North to Ningaloo in November 2020 – The plan

“Because of COVID …”

​That has been the catch cry for 2020. The reason we worked from home – COVID. The reason I have dermatitis on my hands – COVID. The reason our trip to Barcelona was cancelled – COVID. The reason we are holidaying along the Coral Coast – COVID. Oh wait a minute, that’s not a bad thing. That’s a great thing.

This year The Piper left school and started an apprenticeship as a mechanic (which nearly ended before it started, thanks to COVID). He has also got himself a very lovely girlfriend and is all grown up. So much so, he doesn’t want to go camping with us. But being the helicopter parent I am, I didn’t want to leave him at home alone (he is only 17). So we have only been camping once this year, to Alexandra Bridge in March.

As a result we had time to think through our preferred vehicle and camper setup. Maz is only getting older and sits in the driveway for 95% of the year. Tas (the camper) has a bed that needs to be setup each night and we find that a little limiting. So, we decided to sell them both and Mr Bolo’s car, and get a new Maz and a Travelander camper. Maz sold quickly, as did the Kia, and we found a new Maz almost straight away. Tas on the other hand was popular, but people didn’t want to pay what we asking for it. So, we kept it. Now we have a black, single cab, Mazda BT50 flatbed ute with a flexiglass canopy that we remove for Tas to sit on the tray when we are going away. When we are not going away Tas sits in the driveway and Maz is Mr Bolo’s daily drive.

I say all that as if we have used the setup. The reality is that’s the plan for our next trip, in November this year. The leave is booked and we have been tirelessly working to get the new setup sorted out. We swapped out the old radio in Maz and installed an android head unit. We swapped out a bench seat and installed two bucket seats. We have new storage boxes, a plan for side and rear awnings with tents, and a plan for hot water, a shower and the privacy to use them. We have been practicing raising and lowering Tas and have put it on new Maz, who has had a service and been given the once over by Dave, our trusted mechanic (not The Piper). We’ve removed the canopy from Maz (no mean feat) and repacked Tas after emptying it for people to look at. I think our just-add-food-and-clothes-camper is almost ready to use!

So we leave a couple of days after my birthday, and yes the Piper is staying home. He will have The Drummer, Ralph the rescue Greyhound, his Drunkle, his GFs parents, some lovely friends, his boss and our neighbours all on stand by and ready to help him if needed. The reality is on weekdays he gets up in the morning, walks Ralph, heads to work all day, comes home and goes into his room all night. On the weekend we are lucky to see him at all. It’s all GF, mates, the beach and parties (also known as gathos). He will hardly notice we are gone.

So, back to the trip. … a couple of days after my birthday … We are planning a night somewhere around Green Head, like Billy Goat Bay or Cliff Head. The next day we are driving to Wooramel Station for 2 days / 3 nights of relaxation before driving on to Coral Bay for 5 nights. While in CB we have booked to do a Manta Ray snorkelling trip and hope to do a tag along 4wd tour on some private property. When we leave CB we are heading to Exmouth to camp in the National Park at Osprey campground. We have booked a scenic flight on the Krill Seeker while we are there. We have left ourselves 3 nights on the way home, which may include detour to the new glass walkway at Kalbarri. All that over 2 weeks (three full weekends). I should add that I have been to this part of the world before (the photo’s on this page are from my last trip there), but it’s all new for Mr Bolo.

Here’s hoping we can get the final bits and pieces sorted out so we can get on our way. Let’s hope The Piper is ok while we’re gone and Ralph gets fed! At least I know I won’t hear “I think you’re muted” for those 2 weeks. Thanks COVID.

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