Adelaide, SA, AU
The Beast in sleep mode
We were asked if we thought we got ripped off and lost money on our Aussie car when it broke down and we were forced to scrap it. Some of you may recall that in New Zealand we managed to sell our car for the same price we paid for it (oh, and NOT spend a few hundred on maintenance in the process…) so at first the comparison burned us a little bit. Then we did the math:
Unlike our noble Kiwi-mobile, The Beast was never intended to be only transportation. Remember from the beginning we converted it into a camper and slept in it. As we pointed out, dorm rooms in Australia would run us $60 / night for two people and with Chris the total would jump to $90 / night to share rooms with drunken revelers. Not only did The Beast allow us to camp for free, it also allowed us to get to the more off the beaten path places in Australia and, aside from that being AWESOME on its own accord, this allowed us to work at hostels and sleep for free.
Addendum: as a married couple, sometimes it’s nice to have your own camper instead of a dorm room.
Also, Australia’s remoteness made the power of go even more essential here than it ever was in New Zealand. We would not have been able to travel from Melbourne, to Sydney, to Coff’s Harbor, come back, get Chris from Sydney and move all three of us along with all our snow gear…
…To a remote part of the country that is not on the standard tourist / backpacker path. Bus fees alone up to this point would have easily eaten up thousands of dollars and not to mention the difficulty of lugging stuff from place to place.
But The Beast was a gas guzzler, it did cost money to repair and it was completely useless to us sitting in a parking lot for half the time we owned it. Overall, we felt it was a break even for expense to value. If there had been just one of us then we probably would have lost money overall but with two, then three people benefiting even when loosing the car to the scrap heap it about balances out.
Don’t get us wrong, it sucks. More than a little. We really would have liked to keep the car, saved even more money on camping and sold it at the end for a little cash bonus…
…and we had to figure out how to finish our “Great Australian Overland Expedition” sans wheels.
But in the end The Beast held out long enough to pay his own tab and we can respect that.
He also, despite being a bit of a grumpy old Beast, had the courtesy (if such things can be said of vehicles) to let us know it was time to part ways right before we entered Adelaide. So we could limp to help nearby and we had a place to stay with our friends in order to make a new plan.
In the end, good memories were had and though we think overall our Kiwi-mobile gave us a far better road value, there were some great experiences that were unique to having 3 people drive a 1988 beater truck half-way across Australia…
And anyone who is worth a few good memories, covers their tab, knows themselves well enough to know when it’s better to part ways and has the honesty to tell us will always be a good investment in our travel books.
Besides, we owned a beater truck in Australia called “The Beast.”
No matter what, that’s cool.
Probably about as cool as being part of a South Pacific Biker Gang.
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!