Geraldton (WA) – A mixed bag of brickbats and bouquets
I’d been having battery/solar issues so booked into the Belair Caravan Park for 2 nights. By booking 2 nights it would give 1 full day to have power to (hopefully) diagnose the problem and recharge plus get some washing done.
As it was still fairly early in the day when I arrived in Geraldton I headed straight for the HMAS Sydney ll Memorial. I had been here some years ago but it had been added to since the wrecks had been located. Is a great place for reflection and contemplation. Was interesting to read that the statue of the “waiting women”, which was placed looking out to sea when the memorial was first built in the first decade of the 2000’s, actually is looking to the exact coordinates of where the wreck was eventually located many years later. Eerie? Then did the obligatory visit to the Big Green Shed, grocery shopping at Coles and a visit to BCF.
I picked Belair Caravan Park because it was the closest to town. Just on a 3km walk which I did several times over the next couple of days. So the first night I am there, sometime in the middle of the night I awoke and realised the fridges were off. Then around 4.30am there was a moment when the power came back on and then off again. The whole area had lost power and according to Western Power Faults, power should be restored by 9am. All good. Walked into town to get a multimeter and returned to still find no power. Power eventually came back on just before 2pm, so it had been out for around 10 hours or so. Not Caravan Park’s fault but more on this later.
So with power restored and phone instructions from a mate in Collie, I started testing things and pulling things apart. The deduction was that it was a faulty regulator so I pulled it off and walked back into town to the nearest Auto Electrician. They couldn’t help but pointed me to Sun City Solar in Flores Road in the Industrial Area of Geraldton. Packed up bus and headed there. They put a new regulator in and attached it all up but still nothing. After a bit of mucking around and checking this and that, turns out the lithium batteries were flat flat and nothing wrong with my regulator. So everything reconnected, some charging and all good. I need to return here to get a DC charger fitted. The cost of 2 hours of their time? No charge. Bouquet to Scott and his team at Sun City Solar.
Back to Caravan Park and the next morning I put washing on in Laundry and then go into office to see if I can get an extra night in lieu of the “day” I lost with no power. Now I fully appreciate it was not the fault of the Park that I was without power but I feel they had an opportunity (at little cost) to create some good publicity and goodwill to allow me to stay an extra night at no additional cost. I was very calm and rational. In fact the lady at the desk complimented me on this as they had obviously had some irate customers the day before. I too was angry and frustrated the previous day as well and chose not to interact with staff then for that very reason. Well we had a nice little chat and everything was very amicable. She punched away on her computer, told me she would give me a senior discount and it would be $28 to stay the additional night. Now I had paid $36 per night for the previous 2 nights. No mention of seniors discounts on those nights. I politely told the lady that I did not wish to pay that amount and whilst pointing out that I had previously paid for a powered site and had not received one then I wished for a “free” night as compensation. All the while sympathetic to the Parks situation. She wasn’t having a bar of it. Too bad so sad. In these situations there is no good thumping the desk. But she wasn’t budging. That’s the policy. Nothing she could do. Another staff member sat by avoiding eye contact and remaining passive throughout. I said I would just stay there for another 10 hours and leave later that night. She told me no way. I pointed out that I had washing in the machine and in the end she said I could complete that prior to vacating. Not happy Jan. Yes I still know it’s not their fault but they certainly could have easily assisted the situation and I could now be writing about this Caravan Park in glowing terms. Instead I will never go back there again. I finished the washing, hung it out on the clothesline, put another load on and then used their power to write my blog up and charge my batteries. Because it was still overcast washing wasn’t drying as quickly as I would have liked so did end up using the dryer to finish things off. Left the park at 2pm never to return! Brickbats for Belair Caravan Park.
Moved to the 24hour RV stop near the visitors centre closer to town and went to Specsavers to get an issue with my glasses fixed. No problem. Fixed. No charge sir. I also need some more cleaning fluid. No problem sir. Here’s a bottle for you sir. No charge. So bouquet to Specsavers Geraldton.
Next stop NAB Bank. When I closed my business accounts whilst in Perth, it wasn’t done properly and one account remained open showing a $4.95 credit. This was given to me in cash at Midland when I supposedly closed it. A few days later I rang the (general) bank number to sort it out as a further amount had been debited to the account and account still not closed. The guy reversed the transaction and told me all good. Account now closed. Of course this wasn’t the case and it still remained opened with a $4.95 balance. So here I am at Geraldton NAB and bouquet to Stacie. She made calls to card centre, Midland Branch and rang me later in the day to say all sweet and Midland would rectify their original error. Fingers crossed. But Stacie went out of her way to assist.
Had a lovely catchup with a friend and ex coworker from Collie at Dome Cafe which is situated right on the foreshore. Geraldton City Council has done a great job in beautifying the foreshore with walkways, parks and amenities. Bouquet to The City Council for providing the 24 hour RV Stop and the landscaped foreshore and all the infustructure.
There were 3 other RVs stopped over night and the next morning I had a call from Solar place to bring bus in. Job was going to take 3 hours so they offered to run me into town. I took up the offer and was dropped at the Geraldton Museum where I spent nearly 3 hours wandered around and taking in the history of Geraldton and the Mid West. Fascinating place and well worth the donation to enter. They also had a short 3D video of actual footage of the Sydney and Koormeran wrecks. After a phone call Solar man picked me back up and went and picked up the bus. All fixed and ready to go. I must say the exercise wasn’t cheap but I feel I got good value for money and I am now that much more confident that Rhonda and I will have an easier and carefree time going forward. So bouquets to Sun City Solar for getting me out of trouble and on my way.