"What kind of vehicle do we want for the 1 year we're living and working in Australia?" That has been a burning question which has sparked much conversation for most of 2018. We knew we wanted a vehicle that would maximize our Australia adventure....Beach camping. Bush camping. 4x4. Dunes. Tracks. Epic Road Trips. The Great Circle. Googs Track. National Parks. Fraser Island. Nullabor. Weekend getaways. Adventure.
Any ‘ol car wouldn’t do. We were ISO "the one". And so began the research into buying a vehicle in Australia and the the search on Gumtree for the vehicle that would facilitate the adventure we were seeking. We had a grand plan...Fly to Perth. Buy our vehicle. Drive home to Lennox Head. 3 week epic road trip across Australia to complete 2/3 of the Great Circle.
In early December while scouring Gumtree my husband came across an ad for a ‘98 GU Nissan Patrol. The price was right and it was equipped with everything! I mean everything - rooftop tent, canopy, water tanks, solar panels, port-a-loo, gas stove, butane stove, fridge, camp chairs, water tanks, lifted chasi, rebuilt engine, and many other extras. Did I mention the price was right? It was too good to be true. He saved it to Favourites. He watched that ad weekly, daily, hourly, hoping against all hope that the next time he opened Gumtree it wasn’t sold. The bigger question, would it still be available when we arrived in Perth?
Skip ahead to Perth, December 29. After a couple of days of test driving some 4x4 vans and a land cruiser we still hadn't found our vehicle, until we drove the Patrol. It was in great condition and drove like a dream. We had found our vehicle!
The story behind the Patrol is both adventurous and heartbreaking. It’s owners, S & H, are adventurers, S moreso. H always refers to her husband as an Adventurer. H is happy to go along on his outback trips or stay behind. They’ve even sailed around the world for 5 years. Goals, right? S bought a boat and is currently off on another sailing world tour which is why he had to sell his beloved Patrol. That’s the adventurous part behind the sale of the Patrol. The other reason? S & H lost their son to cancer in June, therefore most of the money from the Patrol will be put in trust for their 18 month old granddaughter. It’s a sad story of loss and love.
Love and loss. Although necessary, S was sad to let his Patrol go, but happy that it was going to someone who wanted it for the same reasons he did. Adventure. As H said, “We’re happy it’s going to the right people who will enjoy it.” We’re happy too. We have our adventure vehicle and will continue its legacy.
We hope that one day we’ll cross paths with S & H on our respective world travels. Until then, we are enjoying the 4x4 adventures around Australia in our well-loved Patrol. We've cheekily named it Max and it has certainly proved its road warrior worthiness. 10 000 kms and counting! No longer ISO of 4x4 outback bush cred, mates!