Country hospitality…

Since leaving home we have come across a number of people who have helped us along the way and it has left such an impression on me I wanted to write a post about it. 

On our very first day on the road, my Mum said she wanted to buy us some Clearview towing mirrors to help with on-road safety. Unfortunately these are $650 mirrors that you can’t just pick up at your local Super Cheap – we needed to order them in. When you’ve just started an around-Australia trip in the time period we are doing, you don’t plan on being anywhere long enough to wait around for something like that to get ordered in from Melbourne. So we knew we had to find a future destination big enough to have a shop that could order in our mirrors and hold them until we got there. By the time I realised this we were half way to Cape York. Looking at our itinerary the best place that might be was Katherine. So I rang one of the listed suppliers in Katherine, Auto Pro, and spoke to their manager. I explained our situation and said we’d be passing through at some point in the next 10 days to 2 weeks. Not only was Auto Pro willing to order the mirrors for me, they didn’t want a deposit or anything and were happy with a gentlemen’s (woman’s?) agreement that we’d be there soon to get them. Due to the nature of our travel, we had only intermittent phone reception so it was going to be hard to stay in touch with Auto Pro to know the wheels were turning in the background. But sure enough when we were a day away from Katherine we rang and our mirrors had arrived and they were waiting for us in Katherine. Thanks Auto Pro (and Mum)!

My next shout out is to Ken, the manager at Bramwell Station. You may recall from an earlier post that we left our ridge pole, complete with LED light rack, in the rafters of a hut at Bramwell Station. After a panicked phone call, the pole was located and taken to the manager, Ken’s, office. Ken is from Brisbane and will be returning there at the end of the season and he has agreed to bring our pole back with him in October. He has our number and he’ll call us when he gets back with our pole. Thanks Ken!

After our jockey wheel gave up on us, we needed to make some calls to locate a new one. A few people came to our rescue then. I messaged Amanda with the details and she drove over to talk to Tony at Pilbara Boats and Bikes. While she was there she called us and put Tony on the phone who said he could order our wheel for us but needed to check how long it would take. Within 10 minutes he’d called back to say 48 hours. Sweet! Once again, no deposit or other confirmation needed, just pay the $285 on collection! Thanks Amanda and Tony!

Finally (to date), a shout out to West Coast 4WD Centre and the Pilbara Motor Group (PMG). Looking at our upcoming itinerary and the predicted weather, we knew we were going to need to get some warmer bedding for southern WA and beyond. After an internet search, we settled on a particular sleeping bag product called an OzTent Rivergum XL. There are various reasons why we wanted these specific bags which I won’t bore you with here, but needless to say we spent a few hours on the phone trying to track a pair down in much the same manner as our towing mirror arrangement. We could have some delivered to us from the east but it would take 7-10 days, time we didn’t have to wait around. So we needed to find someone nearby who had a pair in stock. Eventually I came across a listed OzTent supplier, West Coast 4WD Centre in north Perth, specifically a guy called Jason. He didn’t have any but he spent 24 hours calling his OzTent supplier and other stores in WA and finally located a pair of sleeping bags for me at the ARB supplies wing of the Pilbara Motor Group in Karratha (ironically where we were just 24 hours earlier!). Jason said I could order the bags from PMG and send them to him in Perth – he was missing out on the sale but was still doing all he could to help us! So I got on the phone and the lovely Rhys from PMG took my details and payment information and sent two sleeping bags down to some guy called Jason in Perth. Rhys knew the 4WD Centre in question and said he’d just look up the address on Google for me 😉 Now the issue we faced was that the West Coast 4WD Centre wasn’t open on Sundays and guess what day we were due to pass through Perth? Yep, Sunday. To his credit, Jason actually offered to take the bags home with him and let us collect them from him on Sunday but he had already gone above and beyond for us so I didn’t want to stretch the friendship 😉 Instead, we decided this was a good excuse to take up an offer from one of Mum’s friends to stay with her in Fremantle. So on a few days notice I text Alison to see if we could stay Sunday night (thus allowing us to collect our sleeping bags on Monday before heading to Albany) and lo and behold she said yes! Jason called me two days ago to say the bags had arrived safely and we’re on our way to Freo tomorrow 🙂 So thank you Jason from the West Coast 4WD Centre, Rhys from PMG and Alison!

It’s a big country we live in but in so many ways it’s really just a big country town 🙂


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