Finally, we had the visas and confirmation we were going to go and live in Australia for 3-4 years. We were going out there blind, having never seen either Canberra or been to Australia before. We knew a little about Canberra from what we had read online, looked at satellite images, done the random pick a road and see what the Google drive by showed us. We had looked at areas of the city and realised that some were more suitable to us than others. We needed space, we needed a garden, we needed peace and quiet. Well I did anyway.
So the 4th April became the day we could go to Australia. Hummm….
There was still a lot of planning to get done. A lot of arranging of things like some possessions going out in a shipping container. The 6 bikes and the trike for starters. But Australian Borders and Security (Customs) have a reputation of being very, very strict. The bikes and trike would all need stripping down and cleaning to within an inch of their lives. So would the towbar mounted bike rack. So would all the camping equipment, the additional bike tools, the…. and the list went on.
More to the point, there was going to be very little time to get it all clean and arranged.
We had agreed with Stuart’s work that we wouldn’t take out things like furniture and white goods. They would replace it with IKEA equivalent standard in Australia. That was fine by us. Other than one bookcase with Patrick had given to us and a few small stools, a couple of small coffee tables which would fit in a box, there was nothing really that we wanted to hold on to. All of it had been replaced last time around. We weren’t attached to any of it.
But there were questions to be answered and loads of research to be done. Could I take my seagrass stools with me? The ones that I had been weaving over Christmas and the New Year? They were useful and would easily fit inside a box with additional stuff packed around them. Investigations answered that question – seagrass rope was considered to be highly processed so not a biosecurity hazard. It just had to be declared, as did anything wooden, anything with bamboo, anything with…. the list went on.
We set a date, well we set a week when we wanted to have moved to Australia by. It seemed sensible. A month’s time. The beginning of May. Yeh, we could do that couldn’t we?