We're grounded again in Port Adelaide, this time due to lack of work. We are scheduled to leave again on Wednesday, so we spent Monday getting things organized and getting the van serviced. While we're at it, we had a bullbar fitted, in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the horrifically expensive kangaroo incident.
I broke down and spent the $5 on a set of "'roo whistles" at SuperCheap Auto, despite the fact I don't believe they actually work. I figured worst case scenario, we hit another 'roo, and I avoid some arsehole telling me "aww mate you should have had whistles on, you wouldn't have hit him then." $5 is a pretty small price to pay to avoid having the conversation about my crocodile-repellent rock on my desk at home (12 years and zero crocodile attacks, mate!).
Second worst (best?) case scenario is we don't hit a 'roo for the remainder of our time out here, out of some creepy coincidence. It's worth noting that the Transit I was driving when it hit a Kangaroo had whistles on it. But really, even if by some voodoo coincidence the whistles have anything at all to do with not hitting anything, I will be quite happy to go the rest of our trip without hitting anything.
The service was, predictably, quite expensive, but that's okay because the Sprinter has insanely long service intervals. There was some discussion that maybe my current plan of 16,000KM service intervals was too long for Australian conditions (then again though, how much stock do you put into someone who is paid to do services telling you they need to be done more often?) it appears as though for current (?) Sprinters, MB Australia recommends service intervals of 30,000KM (??!). I think I'll stick with what was written in the manual, personally - and when you calculate out the differences in costs between putting fresh dino-juice into the Falcon every 5,000KM and putting the hideously expensive synthetic stuff in the Sprinter every 16,000KM, the costs are about equal (it's just more convenient not doing it so often).
I'm extremely happy with how the bullbar turned out though, I'll have to post some pictures. Unfortunately they were required to remove the auxiliary heater, but I made sure they did it in such a way that it could be put back in at a later date should we so desire. It's a nice selling point, but frankly it scares the shit out of me and I think we can probably do okay without it even in the desert in the middle of winter (it got colder at times in our bedroom in Indiana than it does outside here).
Anyway, the load was put off again until Wednesday, so we spent the rest of this afternoon out walking around the centre of Port Adelaide. We hit up a few of the local Opp shops, tried to spend as little money as possible, before heading off to the beach for the afternoon for Duncan to build yet another sand castle. This time I remembered to sunscreen up everything, instead of just doing the exposed skin then later taking my shirt off. Success: No one got burned.