The above picture was sent to Hannah via Snapchat by one of her teammates who had “spotted” the van in the parking lot just after we purchased it. Thanks, Amy!
David has a little story to tell that he will add as another post, but we decided to go with the bright, happy yellow van that was owned by Alex and Sarah, a French couple who spent 7 months touring Australia. We have named the van “Spotto” because of a game played here (maybe elsewhere), much like Slug Bug, where one calls out “Spotto” when they spot a yellow vehicle. Of course, there are rules: can’t be a taxi or a work vehicle, you must be in a vehicle when you call it – you get the idea. We basically see people pointing and smiling at us all day – in a good way. It is not because we keep using the windshield wipers as turn indicators or leave the blinkers on too long.
The process of purchasing a vehicle got a tad complicated. A wire transfer from the US to the seller’s Aussie bank account, completing title and registration paperwork, getting auto insurance, and then actually cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. It took us a good week to get to the point where we felt comfortable taking it out for a tour.
David washed and waxed the outside, and took it to a mechanic to have some things checked out. We probably should have done this before we bought it, since this is how we found out the air conditioner really didn’t work, and the cost to fix it will likely exceed the value of the van. The interior was mine to clean. It is understandable that the cover of the futon would need a solid bleaching, and we were lucky that our rental accommodations had a wash machine at our disposal. It took a few wash cycles, but finally, I had the cover looking and smelling fresh. A comforter and a set of pillows went straight to the rubbish bin, and we weeded through some of the kitchen supplies too.
I failed miserably when it came to cleaning the curtains. I put them through a nice, hot wash. And they melted together is a big, sticky pile. As I tried to peel them apart, the plastic backing, which was not apparent when I put them in the wash, tore away from the material and caused huge holes in the backing. I will absolutely need to replace these now. Here is what they look like until then. This view is from the inside:
Life just isn’t right for us unless we have solar power, so David found a solar panel dealer and we picked up some portable panels – enough to charge the second battery that will keep the cooler cold and our laptops charging.
I originally felt that I had rented the Airbnb studio for one week too many, and was really itching to get exploring, but in the end, it was good to have the home base while we worked to have the van road worthy. It will now be our home away from RV home until June 1.
David took advantage of the unlimited internet access to plan our first couple of destinations and parking places.
G’Day from Down Under,