Today is the maintenance day. Before we go any further we need to change engine oil and oil filter, and also service rear differential on the Land Rover that has been serving us faithfully through the trip.
Also this day gives us an opportunity to catch our breath, and take a break form the fast paced schedule, before we dive right back into it and race down the coast to Sydney.
And so we are in search of an auto parts store. We choose Super Cheap Auto, a chain store that sells mostly goods made in China. There was one Australian made thing we purchased there though, a hog sticker.
Feral pigs are an environmental and agricultural problem in Australia. They destroy vegetation, taint water supplies, spread diseases, kill newborn lambs, eat birds and sometimes people. Hunting feral pigs is a respectful pastime in Australia; there are associations and magazines dedicated to this subject. One such magazine is “Bacon Busters”, devoted to nothing but hunting pigs, it features articles with tips, stories, and pictures of hunters and their trophies. The “Babes & Boars” section provides page after page filled with photographs of the best in female hog hunting talent.
Back at our friend’s garage, we open up and clean the rear diff, and the cover. The gears looked ok – no shavings at the bottom of the pumpkin, so a bead of gasket silicone was applied to the mating surface, and then the cover went back on. Also we drained the old engine oil, replaced the oil filter, and refilled both the engine and the diff. For the test drive, we armed ourselves with a local advertisements magazine and choose a liquor store as the destination.
Alcohol beverages in Australia are usually not sold in supermarkets, but rather in separate liquor stores.
There is typical assortment of universal stuff, as well as Australian made beverages. Australian wines are popular in the country and exported including Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, as well as ports and muscats. Since convicts had been paid in rum back in the early days of the European settlement, rum had become, and still is a very popular drink sold in bottles as well as pre-mixed in cans.
True Aussie Spirit, Bundaberg Rum, for instance is marketed by a white bear whose name is Bundy R.Bear. Made from by-products of sugar cane refining the general idea behind drinking rum is that it makes men violent and they start fighting each other. We tried Australian rum, but it didn’t make us violent, perhaps we didn’t drink enough, or maybe we drank too much.
What we are after on this day is beer. Beer is by far Australia’s favourite beverage. The sides of the roads in the outback, for instance, are proudly littered with gazillions of bottles. Australian beer is great.
Here are just a few of the names: Hahn, Tooheys, VB, Coopers, Cascade, XXXX, Baltika. Ok, Baltika is actually a Russian beer, but it is imported by an Australian company.
Two more things are on the day’s agenda: have dinner (which was accomplished by going to Sizzler), and meet JimmyB – the caretaker of ausjeepoffroad.com, the Australian Jeep community web site. JimmyB welcomed us at his house, showed us a slideshow of one of the build-up projects, and we had a conversation on a range of 4x4 topics.
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