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Chelsea Heights, Melbourne, Vic

S 38°01'49" E 145°08'03"

Thu 3 - Thu 10 Mar 2005

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Thursday 3rd

I found a Dometic repairer in Geelong but he could only look at the fridge if I took it out of the Motley. I rang the guy in Clayton and he would be happy to remove, repair, test, and re-install the fridge if I get the door off.

Jean didn't want to drive through Melbourne again so we took the ferry from Queenscliffe to Sorrento. They decided to classify the Motley as a semi-trailer because of it's width so we paid $124 for the 50 minute trip. It was a pleasant journey and we saw things we wouldn't otherwise have seen but we won't come this way again.

The arrangement with the fridge repairer was to get to Clayton and have the door off the Motley by 2 o'clock. It was obvious we wouldn't make it so we booked into a caravan park for a few days. The guy at Clayton isn't available tomorrow so I have until Monday before he can look at the job.

This week is Grand Prix week and most of the caravan parks even this far out are busy. The only one able to accommodate us was a pretty nice place and cheaper than either of the places we have stayed in recently.

I decided to switch the fridge on again just to confirm that it wasn't working. There was nothing in the freezer and it started to chill immediately. I'll have to wait to see how well it works but at least it's doing something.

Friday 4th

The fridge did a bit during the night but not enough to freeze a tray of ice cubes. Clearly there is something amiss and we have to get it repaired.

I needed to go to St Albans in the west of the city to see if there was any mail. There wasn't so it was a bit of a wasted journey. On the way back to Chelsea, we stopped in the Southlands Shopping Centre where we had lunch.

The fridge seemed to come a little bit better again with temperatures in the afternoon of -2°C in the freezer and 6°C in the fridge.

Saturday 5th

It had rained overnight and the day wasn't any better so we stayed in.The Grand Prix qualifying was on TV so I watched that.

The weather made it impossible to do any work on the door so I did a few things indoors.

Sunday 6th

The weather was still inclement and I spent the whole day watching the motor racing.

The fridge packed it in again with temperatures in the afternoon of 11°C in the freezer and 12°C in the fridge even though the outside temperature was only 20°C. Clearly something is amiss and I will have to bite the bullet. I don't want to do the door until the weather report indicates that we'll have a couple of days of good weather so we'll have to be patient.

Monday 7th

The weather hadn't improved so the work on the door didn't get done.

We spent the day in the Motley reading and so on.

Tuesday 8th

The weather report had predicted a clearer day it started out overcast and raining. I put the awning out and when it stopped raining I did a trial removal of the door and put it back temporarily. I arranged to go to the caravan refrigeration people and have them remove the fridge with a view to repair it.

The immediate diagnosis was a leak in the refrigerant circuit. The only repair possible is replacement of the whole boiler and condenser unit. I left the fridge with them expecting the replacement to be in and tested by Friday morning.

We decided to have lunch out to save having to cook in the evening. We had passed a place called the Asian Palace on the way to Clayton so we stopped there on the way back. This turned out to be a gambling club with a Chinese restaurant attached. Jean enjoyed her meal but I wasn't able to eat any of the "chicken" in my chicken in black bean sauce but the vegetables and rice were OK so we achieved the objective.

Wednesday 9th

We needed to get out a bit and Jean had asked about the Dandenong Ranges so we took off in the Little Motley to visit them.

It took what seemed a long time to reach the edge of suburbia. We stopped in Belgrave for a cup of coffee and enquired about the Puffing Billy, the local steam train ride from here to Gembrook a few miles east of here. We eventually found a timetable which shows that it runs three or four time a day nearly every day. As we had found elsewhere, the prices were not published; one must to ring up or go to the website.

photo of the forest

Driving North towards Olinda, we finally found what we had come to see, a beautiful forest of towering bluegums. We saw a sign to the Skyway at Mt Dandenong but when we got there we found that one had to pay to get into the carpark. Having a view that private ownership of natural beauty spots is wrong, I refused to fill their coffers so we pressed on. We stopped at a lookout overlooking the Silvan Reservoir only to find that the local authority had made a "strategic plan" for the area which included demolishing the toilet block and suspending all maintenance on the deck. I think there insurance company would be ropeable if they knew that the deck was becoming unsafe.

We found a road through the forest so we took off the bitumen to get a close up view of the beauty of the place.

Heading back towards Melbourne, we had to drive a fairly long stretch of winding road and Jean suffered from a bout of car sickness, She recalled the last time she had suffered was when we were in the part of the world going to the rally at Lardner park. She asked that we not visit the Dandenongs again

Thursday 10th

I was out early to do the laundry. Jean needed some more knitting wool so we went to town to a Spotlight we had seen on a previous outing. On the way back, we heard from the caravan refrigeration guys that the fridge was ready. We drove back to the caravan park, brought in the laundry, had some lunch, and prepared to go back to South Clayton.

The fridge was still on test when we arrived. I took of the door and we re-installed the fridge. I replaced the door and we returned to the caravan park ready to leave tomorrow for a chapter meeting in Berwick over the weekend.

I had planned to take Jean out for dinner but she had had a bad turn from the coffee we had in the morning so we postponed the dinner to another day.

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Created: 03.03.2005 and last revised 10.03.2005
Author: Robin Chalmers Copyright in all the material on this site is asserted by the author
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