Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bringing Betty Home...

Maleny - Jervis Bay, NSW Return (2,400kms in 3 days!)

The 1963 Sunliner I bought six months ago has been sitting in storage in NSW and with a quote of $4,000 to have it transported back to Queensland, and a rusted out chassis, an alternative means of bringing her home was needed.
Funny how often what I am doing with my vans echoes the restoration tips in Vintage Caravan Magazine lately! (The last one was on transporting your vintage caravan - Thanks for the great advice Richard)
So, with the loan of a car trailer and blankets and pillows piled into the back of the Commodore, we set off from Maleny at about 2pm on Monday.  I did the first half of the drive and Noddy took over from there doing the long hard stretch through Sydney into the wee hours of the morning.
We arrived at Jervis Bay at 4am local time (3am QLD time - why oh why don't we have daylight savings time here too???) and pulled up in the carpark right on the bay overlooking the ocean and crashed out for some well-earned zzzz's.
We awoke at 9am and admired our prime real estate position (wow, did we really sleep that long in a public carpark taking up around 6 bays with the car trailer without anyone moving us on? Awesome!) 

Some locals turned up and told us that 30 whales had been spotted coming into Jervis Bay so I grabbed the camera and we walked down the rocks to check it out.  There was no sign of the whales, but there were dolphins swimming around and I was trying very hard to take photos of them when I took one step too many and ended up tumbling 3 metres down a rock wall and straight into the ocean and oyster laden rocks, ouch!!!!  The ambulances were called and it was all very dramatic but I was, apart from plenty of nasty bruises and cuts, surprisingly relatively injury free - I have always been quite convinced I am unbreakable! 
Here is a blurry photo of one of the dolphins that I managed to get off the memory card.  The camera and my i-phone that was in my pocket were destroyed in the fall unfortunately.

And a few nice pics of Jervis Bay that I took at the same time:

The pic I took just before I fell showing what I tumbled down and into!

Once it had been determined that my painfully bruised and swollen leg was not broken, we set off to pick up the Sunliner from Ray's Hot Rod workshop in Huskisson and the caravan was forklifted onto the car trailer backwards as the extended draw bar was very heavy and the boys decided it would be better going on the back of the trailer instead of at the front.

Some gruesome shots of my oyster cut hands taken with Noddy's phone while I watched them loading the van:

Van all loaded, we hit the road again with Noddy taking the first half while I iced my leg and bemoaned my injuries and Sydney traffic.  We stopped at a rest stop along the way and met a lovely couple Cheryl and Andy who were free camping on their way to Tasmania who loved the Sunliner and so I gave them a copy of the magazine to enjoy on their travels. After he had done around 7 hours straight driving, we stopped for some dinner in Kempsey and I took over the wheel from there to Nigel and Linda's Glen Villa Resort caravan park in Byron Bay.  We arrived there at 2am and didn't want to wake them so we slept outside and surprised them in the morning and had a bite to eat with them at the very funky Bay leaf Cafe (mmmmm.. lots of vegetables and real fruit juice was much appreciated after a couple of days of service station pies!)

Then it was off again back home to Maleny, dropping the newly christened "Betty Page Turner" (a name that is the result of combining two pinup goddesses; Bettie Page and Lana Turner that seemed appropriate for a portable magazine office!) down at Beerwah where she will be getting a makeover in time for the next big trip to Victoria in 3 weeks for her debut at the Camperdown Cruise Rockabilly Festival... fingers crossed!

We made it!

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