Bridgetown Blues means DIXYBUS is GO

22/11/17

Team wiljen, get the old VW Camper out & go in search of tunes in Western Australia’s beautiful South West.

By Will.

Last time Jenny & I went to the Bridgetown Blues was back in 2014, just after we sold our Roadhouse Business, we both loved it. Since then we haven’t been in WA at the right time to go again….until now !

On that previous occasion we rode our Motorbikes down there, this time we will take the Vee Dub Kombi Camper, but first some repairs are in order. There’s a crack in the weld on the Roo-Bar bracket so it creaks & rattles. Also the 80 watt solar panel on the roof is rattling a bit so I need to insert some rubber isolation.

I tackled the Solar Panel first, easy enough but time consuming, then dug out my little 10 amp caddy welder, disconnected the two 12 volt VW Bus batteries and proceeded to spatter some weld over, in and around the crack on the Roo-Bar bracket, it’s out of sight so doesn’t have to look to good, but the end result turned out ok. DIXYBUS is now ready for Bridgetown. Happy Days !

On Friday 10th we headed off, Bridgetown is only 240kms South of us & we sat on a steady 90km/h, some people gave us a friendly (I think) toot as they wizzed past in their, I’m isolated from the world & everything else in my magical modern wonder car.

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Another VW Kombi, rolls into Bridgetown for a weekend of Blues Music.

You know you’re alive when you’re driving a 41 year old, air cooled VW Kombi, dak, dak, dak goes that 2 litre type 4, twin carb motor. The porridge mixer that regular people call a gear stick is always good for a laugh. The old Girl goes into gear easy enough & you can judge your speed by averaging out the bouncing speedo needle, checking out the air flow throw Jenny’s luxurious hair or just glance at the road through the hole in the floor near the brake pedal. I guess the rubber boot that kept the wind & dust out wore away years ago.

 

DIXYBUS & us camp out in Jon & Julie’s Shed at Bridgetown.

Hell yeah driving old DIXYBUS always puts a smile on your dial ! 😀✌️. I have no doubt that everyone would drive with utmost care if they were all driving an old Kombi with only 3mm of plate steel between them & certain pain.

Hey how’s that for an idea to reduce the road toll, legislate that everyone has to drive around in a VW Kombi or similar with no real frontal protection. Don’t make cars safer make them scarier…..but as usual I digress.

With BIG Smiles on our faces we pull into Bridgetown 3 hours later, in our cool as bro, bright orange, hippy bus. There were a few other Kombi Vans out and about & it’s tradition to give them the two finger “V” peace wave as you pass each other.

Jenny and I parked up and went over to the ticket van, to get our all access passes for a weekend of tunes. The place was starting to get busy. Next stop was our friends Julie & Jon’s place. We parked in their large shed and over the afternoon heaps of other friends & their family members rocked up. At one stage there were 20 people camped at Jon & Julie’s House which is only a 5 minute walk from the Blues Music action.

Jen & I had a fabulous weekend, the music was sensational, with the band called 19-twenty being our stand out favourite. Then on Monday we headed for Home.

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On the Saturday the Main Street of Bridgetown is closed to all Vehicle Traffic, Julie, Jenny & Jon check out the action.

 

 

Just a small taste of some of the venues where the music was playing. Great fun.

Home…The Travel Home Base or “THB” for short, will this place ever be finished. I guess anyone who has built a house probably already knows it take at least 5 year’s to get a house at 90% complete. I’m talking, painting, window treatments, gardens, yards, lighting, etc. it’s a massive job. We’ve now been at it for 18 months, the demolition work began back in March 2016. Right now Jen & I are focused on creating easy care gardens. We will get there eventually.

 

 

The Gardening continues at the THB in Mandurah.

 

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I drop the Mule into Mandurah Yamaha/KTM for some new tyres & brakes.

Other happenings have been catching up with good friends from our past, “Tom Price” life, Ian & Jacqui. We had all allowed life & time to get in the way of a good friendship, but we all plan to improve that now.

Another thing was getting out on a Bike ride with our friends Grant & Terri. We ended up slightly geographically challenged out the back of Coolup on the 3 Cruisers over the weekend but it all ended well at the Sandy Cove Tavern.

 

 

Last weekend we got out on a bike ride, here’s a quick photo opportunity on Estuary Drive.

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We finish our ride at the Sandy Cove for lunch, I’m a bit of a sucker for old American “Yank Tanks. That’s Grant’s Bike on the left.
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Here’s another one from last weekend, an old Chrysler?

In between all this Jenny has been busy with her knee rehabilitation, it’s improved quite a bit but is a slow frustrating process for Jen. We have both focused our attention on not using the car & only ride the bicycles or Motorbikes where possible. A couple of days ago Jenny rode to the closest Supermarket/Shopping Centre & did a big shop, loading all the groceries into her bicycle panniers. Wow it took her a massive 8 minutes to ride there. Honestly it would take longer to go in the car ! After 5 weeks at home I fuelled the Landcruiser up for the first time last Friday.

 

There has been lots of bicycle activity behind the scenes as well, Jenny also gave the Linear Recumbent a go….nice !

What’s next for team wiljen ? In a nut shell, more travel & adventure. In a week we fly to the UK (in their winter, yuck…guess I’ll be limited to visiting Pubs & Museums). I don’t think there’ll be any Motorbike rides, though Jenny’s sister does own a 125cc Vespa, so you never know. Mainly we will be celebrating Jenny’s sister Sue’s birthday & catching up with some UK friends. This trip should provide some excellent material to write about, lots of mad happenings planned.

While over there we are picking up a couple of Brompton’s (folding Bicycles) for a future Vehicle Based Bicycle Tour & to help get us around during our UK trip.

Shortly after our return from England we fly over to Tasmania in February 2018 to complete the missing State of our 2017, Aussie/NZ Motorbike Tour. Jenny’s, Step-Bro, Neil & his wife Tracey happen to have 4 Bikes in their shed (all sport style, 2x 650cc, 1x 1200cc & 1x 250cc Ninja, Yeah they’re bike crazy like us). They have invited us over for a two week Tassie Ride….how cool will that be ! 🙂

Longer term we are planning 6 months in North America, mainly Canada & USA, we plan on taking our Heavy Duty, Thorn Nomad, Expedition Touring Cycles with us to ride down the West Coast, but it’s early days & who knows exactly what the trip will morph into. Though we need to depart for this tour in the second quarter of 2018 if we are to catch the best weather window for cycling.

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Today, yet another fabulous Spring day in Mandurah so we head to Oceanic Bar & Grill at the Marina for lunch with Jenny’s Mum, Lorraine & our Daughter Olivia.

Isn’t life grand, sure beats working for the “Man”. 😀👍

 

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