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Travel planning is important - althought best-laid plans can go astray

Updated on December 24, 2008

Partial stripped down


We have been planning a trip around Australia now for about 5 months. We bought a better stronger caravan, and did everything to ensure that our car was in top condition, having an extra battery to keep the freezer working. We have it set up so I can use my laptop on 240w power and charge up all the batteries and mobile phones etc. It has a turbo and runs on diesel and DGas, which means it, uses gas at the same time as the diesel giving the vehicle extra power.

We organized our house with sitters for our peace of mind and security. We took these precautions, as you cannot be too careful these days. I have sorted out the house so the sitters can store some of their furniture in and still use ours making room for them to put their things in the cupboards. This idea suits both parties. That way we do not have to pack everything away and they can still display their possessions.

I organized to have our phone and internet disconnected today and vehicles insured we thought we had nearly finished. How wrong could we be? Last Friday a week away from leaving, my husband noticed a tiny bubble coming from the head gasket on the Nissan. Later confirming we could not take the risk of driving thousands of miles on the off chance that it would be okay or blow up somewhere on the Nullabor or worse.

You guessed it. My husband decided to pull the motor down and rebuild it. You have to realize this is a major step, because it has so much gear on it before you even get to work on the head. In all honesty, I do not think he could possibly fit anything else under the bonnet on this poor old girl.

It is now a week later since this discovery. He pulled the motor down, had the head redone. The turbo checked out. Then, he pulled the sump off and has virtually rebuilt it all now with new rings, big end bearings, new studs, and the list goes on. I failed to mention he broke his neck years ago and has a bad back and he has spent the last week working on and under this beast. His poor neck has taken a battering that is for sure. But, he has not complained, I cannot believe how calm this normal impatient person at the best of times, has been.

Too be honest, I think he is too worn out to bother. I hope that this afternoon he will start to put some of the extras back on again. Even then, we will still have to run the vehicle in again to make sure that everything is going ok.

We have now changed our plans to leave here next Friday, another week away. I am writing this today, because I will not have any internet connection after tonight as I had made these arrangements before this all happened and am not going through all of that again.

Therefore, the moral of the story is, Plan, Plan and still things can test our patience. As I said in the title - best laid plans can and do go astray.

I am thankful for my very observant husband for seeing this problem in time. It is far better that it has happened at home, than thousands of miles away. The only problem is now I need to earn more with ad sense to help us pay for it. We might have to go back to work to make up for this very expensive project.

All the best, I will let you know what is happening from time to time. I hope so anyway.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks everyone, No we finally made it across the nullabor after second rebuild.

      We now stopping at ceduda. We have a spot messenger and our daughter is tracking all our stops and progress with that. I can highly recommend them. Will have to put a link up so you can all see how it works. Might get my daughter to do that as not on net too much.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Oh Eileen how frustrating - at least you weren't 1/2 way accross the Nullabor! Or are you heading north? Good luck!

    • profile image

      sharon 9 years ago

      Eileen got about 120 km down the road and the engine played up Eileen and husband returned home for the engine to be worked on.. hopefully they will be off again soon.

    • jedgrey profile image

      jedgrey 9 years ago from Texas

      Greetings Eileen,

      How fortunate you are to have a partner who is observant and probably saved you jillions if you had broken down on the road. Much of Australia is like much of Texas. Miles of nothing but heat, dust and wind.

      Happy trails to you both and miles of smiles as you travel.

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 9 years ago

      Hi Eileen. Have a nice trip. :)

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney


      you are expecting to much.

      Next thing you will be asking me to come and tune your car if it breaks down while you are in Darwin catching those big fish which are the joy of eating.

      That guy Frank told me their name was Barra......

      Drat it, I have forgotten their name already.

      Never mind I will remember it by the time you get back home.

      Safe trip and no break downs

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      Have a great trip Eileen and have lots of fun. Hope your son gets better soon.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Mr m. Thanks for that, But you forgot something. You forgot to tell me where to go to catch those biggggg fish. Thanks very much for your kind thoughts. We need them thats for sure.

      Have a nice day thanks.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      Have a great trip and please do not come back un less you catch one of my big fish.

      I will tell you some of our horror trips when you get back. We had a few.

      Anyway I want you both to have a good time. Thoughts are with you.


    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Sweetie pie. thanks for that, yes, the only real problem is waiting to get the bill. And I know that is not going to be very good. Scarey to say the least. Even though husband has done most of the work. The mechanic (boss) still did some and use of things etc and of course all the new parts.

      But the main thing is we still have our health and at our age that is a big bonus. Glad your mum grandparents caught up with you. That is important. Thanks for stopping by

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Very insightful hub about how travel plans are very important. My grandparents had planned a trip to come see us about twenty years ago, but their tires were slashed before they decided to drive from Indiana to California. At first they did not want to come, but they decided to replace the tires at a high cost so they could still come see us. Preparation is very important, but sometimes things happen that we cannot control. It is good your husband knows a great deal about fixing cars and that should help :).

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Lissie thanks for that, I wasnt sure whether to write this or not then thought oh what the heck. Need some good new for a change. My son fainted the other day and split his forehead open. Had 17 stitches, but main thing he is ok too.

      Take care will catch up from time to time. Cheers. I am making the most of my last day on here at home. have fun. and thanks.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      LOL Eileen you make me eternally greatful that my partner is as mechanically challenged as I and we take our truck to mechanic for regular maintenance! Have a fantastic trip! You will find internet (wireless or terminals) in most caravan parks and also every small town has a telecentre in Queensland - though not open weekends they are cheap