The art of bartering is still alive on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia. So what do you get when you are offering some land on Bribie Island? A bus to make rock stars drool.
Recently a friend of Pauline and Mum took her great package in the sky from the bank that belongs to the Commonwealth and decided to become a nomad. Her builder husband enjoys spending a bit of time at a bowls club drinking and when your friend propping up the bar is the previous owner of a bus company the conversations can turn interesting.
Years ago the guy decided to offer two talented guys the opportunity to fit out a bus for recreation and form a company. The idea was to make a bus a moving home for him to take his young family around and see Australia. Unfortunately by the time the bus was done the kids were teenagers and completely uninterested in hanging out with their uncool parents in a confined area. Because of this the bus didn’t make too many journeys.
This was the history that led to the ownership swap after a conversation in a bar and two years of paperwork. This in turn led to the reason I was at a caravan park at 8.30am on a Sunday morning – I was going to check out the rock star bus.
From a distance it looks like any other bus – apart from the awnings spiking out either side of it. The first hint you have of it’s double life is the doorbell at the entry. As you walk up the stairs you see the normal drivers seat but the windscreen is covered with a massive blind. Turning right at the top of the stairs you are faced with an alleyway. On your left is a usual alley kitchen decked out with a microwave, fridge and dishwasher. On your right are twp comfortable leather seats with seatbelts facing the kitchen cupboards.
Beside the leaher seats is a bar with stools so you can eat your breakfast looking out the windows or chat with an ex-bus company owner with a beer in your hand. On the kitchen bench is an lcd screen that can be swiveled so it can face the bar, kitchen sink or the huge circular leather booth with a table beside the bar. Sitting at the booth you can watch dvds, tv, listen to cds and the radio on the 15″ screen.
As you continue further in to the bus on the wooden flooring you move in to an area that can be closed off to make a bathroom. There are foor doors involved in this room, one for the toilet, one for the shower and two that block off the room from both ends of the bus so that you have somewhere to get changed, towel yourself or check your tan lines out in the full length mirrors.
Once clean you head to the end of the bus in to the bedroom. This is where it gets really interesting. You have the usual bed and cupboards, plus another lcd screen that gives you all the media centre options in the same room. But you also have an opening at the back of the bus that operates as a patio to overlook the trees and give you a birds eye view of the beach. It zips up like a tent for privacy. When it’s time to pack up and move on, you push up the bed in to the wall, drop the patio on to an angle and drive your four wheel drive truck in to the back of the bus. Yeah baby!
On the ground floor of the bus (the bloody thing has two floors!) is an area for the washer and dryer, the biggest amount of car batteries I’ve ever seen and containers for drinking water, grey water (washing) and dumping water (toilets). The bus has solar panels on the roof and I was told that in a months worth of travel they only had to plug in to the mains once. When they travelled up north around Queensland for a month the whole journey cost them $1000 and that was just for petrol. Not a bad price for all your accommodation and transport!
The downside of owning the bus is that everywhere they go people ask to look in it which means that you can’t leave your purse on the bed. They’ve even been asked at 6.00am in the morning! I also don’t like the idea of a flat tyre when you see how big the hub cap is.
But the upshot of the thing is that you never have to pack to go somewhere, you don’t have to hang around in a laundry to do your washing and your home is where the bus is.
And if you lasted this long in reading this entry I reckon you deserve a gift – here are the photos.