Monday, 10 October 2011

Perth Critical Mass, stoves and tent

Still hanging out in Perth. Been doing some short rides, lots of reading, playing mindless computer games, and procrastinating on things I should be doing.  However I haven't been totally idle.

Critical Mass Perth is dead. I hunted about online but couldn't find any activity since 2009. In the end I turned up on the steps outside the Western Australian Library on the last Friday in September,  but didn't see any gathering.  After waiting about for half an hour I gave up. I reckon its dead.  Someone prove me wrong...

Lost another tooth. It had been sore for several months, but not agony sore, so I'd been ignoring it. Well, not just that, there aren't many dental services in country Australia. Finally after procrastinating a lot, I saw two dentists here.  Both said the same thing - root canal or extraction. Given that root canal costs upwards of $2000, extraction it was.  Another one gone.  Dental costs in Australia are incredibly high.

Been thinking of doing a long walk while I'm over here. Was looking at my gear and the weights of everything and decided to get a smaller cooking pot. Also tried out making a Penny Stove. The stove works well, but not sure if I want to use metho or not. I've gotten to like the MSR Whisperlight International - turn it on and cook for as long or as short as needed. Measuring out the metho and lighting up, sometimes I burn out before my meal is done, other times I burn way longer than I need. Metho produces less heat than Shellite or petrol. Hence means more fuel needed. Prices for a litre range from $5 upwards. (found some for $3 in Bunnings, but as Bunnings only exists in large cities, I'm not counting on this). Shellite, my prefered fuel, is about $7 a litre, and petrol is about $1.50ish.  But metho has its uses, I'll keep testing and then decide.

Riding about in the city on the weekend and found Perth Pride Fair day was on. Advertised as "fun for the whole family". They claimed over 40 stalls, but I'm doubtful about that.  It was in a small park, fenced off, with bag searches and a $15 entry fee. Needless to say I didn't go in. Talking with the locals, in past years it was free, then a gold coin donation.  I wasn't the only one that declined to enter. Some thought the entry fee was to ensure they didn't have another one next year. 

Been house sitting a friends apartment.  Not much space on the floor, but I've been using it to make a new shelter. Still haven't finished, but finding the building is going real easy - well apart from the constant shuffling about on the floor. To replace my existing tent, I'm going to change to using a 8'x10' (2.4m x 3m) tarp. Making the tarp from 48.4 g/m² Cuben fabric. No sewing involved. Using tape and glue. It will have no-see-um mossie net and bathtub as well. The mossie net will have two entrances, and no zippers. Zippers work well, until they break, then they are a head ache. Going to try having extra material and twisting it shut. Trying to keep everything simple and easy to repair on the road. 

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