Monday, December 5, 2011

Three States In One Day

Sunday 4th December, 2011

Tony was able to get last Friday off and so we headed out early to go and look at cars.  Our first stop was at Kittle Toyota.  We looked at the Toyota Corolla.  Tony took it for a test drive but wasn't real impressed.  He said that it lacked power, being only a 1.8 litre engine.  Our car is a 2.0 litre and he said he would much prefer that size engine than drop down to the 1.8.

The salespeople were also quite high pressure.  We told them that we wanted to go and look at and compare other makes and models but they kept insisting that they could give us a great deal  if we were prepared to commit to buying the Corolla.  They never told us what the great deal was though.  After two hours we finally left there.

We went down the road to Nissan.  Here we looked at the Tiida, but that also was only a 1.8 litre engine.  No salesperson was interested in coming to talk to us and so we left.  Tony wasn't that interested in having a test drive.

I had my nail appointment at 1.00pm so we called in back home and then went off to have some lunch before my appointment.  After my nails were done we went and had a look at the Hyundai i30.  Tony took it for a test drive and was quite impressed, it had a 2.0 litre engine, plenty of pick up and go but he thought it was a bit noisy, lot of road noise and engine noise.  I must say I didn't notice it and the sales person said that they had their window down slightly so maybe it was because of that.

They also wanted to give us a "great" deal, but as we still wanted to go to Mazda we said we wanted to have a think about it.  We ended up at City Mazda, just down the road.  Geez, this place was busy.  We wandered around having a look at some of the cars on offer.  I sat in one of the cars and felt sick and felt like I was being swallowed up by the dashboard.  I had to get out real quick.

Tony said there was no point looking any further if that was how I felt but I insisted that he should at least go for a test drive.  I said I would stay here while he went.  As all the salespeople were involved with customers we had to wait our turn.  We went inside and waited.  While waiting they had a Mazda3 in the showroom.  I sat in it and it didn't appear to affect me like the one in the yard.  When I mentioned it to Tony he said perhaps it was because the one in the yard was in the sun, it was hot inside the car and also the smell of a new car was perhaps a bit overpowering, whereas the car in the showroom was much cooler.  Maybe he was right.

Anyway it was finally our turn to be seen to.  By this time I decided that I would also go with him when he went for the test drive.  I still wasn't sure about the dash board.  It is so big and protrudes out into the cabin.

Anyway with the air conditioning on it helped.  Tony loved the car.  He said it was by far the best out of the three he had driven.  The drive was smooth, had the response and sat nicely on the road.  It also had a 2.0 litre engine.

When we got back to the car yard it was decision time.  Tony thought there was no comparison......the Mazda 3 won hands down.  What do we it?

It didn't take us long to say YES.   Hehehehe so we have a new car.  We don't actually have it yet, we pick it up on Friday as we are having the windows tinted, reverse sensors put in (for my, and having the paint work and interior treated.

Now what to do with our "old" car.  We didn't trade it in as we knew we wouldn't get anything for it.  Tony said to advertise it, there might be some young person who may buy it for a nominal amount.

Saturday was spent catching up on some laundry and housework.  Yay, I had Tony to help me!

Today we had arranged to go to Mildura (in Victoria) to meet up with Andrew and Simone.  They were driving up from Geelong.  We left home just before 7.00am. as Mildura is some 400 kilometres from Adelaide.  At least the weather was perfect, not too hot.  We had some items that we wanted to get rid off, like a coffee table, the old tall boy, a slow cooker, food processor and some other things.  They said that they would be interested in having them.

When we got into Renmark, Andrew rang to say that they were already in Mildura.  He said that they would head towards Renmark and meet us on the way.  We caught up with them just outside Lake Culluleraine and so we decided to go onto Mildura and have some lunch.

These plants are growing along the roadside and stretch for several kilometres between Merbein and Lake Culluleraine.  They don't appear to be growing on the farmers' land but are growing among the scrub.  In places it looked like snow.  We wondered why they had been allowed to continue growing.

It was great to catch up with Andrew and Simone again. They are doing well having just bought their first home.  We had a nice lunch chatting and laughing and it was soon time for them to be on their way.  They had further to go than we did.  We loaded up their car, luckily they have a Nissan Tiida hatch and so everything we bought up fitted in their car.

After they left we went and had a look around Mildura, it's nothing like I remember when we used to come up here when I was a child.  All I can remember is the main street and the icecream we used to get.  Andrew reminded us that when we went to Renmark once to visit with my parents, we came to Mildura to go to Barnacle Bills.  I don't remember it, all I remember is we went up there with Mum and Dad for a coffee.  Anyway he was so hanging out for Barnacle Bills (they don't have one in Geelong) but they have closed down.  He was so disappointed.

We thought we may as well cross the river and go into New South Wales, hence the three states in one day........South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. 

Buronga is the small town across the river.  We left Mildura and headed back into Renmark.  That place is still the same, nothing much has changed.  I have not been back in about 5 years and another 5 years would be too soon for me, but we have promised to take Katie up there.

The fountain in Renmark

River Murray flowing through Renmark

Main Street of Renmark

As you come back into South Australia from Victoria they have a road block where all fruit, vegetables and plants must be dumped.  The area you enter into is known as the Riverland and it is a fruit growing area, producing stone fruits such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, grapes, wine, oranges, mandarines, and so on.  It is also fruit fly free and to keep it that way no fruit from other parts of the country are allowed to be brought in.

The Riverland comprises towns such as Paringa, Renmark, Berri, Barmera, Loxton, Waikerie, Monash, Lyrup and lots of small places in between.

My Dad's family settled in Paringa over 100 years ago and my grandfather built the house that my Dad grew up in and it is still standing.  It is being lived in but I don't think by any immediate family members.

The car didn't miss a beat.  I said to Tony perhaps we acted hastily in buying another car, but he assured me we did the right thing.  He reminded me that if we hadn't bought another car, this one still had to go in and get checked out as to why the fly wheel was affecting the starter motor.  Depending on what position the motor stops the car won't start.  Plus, over time, we would have more expense with this car so I had to agree with him. 

Andrew said that he would like to have our car and so he said that they would either fly over to pick it up or drive over in the next week or two.  We explained to him what the problem could be but he assured us that they have a very good mechanic.

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