Sunday, April 26, 2020

DerryGoRound by the numbers February

Here are our monthly stats for February

One state 

We explored much of what the south west of Western Australia has to offer
We slowed down and didn't travel as much
We visited a lot of beaches


States: Western Australia

Distance travelled: 3673km 


Playgrounds Visited 15
(these were some of the best playgrounds we have seen all trip)

Fires 0 (still not allowed, although at times it was cold enough for one)


Swims 19


Beaches 31 (This was the month of beaches)


Wineries visited 8 Breweries 4


Visitors to our campsite (lots)



Replica water speed record boats 1


55m trees that you can only climb by using a series of spikes driven into the trunk 1



Intersections of two oceans 1



Purchased lunches 7
(Pies, fish and chips, wineries and pub lunches)



Accomodation

Average cost of Accomodation per day $22.58 (Lots of National Parks)

We used 4 different types of accomodation

  • Other (cheap camps on private property)
  • Free camps
  • Caravan Parks
  • National Parks


For comparison, here are our year-to-date stats:


Money

We spent 5418.92 (Less km kept the expenses down)
$ per km $1.48


  • lots of free camping and National parks (which wasn't cheap but worth it)
  • petrol = largest expense (still)
  • Maintenance again (we had to get the rear door handle of the car fixed $500)
  • trips and events was down as we spent lots of time doing free activties
  • We spent money on lunches and wines more than expected
  • our $ per km didn't really drop, probably because we didn't do as many km 

For comparison, here are our year to date stats


Hopefully maintenance will decrease (although we need to get the car and van serviced)


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Thursday, April 9, 2020

What now?

"We don't learn much when everything goes right. We learn the most when things go wrong."
~ Simon Sinek

An update on our situation.

Like everyone else in the country/world, Covid-19 has turned our world upside down.

It looks like our #derrygoround is over.

Seven months into our trip, we had about three months left to make our way up the coast of WA, head across the Kimberly, back to Kakadu and then on to Townsville, starting the painful process of selling everything up and getting ready for our next adventure.

After an incredible month on the south coast of WA: Albany, Esperance, Lucky Bay (Feb update coming soon), we started heading north. We got as far as Coral Bay (about half way up the WA coast). The next two weeks of accomodation was already booked, Cape Range National Park, Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth and then out to Karijini National Park to sit out the dreaded Easter holidays. Coral Bay was everything we expected. We had a beachfront site, you could snorkel the fringing coral reef off the beach, it was tropical, warm weather and incredible sunsets and scenery..

While we were there things got more serious with the virus and the way smaller communities were reacting to visitors. We decided to bite the bullet, cancel our reservations and head back to Perth. We already had Galen booked into a dentist to get some work done, so we had to head south anyway. Our plan was to stay in Perth for a month or so, get his teeth sorted and head back north, following our original plan, probably just going a bit quicker than we had hoped.

We planned on taking three days to get to Perth (1200km) when, about an hour out of Geraldton on the second day, we rang the dentist to see if we could bring Galen’s appointment forward. They gave us the bad news that they were cancelling all appointments. A few tears and expletives later, we needed a new plan. It was no use going to Perth if we didn't need to be there, that was where all the WA cases were, it would be getting cold and we wanted to head north so why go south?

We rang a caravan park just out of Geraldton and they said they could take us for a fairly decent rate, it looked ok and was on Sunset Beach. We paid for a week to wait and see what was going to happen. We knew Geraldton has supermarkets, hospitals, dentists, and more.


We have now been here two weeks. We moved to a site with a view of the water with grass in front of us (a mini playground for the kids). We have power and water and the services we need. There is a supermarket and bottle shop five minutes down the road, the beach isn't WA's best but it's a beach. We have a semi-routine now. We have spent heaps of time at the caravan with a few runs to Aldi, Spotlight, Bunnings and Woolworths for essentials (only one adult at a time) and spent some time on the beach.


While here we heard stories of small town hysteria against people traveling in vans. Driving around a state with interstate number plates on the car and van began to make people with no home to go to targets for anger and abuse borne out of fear. We watched as WA restricted travel among its regions and then closed down its border to people coming into the state. Even caravan parks closed down to all but travellers with no home to go to (that's us). We have felt relatively safe here in Geraldton in our bubble of a caravan park. There are two cases in the region, but they are contained and no one has had to go to hospital. It is a safe place with all the amenities we need.

By the end of the first week, with much of northern WA closed, we realised we wouldn't be seeing Exmouth, Broome, the Kimberly and all the other unexpected places that have become so much of our travelling routine. There is so much we have missed that we didn't even know we were going to see.

When we arrived here we thought we would probably be here for a month or so, and that prognosis doesn't look like changing anytime soon. We have resigned ourselves to the fact that our trip is over. We can't put it on hold and continue in six months time. We most likely will need to be in Poland in August (but honestly we don't know what might happen there. Will international flights start again? Will we be able to leave the country? Will Poland be ready for arrivals?).

We kept holding on, started formulating new plans, waiting for things to calm down, thinking we might be able to wait here for four to six weeks then head back east seeing some of the sights we missed in SA and Victoria on the way across. It is now looking like we will have to make our way back to the east coast via the Nullarbor and get back to Queensland virtually without stopping, then quarantine, sell everything and get ready to head overseas or wait it out somewhere with jobs and rent an AirBnB.

While we know we have it so much better than many others, it is hard to lose a job if you don't have one, it is not too cold (yet), we have all we need, we are healthy and safe. It is still a time of mourning, at times we all get a bit depressed and down, thinking about what could have been and wondering what the future will hold.

I am sure many will think we are still "living the dream" and would rather be at a beach than stuck at home. To be honest, it is not all it is cracked up to be. Two weeks in limbo, stuck in a caravan, It is frustrating having the means and equipment to travel and not being able to.

We are making the most of our time together staying positive, playing, learning, gardening, cooking, creating, beach time and swimming. Yesterday we even found a secluded beach that we had to ourselves. We are saving money, we haven't put fuel in the car in two weeks. The people of Geraldton have been great, we haven't experienced any of the negative behaviour and abuse other people in our situation have.

It is tough thinking about what we have lost and I am sure we will continue to find it hard for a while. It is almost impossible to start thinking about moving to Poland in the current climate. We are counting our blessings while planning how and when we will get back to WA and finish our #derrygoround.

No matter what way we look at this global crisis and our own situation, there is always hope.



Thursday, March 19, 2020

DerryGoRound by the numbers January

Here are our monthly stats for January

WOW, what a month

Three states 
We returned to SA (and didn't back track too much)
We got to WA
It was expensive (Fun times in Perth and maintenance)

States: Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia

Distance travelled: 5654km 


Playgrounds Visited 20


Fires 0 (c'mon it has been a tough summer with the bushfires)


Swims 19


Beaches 8 (only eight but they were beauties)


Wineries visited 3 Breweries 3


Steam paddleboat rides 1



Windmill museums 1


Camping on massive cliffs



Days with your bestie 4


Cute Aussie Animals (too many to count)




Long Drives 8



Purchased lunches 8
(Pies, fish and chips, sushi,  restaurant and pub lunches)

plus a couple of dinners with friends in Perth.

Accomodation

Average cost of Accomodation per day $23.33 (We ended up staying in caravan parks more than we wanted))

We used 4 different types of accomodation

  • Staying with friends / family
  • Free camps
  • Caravan Parks
  • National Parks


For comparison, here are our year-to-date stats:


Money

We spent 8914.46 (expensive visit to the dentist and car maintenance didn't help)
$ per km $1.58


  • lots of free camping but that was cancelled out by 6 days in Wangaratta and 5 days in Perth caravan parks
  • petrol = largest expense
  • Maintenance increased, new battery, solenoid and a drive shaft (we drove across the Nullarbor with it and were lucky to arrive in Kalgoorlie in one piece)
  • Galen had to visit the dentists for multiple fillings = expensive
  • We also spent money on luxury and trips as we spent time with our visitors from overseas
  • our $ per km saw a large increase (due to above) other expenses stayed pretty constant (but seem smaller as a % of total expenses) 

For comparison, here are our year to date stats



We are now on our own again and hopefully (dentist visits and maintenance aside) we can get back on track.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

DerryGoRound by the numbers December

Here are our monthly stats for December

Two states in one month
Back to the east coast
Christmas with the Derrys
It was expensive (Christmas)

States: Victoria, NSW

Distance travelled: 3940km (We stayed in a few places for longer).


Playgrounds Visited 14


Fires 1

Swims 14


Beaches 15


Wineries visited 4


Christmas stuff 20+


Backyard Cricket Games 2



Purchased lunches 6
(Pies, fish and chips, sushi and pub lunches)

Accomodation

Average cost of Accomodation per day $22.12 (not counting Christmas house)

We used 5 different types of accomodation

  • Staying with friends / family
  • Free camps
  • Caravan Parks
  • National Parks
  • Other (house for Christmas)


For comparison, here are our year-to-date stats:


Money

We spent 5525.28 (over our budget)
$ per km $1.4 (Christmas 


  • we stayed with family and friends quite a bit so that lowered our accomodation expenses
  • petrol was our largest expense
  • luxury increased (Christmas food, dining out and presents etc)
  • we got the car and van serviced which saw maintenance increase
  • our $ per km saw a large increase probably due to the extra expense of the silly season and being on the coast doesn't help
For comparison, here are our year to date stats




We are looking forward to getting back to some free camps and hopefully lowering our expenses, we are headin west so we will see how that goes.