleaning a hotplat but nor do I want to cook my food on someone elses mess.   I also don't want to cook on *critters* stuff!

To Fridge Or Not To Fridge?

Having a *discussion* at the moment with Hubby on to fridge or not to fridge.  Do we need one on our camping forays?  I say no, he says yes. 
My thoughts are...we will only be going away for maybe 3 or 4 nights.  Won't be going in the middle of summer.  Take an esky and bottles of frozen water as ice.  Plan meals that don't need refridgeration   If we freeze a meal or two it should still be OK by the third night. .

He asks how I intend keeping bread, cheese, meat, fruit and veg fresh. 

Well, I don't know.  It is something that I now need to think about.  I can go without bread and cheese and I'm sure some fruit and veg would be OK for a couple of days.  After that just eat tinned tuna and pasta. 
I don't like cold drinks so don't need to worry about the water staying cool but if he comes along as well he will want cold drinks.
We have a few eskys but I don't know how good they are.  We are going away  for a couple of days in a week or two so will test one out then.
We have been given a small car fridge but I don't think we have used it yet.  We will need to try this and see if it works and is suitable.

If we are bush camping the only power would come from the car and I would worry that the fridge would drain the car battery.  Not a problem if we are using his car, dual bateries in that, but when I get my van and go off by myself  I don't want any unnecessary worry.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Choosing A Camping Vehicle.

Something we will be doing over the next 6 months is researching cars that might be suitable as a camping vehicle.
Do we want something that we can just throw a mattress in for sleeping but doing all cooking outside and this could be a station wagon, a panel van or 4x4 of some sort, old courier van or similar…
Or a properly set up camper van?  Buy one ready to go or buy an empty van and built it ourselves.
Four wheel drive or will 2 wheel drive be OK?
I suppose I need to know what I want to be using this car for before we can make a decision on what will be suitable. 
At the moment we have a Toyota Landcruiser trayback that has a canopy on the back.  We haven’t used this as a camping car yet but will in a couple of weeks.  I am a bit of a sook and have a few concerns with this.
Mozzies.  I hate mozzies buzzing around my ears and biting me so I have a mosquito net that will go over the swag to protect me.
Security.  I will have Hubby there to protect me. 
Height.  I don’t have much but this car does.  My concern is that I will have trouble getting up and down from the tray.  Some days I don’t have the arm strength to pull myself up and over the sides onto the tray.  We will take a ladder to overcome this and hope I don’t slip off it.  Maybe we’ll need a vidio camera, just in case…
So going by these thoughts I know that I want something that is enclosed like a real car because I want to have access to the front seat in case we need a quick getaway.  Yeah I know.  A tad melodramatic but there you go.  Sookylala thoughts.  There may be fewer bugs with this one too.
I need something that is easy to get in and out of.

I need something that I will be able to drive.  This means that it can’t be too big, must have power steering, an automatic would be better than manual. 
I had nearly decided on a 4x4 camper van but wonder if the motor being under the seats would be a hassle.  Would it make the car hot?.  No frontal protection in a prang.   But any camper van would have the same issues and a roo bar  could overcome the prang thing.
I am tight so don’t want to spend a lot of money getting what I want and what we buy will need to be reliable but cheapish to run and maintain.  

A 4x4 camper van, automatic, power steering, fully set-up and ready to go for no more than $5000.  Air con would be a plus but not essential.  That's not asking for too much is it.

More looking, more reading, more saving, more dreaming…

Monday, June 21, 2010

Camping Toilets.

Because I want to do a bit of free or independent camping and I believe that we should "leave no trace" I need to find a toilet solution.  I know lots of people take a shovel and dig a hole but I don't really think that is the best way too go. (haha)    I find it totally disgusting how some people just go anywhere and leave their toilet mess all over the place.  Using a hole would be better than that but these people have no manners.

I have been looking online to get some ideas and it seems that there are 3 main types of camping toilets.

1.Bucket.  Just a bucket with a seat attached and a lid.  Simple and cheap.  There are different products that can be bought to put in them or they can be lined with plastic bags then the contents/bags are binned.  Not sure how I feel about everyone binning their business but left unlined the contents would be messy and smelly.

2. Collapsible.  These fold up so don't take up a lot of space.  They are made to be used with plastic bags or over a hole.  Not my cup of tea.  But as I drink coffee...something to think about still.  But you still need to bin or dig a hole...

3. Chemical..  These are chemical toilets that flush.  You need to add the chemicals to the bottom tank then use as you would at home.  We actually have one of these but it is bulky and would be hard to hide if you were worried about other people knowing that you had to use a toilet.  It does work but needs emptying and cleaning after camping is finished.  Depending on what chemicals you use some cannot be emptied into a septic system.  We have a septic system here at home.  Chemicals can be expensive.  There are recipes to make your own but you need to make sure they are safe for your way of disposing of them.

I have for some time be interested in Joe Jenkins and his sawdust toilet.  You need to look up Humanure or sawdust toilets but basically it's a bucket with a seat attached that you use with sawdust.  You could probably go without the seat and put the lid back on when finished.  Other stuff besides the sawdust can be used, I read that some people use grass clippings, others use woodchips. The contents are composted.
Would these work as a camping toilet?  What would be the bad things about using one of these?  This could be emptied into a compost pile when we get home and left for a couple of years.  Probably not for long term as it would need to be emptied and it shouldn't be emptied out bush or down a dump point.  May be OK for 1 or 2 nights.  If each person had their own bucket that might save on some squeamishness.

Some people will still think that digging a hole will be the best for them.  With this they will need to have a shovel and be able to dig.  Sometimes the ground will be hard or it could be real sandy and hard to dig a decent depth.  I don't think that the 6inches depth that I have read about is deep enough but read that not being too deep, and in a sunny spot, the sun helps it decompose quicker. Some sites advice against burying paper as there is the chance that it won't rot away and will end up messing up the Earth.
Lots of campers, hikers, etc think that everything should be taken out with you.  I *kinda* agree with this but...
The bucket method is looking like a better choice to me.

There is also the issue of toilet paper.
Is the sort you use suitable for chemical toilets if that is the option you choose. 
Should you bury your waste but burn the paper?  Some places don't allow fires so not always an option.
One option for women is to use *wee wipes*  These are cloth squares that females can use after urination and would greatly cut down on paper usage. They are washed and reused.   A great idea for at home and could be used while camping.

I am still unsure as to which way to go but will need to make up my mind before we are out bush with no toilets anywhere near.  I will do some more reading and will ask more people.

Whatever way you choose to go you might want a bit of privacy so a toilet tent or screen would be needed.  More stuff to carry with you.  But that could also be used with your shower if you take one.
I have seen some that fold out with a quick flick but have heard that they are not always easy to fold up again.
There are types that need poles and ropes to keep them up.  Some look quite bulky.
.
Hand washing.
We all know that we need to wash our hands after going to the toilet and just because we are out bush doesn't mean we can forgo this.  So when water is scarce what can we do.  There is always the antiseptic handwash.  We could have a bottle of that in the *bathroom*  Or a separate bottle of water with a tap and some soap.  Hand wipes could be used then binned or burned.

No posting about toilets would be complete without mentioning FUDs.  Female Urination Devices.  These things will amuse some of you, interest some of you or disgust some of you.  Doesn't matter.  It needs to be said.
There are devices out there that allows a female to pee like a man.  How cool is that!
*Shewee*, *Go-Girl*, WhizBiz are three that I have read about but there may be more out there.  Go have a look and if you already have one of these please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
If females are worried about being bit on the bum then these thinge may be what you need.

I have to laugh though.  This is something that everyone needs to use but the reactions that you get from some people really are funny.  Even I find it a bit iffy to discuss and some people think I'm a tad feral.  But anyone who wants to go camping away from civilization needs to use something other than toilets.

What do you use?  Are you happy with the way that you have chosen?  Please leave a comment and let me know.

GreenHead, 12-15 June, 2010.

A couple of months ago we drove up to Jurien Bay to buy some fishfood and while there we ventured further north to a place called Green Head.  I loved it.  It was a quiet, close to the water,  very lovely area.

We promised ourselves that we would come back and stay and we did that last weekend.

Green Head is less than 300km north of Perth and an easy drive.  I think that even I could do it if I needed to though Hubby did turn a couple of corners that I wouldn't have.   If I was driving though I hope I'd be concentrating more and have a better idea of which way I needed to go.

There is no free or inderpendant camping allowed in this area so we stayed at the Green Head Caravan Park.  We were going to be tenting so booked a powered site for 3 nights.  The daughter that came with us had an on-site caravan.

I was very impressed with this park.  I had read on some camping review thing that the toilet block wasn't the cleanest or the best and so I was a bit concerned but I must say that I was pretty impressed with it.
It was very clean, there were plenty of showers and toilets,
heaps of hot water.
A nice little play area for kids adjacent to the cooking area.
Nice barbecues that cost $1 and were clean with plenty of seating.  A fridge was close by in the laundry.
The grounds were clean and tidy, no rubbish laying around anywhere.
A small shop was in the office and the prices were very reasonable.  We bought squid jigs there cheaper than in the *big shops* in Mandurah.
I thought that it was a tad expensive at $25 a night for a powered site but our site was huge and we had 2 couples on it. 2 cars and 2 tents and could have fitted more.  There was an extra fee for people over the 2 allowed but only $8pp.pn




Unpowered sites were $20. but smaller and didn't seem as nice.  I think maybe because they were on dirt not grassed like ours.  I really don't know if the fees were high though as this is the first time we have camped this year.  They may be on par with other parks.  Definately cheaper than a hotel though.  The on-site van that the daughter stayed in had a solid annex and was lovely and clean with plenty of room for the 3 that stayed in it.
It was just across the road from us and as the park was really quiet the grandaughter was able to come and go quite safely and it was a great time to teach her a bit about road safety and to stop and check for cars before crossing.

The main idea of this trip was to catch some squid without travelling all the way up to Shark Bay.  There is a bit of weed in different areas but the guys mainly went squidding off the jetty.  Caught a few but not as many as they wanted to.  Fish were also caught from the jetty.  Son and his girlfriend also caught different sorts of fish off of Pt. Louice.  There are so many different bays and beaches in this area that I think that you could catch a feed whenever or whereever you went.

I am not a fisherperson so I sometimes stayed back at camp and looked after the grandaughter so T could go and have a go.  Because I wasn't out near the water as much as the othes I missed seeing Sealions.  How sad is that!  Next time I will go and sit near the water until I do see one.  The first night there though we were all down on the jetty and we saw a massive Stingray.  It was huge.  There were a few smaller, different types of ray swimming around as well but the stingray...Huge.  It would have covered the top of my car.




What I like about this place is the different outlooks from the coastline.  There are cliffs, sandy beaches, rocky outcrops.  Absolutely snunning views from everywhere.




One thing that disapointed us was the fact the there are no campfires allowed in the area.  There were no fire rings or anything at the caravan park so we didn't get to try out our campfire cooking.  We used an eleftric frypan on the sat night and then the barbecues the following 2 nights.  Breakfast was bacon and eggs or leftovers done in the frypan.  Water for coffee was heated on a gas bottle with a ring on top.  We did take a couple of small stove thingies but they were not used.

Hubby and I took our pushbikes and they were used by everyone to get to different places so I think they will go with us on our trips.

We had a great time and plan on going back to this place a few more times this year.  Who wants to come with us?