First stop on on my travels is Denmark, W.A., about 450km south of Perth. The trip down was long compared with driving a car, but reasonably trouble free. Part of the reason it took a while was because I needed to stop at a black water dump point. Pinjarra has a CMCA sponsored dump point in town opposite the local pub, they also have an area near the dump point where you can camp overnight, worth stopping if you’re going passed as there’s a huge grassed area with lots of shady trees.
The dump point can be a little tricky if you have a large vehicle with a tow vehicle behind and only a short waste hose as I do, but it gave me a chance to unhook the car and hook it back up again, so I could reverse the bus, I need the practice hooking the car up, so this was good for me.
The driving down was a bit arduous, driving a big heavy vehicle is nothing like driving a car. I’ve driven the same road in a car countless times and you only ever change gears if you stop somewhere along the way. In the bus I was changing gears on any hill of a decent size, and I was often down to 3rd gear out of 6, some of the hills were getting to the point of scary. Coming up out of Pinjarra into the darling scarp heading towards Dwellingup there were a couple of reasonable hills and one of them had me down to 30km/h in an 80 zone. This hill had me contemplating what I would do if I couldn’t make it up. Towing the car means that I can’t reverse or go backwards, if I do, it will jackknife the car. But then what if you can’t keep going up, can’t go up, can’t go back. Probably not the sort of thing I should be thinking about while I’m half way up.
During the trip down there was probably half a dozen times where I was down to 30km/h, the worst was a hill between Mount Barker and Denmark, while in a 110km/h zone I got down to 20km/h up a big long steep hill. Now I’m here in Denmark I’ll need to get someone to have a look at the bus, perhaps my injectors need looking at, I don’t know, but I need to do something before I travel too much further because on hills I’m a bit of a road hazard.
Anyway, after leaving Jandakot (Perth) at around 9.30 in the morning, I hit Denmark around 4.30. Seven hours compared with 4-5 hours in a car coming straight down. Spent the night parked up in Denmark out the front of my mums place, here I learnt my first valuable lesson about parking on the flat. It’s no fun doing anything on a steep angle, especially sleeping. I tried to use the computer for a while but my office chair kept rolling across against the bathroom wall, I just couldn’t keep myself near the desk.
This following morning, after a couple of reconnaissance missions in the car out to the block at William Bay 15km out of town, I worked out a plan of attack for where I’d park the bus. The place I’d originally planned to park was a bit difficult to get the bus into, so plan B, the other side of the block, probably a nicer spot really, more details about this later.