We’ve been quiet on the Internet for the past few weeks as the process of finalising our move out and picking up and settling in was extremely taxing. More than a few tears of exhaustion were shed!
We took delivery nearly four weeks ago, quite a bit later than we expected and only two days before we had to move out. I was far too optimistic about our chances of getting settled in and moving out at the same time so we ended up moving everything to my parents’ garage and loading up from there.
My first impressions were, “OMG, it’s small!” (for the inside) and, “OMG, it’s huge!” (for the outside) and also, “Aaarrrgh!” when faced with the idea of getting her packed up in 48 hours. It did end up taking us two weeks to move in, as I’d originally anticipated. My parents put up with us being parked on their front lawn and occupying their garage with mounds of stuff while I sorted and sized everything to fit. In the end, we have a huge amount of space and the Nekobus is getting smaller each time I drive her.
The inside is incredibly spacious and I keep thinking how fortunate we are to have chosen this model of motor home (Avida Longreach, 2015) as the layout is fantastic. We are still to explore and use all the features and spaces as we get to know her. Of course, there are the usual new house/new van breaking in of issues and things to be fixed, but so far mostly annoyances rather than crippling problems. Our biggest issue has been with the handover of the solar/inverter/battery system was completely unexplained to us (even after asking the dealer) and has taken us all this time to work out. I think I know how it works, but not prepared to sit an exam on solar and inverters just yet.
We’re still deciding on a choice of tow vehicle and how to tow it. It is very hard to part with our Honda Jazz, especially as money restrictions will mean we have to downgrade to the age and mileage of any new used vehicle we buy. We’re going to go a little longer without changing and see if time and lifestyle give us an answer.
Last week we went off for a few days trial run – both to get a feel for driving and to really learn about the various systems that lend themselves to self sufficiency. What was quite a good run with lots of positive results had one overwhelming downside. Late one night, while we were asleep, Jiji, who loves looking out windows, forced himself behind one of the tightly tensioned blinds and fell through the fly screen and outside. Although we waited for days where we lost him and did everything we could to encourage him to return, we had to pack up and leave him behind. We are hopeful that the lost animal reports and/or his microchip will reunite him with us in time.
The other two are settling in well and have divided the Nekobus into two territories: cat and dog. Sai moved into Jamie’s bedside unit for a few days but we found him a better spot down alongside the bed in a cat cave. Corwin is loving the travelling life and particularly likes it where we can stop and get out the long lead and he can lounge in the sun in the morning.
We are stopped at my parents’ for a few days to attend to some appointments and a few functional things that we needed to take care of – ordering aftermarket bits and pieces for the Nekobus, further culling of excess items and looking into more secure window screens. And of course, spending some time with mum and dad (and their adorable kittens) has helped us grieve losing Jiji.
Wednesday should see us off, as we are now eager to revisit some favourite places and to find new ones and really begin this travelling life of ours.