Kim and I finally met up with Wombat064 who is a local guy who has been commenting and following my blog for a few months. Well, Wombat064 is actually nice bloke named Phil, who recently offered to help me out if things got really bad with my back.
Well, things didn’t get bad with my back, but Kim thought I needed a little social interaction so she encouraged me to give Phil a call. I left a message with partner Stacey for him to call me and he called back in about 30 minutes. We arranged a time at my place, as I am not very mobile, for a coffee and a tour of the one and only Melton West eco-house (as far as I know that is, happy to be corrected).
Upon arrival, we all popped inside as it was about 6 degrees at 1300, so we all warmed up with a cuppa. Stacey and Kim had met once before and hit it off like a house on fire. It was a bit difficult for Phil and I to talk over the ruckus, but we started talking about his planned solo trip around Australia by bike. He has ordered a reclining trike that can tow a trailer, and as the trailer is only 17kg so he shouldn’t have too many problems. He did mention that the bike had about 70 gears, but I can remember the details very well. He has an official charity and is going to raise money for Camp Quality. The money he collects in each state will got to the branch in that state, which is only fair.
If you want to learn more about this amazing bloke and his plans, or if you are even thinking about sponsorship, have a look at http://campqualitycountrymiletour.blogspot.com/ for more information about Phil and his sponsors so far. I think that he is very courageous, and to begin to live and breath a lifelong dream is a fantastic quality in a person. I don’t give out plugs to everyone I meet, just the deserved few!
We talked about some of the issues that he may run into, like the Nullabour Plain and the lack of water and some of the distances between stops. He will be carrying about 22 litres of water on him, and mostly dried goods like dehydrated fruit and vegetables that he will pick up along the way. He is hoping to get a cheap dehydrator so that Stacey can send him care packages along the way. Apparently you can send parcels to post offices and pick them up as you get to that town. Sound like they have the logistics all sorted out. Phil will be travelling clockwise around Australia, and he reckons that it will probably take him about 2 years. Oh, I forgot to mention, he will have a small CB radio so the truckies don’t blow him off the road or drive over him ;-). Pretty cool stuff and he has the route all planned out already. If I remember rightly he is hoping to head off in March 09, so I will be keeping an eye on his blog for his progress. That’s not to say that we won’t catch up between now and then, as I can’t wait to see his bike when it finally gets delivered.
After chatting for about an hour, I gave them both the grand tour of Castle Argyll, including the vege patches, vermiculture, composting, solar panels, nearly completed chook house and the food stockpile. Then it was back inside, and Stacey begun to tell us about a place up in country Victoria that she partly owns (I think) that is fully off the grid. It has its own solar power via a 32 volt system, own water supply and a big vege patch. Stacey and an Ex set is up about 10-15 years ago (I not too good with dates, sorry Stacey) and it is all still working fine. Her solar panels charge up a battery bank via a regulator and the residence draws off of this at night. From what I can remember there were not much in the way of electrical items as the fridge and stove both run off of LPG gas, but that is starting to get expensive these days as oil based products are on the rise. I think Kim mentioned to me that Stacey runs an business called the Mystical Wombat (correct me if I am wrong Phil, because I can’t find a web site or anything).
After about another hour and a half of chatting about this and that, another cuppa and some home made choc-chip biscuits, we all agreed to catch up again very soon as we all enjoyed each others company. Both Kim and I had a ball, and both agreed that it was a great afternoon.
Thanks Phil and Stacey for coming along and sharing our day! You made a sore man happy.
Will this article help someone you know? If so help them out by sharing now!
Gavin Webber's daily goal is to live a more sustainable lifestyle, in an effort to reduce his family's environmental footprint so we can all make a difference for our children & future generations to come.