New site

We moved this morning into a new site at the same caravan park at Karrinyup Waters. It’s a lovely van park with two big landscaped  swimming pools, one heated to 32 degrees, plus a large spa pool. Some of the ablutions are old style, but the ones closest to us are a row of individual rooms, and each room has a hand basin, toilet and shower in it. So, they’re nice and private, and very roomy. We only use our own toilet over night, and we’re using the park showers rather than the smaller one in our van.

There’s two nice lakes in the park full of ducks and water birds and with nice grassy banks for playing bouchee on, or just sitting on a seat and watching the ducks do head stands in the water. Whilst there’s quite a few trees around the park, only about a half of the sites benefit from shade from them. The one we had initially had no shade, but the one we moved to this morning has a lovely big ficus shading the van from the hot afternoon sun. It drops a lot of berries, but dealing with those will be easier than dealing with the heat.

It was an interesting exercise to pack up and move, even if it was only 20 metres down from our original site. The inside of the caravan was pretty full. When we’re doing a longer move we’ll take a lot more care with the packing up, and some things will get packed into the back of the ute or will find a spot in the caravan boot.  We’re going to have to have a bit more or a thin out to manage overnight stops as it wouldn’t be much fun to have to drag everything out just to be able to climb into bed. We have a few extra things here that we’re not planning on taking with us anyway, so that’ll be a bit of help.

We’re getting there and I should imagine by the time we’ve done our 2 months or so down south in Feb/March and early April we’ll almost have everything worked out.

Yesterday was the first day we didn’t have anything we had to do. We chose to have a vehicle free day and chilled out around the park. We used the pools, played bouchee and quoits down by the lake, watched some of the boxing day test and later in the evening watched DVDs. I must say, I think I’m going to enjoy this once we get into the rhythm of it.

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Almost there now

We moved into the caravan about two weeks ago and so far so good. There was a heat wave the first few days which didn’t make things very comfortable, but since then the weathers been sitting reasonably comfortably around 30 most days. The site we’re on doesn’t have any shade, so it’s feeling a bit hotter than we’d like it to be, but tomorrow a van is moving out from a lovely shady site which we’re hoping to move into. We’re in a caravan park that doesn’t allow pre-booking of sites, so we have to try and grab it when we see them go. Fingers crossed. It’ll make life much more comfortable.

We had our solar panels fitted just prior to moving in. They’ve been fitted along the length of the roof. As we’re living in the van it would have made it difficult to get them fitted once we’d moved in, but in hind sight I do wish we’d waited. It turns out our air conditioning unit, being installed in the side of the van under the wardrobe isn’t really up to heat wave conditions. We think we’ll one day have to change it for a roof mounted unit, but  with the solar panels mounted the way they have been, we haven’t  leftroom for air conditioning. When we do bite the bullet and have it done we’ll have to get all the solar panels re-positioned to make space for it.

When the time comes to do that, it’ll make a lot of our space more user friendly. With the air con mounted into the side it means we have all the pipes running through our wardrobe and one of our kitchen cupboards and they’re a bit intrusive. But we’ll do that a little bit down the track if we’re not managing the heat.

Fuji has settled in well. She’s not supposed to be in this park, but fortunately her timid nature makes it easy to keep her presence hidden. The heat wave on the first couple of days was hard on her, but now she’s settled in and has found little cubbies to snooze in through the day, and at night she’s loving the amount of windows to to look out of. We have our annex up so as to create a bit of privacy and allow her to move around without being seen. She hasn’t been interested yet in coming out into the annex yet, and we’re training her to a leash and harness for when she is feeling comfortable enough to want to venture out a bit further.

Our plan is that she’ll only ever be allowed out into the annex when on her lead. When in places she’s allowed to be it’ll mean we can leave the annex walls off and she can enjoy the great outdoors along with us. When we’re in places she isn’t allowed to be, we’ll put up the walls and the leash will keep both her and all the native animals safe. I suspect though she’ll probably prefer the safe feeling of being inside the van most of the time. We’re very lucky she’s so timid really, as she doesn’t seem to have a wandering bone in her body, or any inquisitiveness to venture outside of her small secure area.

For most people who have owned cats that have the freedom to come and go as they please, it’s probably hard to comprehend how a cat could be happy being confined. It was certainly a pleasant surprise to us. But she is so happy and content in her small space and is much more companionable than any other cat we’ve ever had because of it. Everything about how she reacts to it seems to indicate she’s happier than having to deal with life in a the great outdoors. But then again, we suspect she’d a hard and possibly even tortuous life before stumbling upon us.

Our real journey is set to begin on 17 February when we leave Perth for the south west of WA. Until then we’re still working and still getting things ready. We still have quite a lot to do.