Well, it’s been just over a month since I left, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my expenses. I’ve been keeping track of the various costs in a simple spreadsheet, as I expected fuel has been the biggest expense, at $800 or 54%. Of course, driving up and down the mountains in low gear has not done the fuel economy any good but at 10.1lt/100km it is not too bad either.
I’ve averaged just over $50/day, or $1500 a month, which is less than I expected, mainly because I’ve managed to freecamp nearly every night. However I’m going to be at the Tamworth Country Music Festival ( http://www.tcmf.com.au/ ) for the next week or so, so I’m sure that will change the budget figures ! I will not be driving much, but the food, drink and miscellaneous categories will increase considerably ……
I still have n’t got anywhere with the new passport process (https://latitudesandattitudes.net/2012/11/14/good-news-and-bad-news/) as the citizenship people cannot find any reference to my naturalisation. As it was 30+ years ago, long before computers, they have had to look through the old files and indexes but cannot find anything. It’s all so ridiculous, I’ve had 2 australian passports and entered or left the country about 50 times on them, you would think that could simply look up my first passport application and get my details from that ? Oh no, the Passport Office is a different section of the same department so they cannot access the file ! And of course, what is more ridiculous is that in order to get my new passport I have to get a certificate of citizenship , and to prove my ID for the certificate I had to show my current passport !
As I had not heard back from them within the service time they promise in their “Charter of Service” I wrote a complaint on the departmental feedback webpage. I got a message on my phone within 24 hours asking me to ring them, but all they could do was apologise and say they are still looking for the file ! I just hate to think what paperwork will be involved if they cannot find the details ? I hope it does n’t come down to that, it will probably be horrendous !!