My first taste of life on the road was providing me with a good understanding of our new motorhomes capabilities and shortcomings. We were about to see how well the engine and cooling system stacked up.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
We were at the base of Mount Ousley which is the easiest way up to the top of the Illawarra Escarpment and then on to Sydney. It is the least steep of all the mountain passes and duel carriageway all the way to the top, but it is a 6km long climb and enough to test any cooling system. I moved into the left lane as soon as we reached the foot of the pass and slowed down changing into second gear. It was then just a matter of keeping the bus at a constant speed and wait.
I was impressed. We not only got to the top without any rise in engine temperature or mechanical problems, we did it with ease. Once I had the bus set up at its optimum speed the constant grade allowed us to cruise easily to the top. We even had to overtake some trucks to keep our speed constant.
At this stage we were quiet hungry. we had been on the road for a few hours and had been on the lookout for somewhere to eat but had not found anything along our travels that was open. I had decided to take us around the southern outskirts of Sydney and up the M7 to get us heading north again, so I knew that we would be able to find a place to get a hot meal twenty minutes up the road at Appin. How did I know this? We were on a trip down memory lane as life on the road was taking us straight towards the area that I grew up in.
At around 7pm we pulled into the side street next to the Appin Pub which had plenty of room for a bus to park . I was spent and famished after concentrating and driving for the last two hours or so. It was time for a break and a change of driver. Appin was still as I remember it. It is approximately 20km from the edge of Sydney’s urbane sprawl in a peaceful rural setting with a country pub where the meals and service are just as good now as they were sixteen years ago when I last went through there before I moved to Queensland. If you are ever passing through Appin there is plenty of room to park even the biggest motorhome and stop for a meal at the pub.
Life On The Road Was About To Hit A Roadblock
We set off again with Geoff driving towards Campbelltown on the outskirts of Sydney where we were going to get on to the South western motorway and M7 which was going to take us around most of the city as we made our way to the Newcastle Freeway. Everything was going well until we got to Pennant Hills in Sydney’s northern suburbs and it started to rain. As soon as Geoff turned on the windscreen wipers the left one disappearedbelow the windscreen and the fuse blew. Luckily the rain was not to heavy so we could see well enough to drive to a service station and pick up some new fuses. I also pulled the wayward blade back up onto the windscreen where it seemed happy to stay and refueled the bus at the same time.
We departed Sydney with the the windscreen wipers working ok in the light drizzle and me sitting there happy that we had made it through Sydney before morning and I had easily fixed our first mechanical problem. Or so I thought.
What challenges lay before us? You will find out in First Taste Of Life On The Road part 3 as our trip home comes to an end.
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New Life On The Road