When I last left you, we’d been faffing around in Geraldton for far too long. We’d arrived on the Friday hoping to quickly change our car rego from NSW to WA, only to find we needed to have (and pass) an inspection, get an immobiliser, find the other seatbelt for the front, and get a permit for the 2nd fuel tank and a bunch of other annoying checklist items some of which I can’t even spell. 

 

Licensing and registration between the states of Australia is a bit of a circus. Because Joe had removed the seats from the back of the troopy, the RTA in NSW said that he’d have to come back to NSW for the inspection, and that it couldn’t be carried out in any other state. In WA, because he’d owned the car for less than 12 months, he needed an inspection to register it, and because the car was under 20 years old (just) it needed an immobiliser to pass the inspection.

 

Morale for team Troopy was low. It felt like a bit a blow after we’d just had the car fully serviced in Perth and we’d just wanted to get going again. At the heart of the problem was the fact we both felt extremely silly for not having read the fine print for the carnet, and organised the rego the week before we left.

 

So, 5 days and $1200 later, BOB has some hot new WA plates – 1DOR107. We thought about getting BOB2011, but everyone knows that personalised number plates are naff.

 

The waiting around in Geraldton sucked. The water at the beach was brown due to the river flooding and didn’t really appeal, the library only let you use wi-fi for 30 minutes at a time, and the pubs didn’t even have Buckhunter. We had nothing much to do except play tennis (Thank god for our Vinnies racquets) and hang out anywhere we could find air conditioning.

 

The blessed part about all these little challenges and annoyances is that we always have ABC Radio National to keep us in check. Whenever we feel sorry for our poor unemployed travelling souls, it only takes a news bulletin to remind us how grateful we should be – we’re healthy, solvent and free to roam – and we should thank our lucky stars and enjoy what every day throws at us.

 

The highlight of Geraldton had to be Joe’s pure desperation to go for a Kite. We drove around to some beach in the sticks which a local had directed us to, and whilst I was stood on the beach in my bikini launching the kite, a prison bus pulled up next to BOB and twenty felons and their 2 guards got out and wandered straight past me in their mottle of bottle green t-shirts and shorts. They were ushered down the beach a few hundred metres and flags were laid where they could swim. Awesome.

 

Unfortunately Joe kited out in their direction just as the wind dropped. His kite folded and plummeted straight into the school of paddling prisoners. To make matters worse, as he splashed around trying to pull the kite and lines into the beach, his board started floating away, and he had to ask one of them to fetch it, simultaneously nearly drowning another guy who got his legs caught in the lines. I watched on from a safe distance, eager not to embarrass Joe by mollycoddling him in front of his new friends.  That put an end to kiting in Geraldton – and as soon as we’d seen the yellow submarine and done 50 laps around the towns mechanics and transport authorities ticking boxes and swiping credit cards we were more than happy to speed out of town at the reasonable speed of 90kmph.