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Hello Barry, John and all at Southern Cross, and all SX owners.

Having just read through the blog and other owners' stories, we thought we should add ours as well. In one month it will be 5 years since we took delivery of our new home, named STOPALOT. We had sold our house in Cairns, and all the furniture, gave away or donated most of the small stuff and kept just enough to make life comfortable in our new home on wheels. As it turned out we kept too much, so the Op shops gained a few more bits and pieces along the way.

Since then we have travelled all around this great country and have seen some amazing sights, made some wonderful friends and even learnt some new skills. During 2007 and 2008 we did the East coast and Tasmania. We spent 2009 travelling to S.A., up the Oodnadatta Track, up the centre to Darwin, across to W.A. and then spent 2010 and most of 2011 in W.A. We did 9 months of voluntary camp ground hosting in National Parks in W.A. and loved it. The duties were similar in each location but each Ranger had different "requests" so we found ourselves doing all sorts of things from spraying weeds, to painting signs, to pruning bushes, and even doing the banking and helping out in the office in one place. We also did some interesting house-sitting. The first was for 6 weeks as caretakers of Historic Slater Homestead at Goomalling in the W.A. wheatbelt. That involved opening up the Homestead each weekend and taking visitors on tours, plus serving Devonshire Teas and other light meals. We parked behind the old stone barn and had access to new toilets, shower and a kitchen room.

The second was for an organic winery in the Swan Valley where we looked after the dog, 3 cats, 9 ducks and a pet sheep, and sold wine to anyone who came by. We finally departed W.A. at the beginning of November 2011 and crossed the Nullarbor - what a beautiful drive that is. We are now in Melbourne visiting Daughter & Son-inlaw and will spend Christmas with Frans' sister in Crows Nest near Toowoomba. Next January/February we are booked for a farm-sit near Woodford in QLD on a cattle property, looking after the dog and chooks and the house for 5 weeks. After that, who knows, but we do intend to do some volunteering on outback properties during the winter months. We hope to attend the next muster, as long as we are not committed elsewhere. Our SC8000 (build No.2 as we are the first customers and designed ours based on the demo model No. 1) is a bit of a dinosaur compared to the new-tech lightweight models being constructed now, but it is still looking good, travelling well and attracts favourable comments. It is a comfortable home and we expect to be living in it for many years to come as we continue to travel around and see new places.

Bev & Frans Hamer

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