13th March, 2012
bit before 7am we got up and made us ready as we should soon be
picked up. We waited until 8pm and nothing happened. Sandra called
again Apollo and nothing was organised yet. After a few more calls
the Roadside Assistance was here again and brought us to he garage.
After an hour sitting there we learnt that we could not continue with
this camper. So the next odyssey with Apollo started. To pass the
time we visited David of the Roadside Assistance and sat about three
hours in his office. We learnt that he not only organises tows. On
the carpark there are stolen cars which were inspected by a police
officer. We experienced a young annoyed lady which had to pay a lot
to get her car back. The reason for the withdrawal was that someone
else was driving with her licence and her car. This had caused 28
days without car and a fee for the “parking”.
original plan of Apollo was that we should exchange the car in the
evening at the garage. But this met David's opposition as it can get
dangerous in the industrial area after the business hours. So David
negotiated with Apollo that we are brought back to the camping and
will do the exchange there. Apollo paid us the taxi to the town and
so we visited the HMAS Sydney Memorial. The warship left Geraldton
before it was sank by a German warship. 625 men had died and that
many steel seagulls form a hemisphere. Another woman figure looking
at the sea and waiting for the husband is also part of the memorial.
Then Apollo was calling and told us that the driver would be a bit
later and we got now a camper for 4 persons. Then the driver called
and said that he will arrive at about 10:30pm. We were not very fond
as we wanted to get up early the next morning. As we had more time we
stayed in the town for dinner. As soon as we were back at the
camping, the driver called and told us that he is at the entrance. So
we had to pack fast and move our stuff. The new one is the same model
as the old one. Tomorrow we will have a close look and document
everything ss we did not have a proper handover.
12th March, 2012
we got up early as the garage to fix the camper opens at 8am. Shortly
after we were there. No surprise that they did not know anything
about us. Also we explained our problem and that they should have
been contacted by Apollo. Steve mentioned something like “again an
Apollo”. He told that it is normal that campers have to be fixed as
I asked if they have often Apollos to repair. Steve called the Apollo
office and told them that the problem was not caused by us.
finally continued our voyage by 10am. In Northhampton we had a late
breakfast and did some sightseeing. Interesting was a catholic church
and an old monastery. The church is from the same architect as the
one in Geraldton. Some aspects, like the construction material, are
similar to the cathedral. As the doors were closed we thought that we
could not visit it. We asked at the information office and they told
us to go to the school at the back of the church. There we found a
kind lady which opened the door for us. Then we looked at the former
monastery which is now used as hotel.
drove then to the small coast village Horrocks. We continued as there
was not much to see. A gravel road brought us to the main road which
leads to Port Gregory. Back at the main road Sandra had a problem
with the clutch and could not change the gears well anymore. So we
drove in the third gear to Port Gregory. We wanted to get to Kalbarri
and let the car check there. On the side of the read there was a salt
lake with little water. The water was rose and smelled not very nice.
To get back to the main road we had take 500 meters of gravel road.
At the end Sandra could not start driving again. As soon as we had
the warning lights on an opened the hood a farmer stopped. He also
tried to start and told us that the clutch is broken. He was so kind
to call Apollo to explain them the problem. He left us after he was
sure we had enough water. We got his mobile number and he invited us
to wait on the farm. After the first phone call with Apollo we
believed that we had to wait only for an hour and thus we stayed in
the shadow of the camper. During the next 3.5 hours there were many
calls between us and Apollo, Apollo and the Roadside Assistance and
finally between the Roadside Assistance and us. We were very
disappointed about Apollo as they often made empty promises and did
not update us about the current state. But from the Roadside
Assistance we got informed regularly about the current situation.
Mainly David from the office in Geraldton did his best to free us
from this situation. At 4pm our vehicle loaded to the tow truck and
we god freed from the nagging flies. Greg drove us back to Geraldton
and unloaded it at the camping. Originally we should go to another
camping, but the guys from the Roadside Assistance called Apollo and
explained that that one is too dangerous for two ladies.
the stress we had some fascinating experiences. The Australians are
very helpful. A car stopped and told us that we are camping on an
access road. We explained our situation and it was good. We even
found a tree on which mussels are growing. And finally we now know
that in Australia even in the shadow there is sunburn danger.
the end of the day we watched a very beautiful sunset. How this will
work out, we do not know yet. Tomorrow at 7:45pm we will be picked up
and brought to a garage.
11th March, 2012
night was better than yesterday. Sandra called again the Apollo
hotline as had not been called back from them by 9:30am. We learnt
that there was no note left from yesterday and on Sunday there is
nobody available to have a look at it. We insisted that this was
promised us yesterday evening. First he told us we were not allowed
to continue, but he also did not want to provide us with a rental car
for a day. Our problem that we have a problem in the weekend and we
have to wait for next day. We got the repair address and we will go
there tomorrow morning. The explained also how we should fasten the
roof with a special system. Thanks to the help of the camping manager
we realised that it was a clamping set. So we drove to by one. A huge
shopping mall for construction material was open even on Sunday. The
best thing about the clamping set is that I had told Sandra yesterday
that we had got one for Christmas. After we drove about 10 km back as
we had seen there a few laying trees. We took pictures of a very
beautiful one. This kind of laying trees exist only in Western
Australia. After we visited an animal park with local animals. I made
a few blurred pictures from the animals and the according sign to
know the individual parrots are named correctly.
a short lunch break we drove to the St. Francis Xaver Cathedral.
First we watched the Spanish style cathedral from the outside. An
interesting and beautiful building on which many parrots were
sitting. We went inside and Sandra asked if it is a catholic one. I
told her that I had read in the travel guide something different. But
the holy water at the entrance irritated me a bit, but the picture of
the pope made clear that it is catholic. It was also interesting from
the inside and had many nice windows. The parrots on the roof created
a sound as if someone was walking there. Finally we went back to the
camping and tried to put the clamping set. We put a washcloth below
to avoid scratches on the finish. Shortly before the sunset we walked
to the light house and then to the beach. We observed a wonderful
10th March, 2012
a night with little sleep, it was loud and could, we went northwards.
First we drove a bit back as I had seen a road sign pointing to
stromatoliths (living rocks). A sand road leads to Lake Theatis and
the stromatoliths and we raised a lot of dust. A short path and
boardwalk lead to the stomatoliths. We saw those rocks formed by
micro organisms partially in the water and partially on the land.
we arrived a cormorant flew away. We hoped he would return as he
would be nice on a photo. How should it be, after a while the bird
came back. Our trip led with short photo stops to Jurie Bay. Here we
granted our feet a cool bath in the sea. At time there is often a
warm wind which makes the temperature more bearable, but we do not
feel then how strong the sun is burning. On the way I stopped shortly
to take pictures of trees which were partially burned from the last
bush fire. When leaving the car I hit a wall of heat. We decided to
drive to Geraldton As it was already late afternoon. At the tourist
information we realized that the roof of the car was not completely
closed. A closer look revealed that a clamp was missing. With the
help of a ladder we saw that the moveable strut was bent and thus the
roof could not anymore be closed completely. Many bird voices
accompanied us on this carpark. In the trees we saw many white
parrots. After we went directly to the camping to stay there
overnight. The owner gave us the hint to immediately call Apollo and
to explain the problem. Sandra called as her English is better. They
explained us that it is too late to send someone to have a look. The
office would contact us tomorrow.
a fine dinner and Australian wine we finished this evening.