Sunday, October 30, 2011

How much fun can you have with $300?


So we went and bought ourselves a little old caravan on eBay. For $152.50! We had all sorts of hopes and dreams for her too. You saw the pictures. I was off in Gypsy Land. I go there sometimes, and it's a wonderful place. Freedom... With nowhere particular to go, and no schedules or deadlines. Just a whim. A fancy. I have no doubts I'll end up there for good one day. Just me and my man wandering the countryside, making our own little discoveries.

Not this time though.

We bought the 'old girl' on eBay, with the hopes that she'd be a keeper. A vintage beauty that we could restore, and turn into our own little home on wheels. We bought her one weekend and on the following one, we headed north to check her out. And that's where the fun started.

You see, there's not too many places to stay in Childers. A couple of dodgy little motels is about all I could find online. wasn't really much help either. So I hit up our trusty old search engine, Google, and found a pub to stay in. For $60 we could have a balcony room at The Grand Hotel. Sounded pretty cool to me. I'd never stayed in a pub before, and this one was haunted to boot! There had been several sightings over the years, and then there was the interesting phenomenon of the lightning strikes. Once in October 1997, and again in October 2004.... Would it happen again while we were there? How could we not stay there? It was a given.

We rolled up at about 4pm and paid our nightly board at the bar, and were told it was quite safe to park the car on the street, because 'you know, it's Childers and all'... Our room was on one side of the balcony and on the other, there lived an old man. You could tell he'd been there for a while too. He had his recliner, his radio, his esky (full of Bundy Rum and coke) and his newspapers. He was set, well and truly. We decided to settle in too. We unpacked a little, pulled up a stool and sat on that balcony and watched life in Childers pass us by.

We never did see any ghosts that night though, and even when Mother Nature opened the heavens in one almighty storm in the early hours, we weren't struck by lightning. We did however wake up to grey skies and howling winds, and wondered how we would get the photos we wanted to take of our little retro princess. Especially with no freshly brewed coffee under our belts! We found a bakery, ate a sausage roll and a pastie, had some bad coffee and headed out to Apple Tree Creek, to see our lovely little van.

In the middle of nowhere, we found her. First though, we were greeted by her previous owners who immediately conjured visions of the Soggy Bottom Boys.

We were in Australian red neck country. Well and truly. The van was in the back of the yard and from the outside she was beautiful. All my gypsy visions came rolling in.... On the inside though, she was rotten. Through and through.

The years she'd spent sitting in the pasture hadn't been kind, and it didn't take us long to realise that she wasn't going to make a trip home to the Gold Coast. We chatted to our country friends for a while and after coffee and biscuits, we headed home. Not dejected, but full of enthusiasm.

We were going to put her back on eBay! We were armed with photos and information, and decided that the only thing we could do, was to try and sell her for more than what we'd bought her for. We took our time coming home though, stopping off at Woodgate Beach for a paddle, and some shell collecting. We stopped and bought a tray of mangoes, and we browsed through an antique shop in Gympie. For dinner we ate red emperor and coconut prawns on the banks of the Noosa River, and we drove home through one hell of a thunder storm.

Over the next couple of days we gathered our thoughts, and then armed with a barrage of arsenal, we put the old girl back on eBay. Within hours we had 15 watchers, and our first bid came in on the second day. Just before the auction ended, we had 79 watchers! We sold our little van for $305, and literally doubled our money.

Our little risk paid for our weekend, and gave us memories that will last us a lifetime. I'm sure some thought we were mad. I guess we are a little, but that's what makes life so worth living. We still don't have our little, longed-for holiday home, but nothing will replace the fun we had on $300!

1 comment:

  1. Great story! Love to read about your grand adventures Bec. You have had a year full! Amber