Bars, bistro’s and bookings = Airlie Beach

P6130093It was windy the whole time we spent at Camilla Beach with the result we didn’t catch any fish. Not very unusual for us however. Went for a walk at low water over the exposed sand flats and i reckon I was a good kilometre from shore.

Left Camilla Monday morning. Because it was a long weekend there was a fair amount of traffic on the road and of course the usual idiot drivers. Got pulled over for a breath test in Mackay, heard later on the news that police had run a series of breath tests around Mackay over the long weekend and booked more than 30 people (I wasn’t one).

P6150098 Arrived Airlie Beach Monday afternoon and because there is no free camping we had to book into a caravan park. We are in the Sea Breeze Caravan Park. It is a bit run down as it is being redeveloped as a resort but it has grassy sites and is not very crowded. Very close to the water and shops with a pathway to Coles supermarket next door.

It was raining and windy when we arrived. Put the awning out but it only lasted half an hour or so before I rolled it up, the wind was just too strong. Tuesday was pretty much the same but today, Wednesday whilst it is still windy at least the sun is out.  I don’t know why this place is called Airlie Beach as there doesn’t seem to be any beach, certainly nothing you can swim at.

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The artificial lagoon seems to be the only place to swim and is frequented by hordes of backpackers. The tourist strip at Airlie is about a quarter of a kilometre long and composed mainly of bars, bistro’s, booking offices for cruises etc and beach ware shops. There really isn’t much for the tourist to do here it really only exists because it is the gateway to the Whitsunday’s. The shops I frequent; Supa Cheap, Mitre 10 etc are located a few kilometres out of town. Vicki has some friends here who live on a boat and they have invited us out on their boat for a couple of days to catch mud crabs, fish and swim – sounds to good to turn up.

I also have had a couple of issues with the van that I want to rectify before leaving. Goldstream are sending us two replacement drinking water filler caps as the present caps will no longer lock and I am a bit concerned about possible contamination, either intentional or otherwise of the drinking water especially as we get further north. They are also sending a new valve for the shower mixer as it is leaking.

Yesterday I decided to check the fridge as it did not seem to be working on 12 volt. Removed the inspection panels and found that 12 volts was not present at the junction box. Contacted Goldstream and was told that in accordance with “industry standards” they had wired the fridge to receive power from pin 2 on the trailer plug. I thought this was bloody stupid and told them so. My trailer plug is wired according to Australian Standards and pin 2 is used for reversing and therefore only supplies power when reverse gear is engaged. A bit of an oversight that no one explained this during delivery! Notwithstanding this I explained to them that no way would I want a fridge drawing power from the starting battery and running the risk of flattening it if the fridge was inadvertently left on 12 volt whilst the vehicle wasn’t running. There is a perfectly good caravan house battery charged via the Anderson plug when the vehicle is running, this should be used for the fridge. This so called “industry standard” might apply to caravans without battery banks but not to those so equipped and it was very negligent of Goldstream to not explain that they deviate from Australian Standards in wiring the trailer plug.

P6160004 Anyway I made my thoughts abundantly clear to Goldstream via email. It was not a very big job to rewire the fridge so that it was drawing from the main caravan 12 volt supply. The only issue was I had to spend about $100 on tools and materials that I shouldn’t have had to.

Overall we are very happy with the van however there are a number of problems that just should not have arisen. Goldstream seem to lack adequate quality control and do not have a proper system in place for delivering vans to owners. It’s a real pity because they have a good product that appears to just need better management supervision.

On another matter tonight is State of Origin. All the pubs will be showing it on TV. There is one lone Blues (NSW) flag in the caravan flag. A very brave person in Maroon heartland. It will be a pity if QLD win again tonight as this will I think be 5 in a row which doesn’t make for a very good competition. Not that that would worry you if you where a QLD supporter I suppose.

Tomorrow we are going out with Vicki’s friends for a couple days.

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