Friday, January 14, 2011

Walker's Down Under New Car

This past week I bought a vehicle, so we can be more mobile during our stay in Harvey. We looked in the classified ads newspaper 'The Quokka', but most were 140 km away in Perth. The local dealership in town and a used car lot up the road provided a small selection to choose from. No vans (people movers in Aussie slang), a couple sedans, one uniquely Australian Ute (a truck/ car that range is size from a small compact to a full size pickup), and one SUV. We bought the SUV, a 1999 Suzuki Grand Vitarra SUV complete with a Roo Bar. It has 5 seats and quite a bit of room in 'the boot'. I drove it off the lot and straight home. The plates are good until May 11, 2011 and for a 12 month renewal it will cost less than $400 AUD! Once we had wheels - we have driven to Bunbury [a nearby city of 60 000], Harvey Dam [a forest park and picnic area], Mylup Beach [an Indian Ocean beach 20 km away], and around town several times; discovering a winery on 3rd Street, a fruit and veggies stand with a honesty paybox, and orange orchards with Harvey's giant orange.

A few driving in Southwest Australia notes: always drive on the left side of the road, shift gears with your left hand, don't wait for pedestians - they wait for you, signal lights are called indicators and are on the right side of the steering wheel, windscreen washers are on the left side on the steering wheel [got that one mixed up several times], Give Way means yield, and the speed limit means the absolute limit of your driving speed - even 4 km over can get you a speeding ticket.

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