We leave Perth on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, fully packed
with all of the food for ANZAC day long-weekend and of course
for Ruedi's memorable 60th birthday party that is planned
is not very promising ... drizzle accompanying us all the
way through Australind and up to Collie.
It is already late afternoon when we arrive at Glen
We check out the possible sites for the OKA rally and
decide to settle on the flattest area near the boat ramp
(there is a toilet there too, so no digging is required.
Soon we are all wrapped up in rain jackets busily setting
up OKA signs so people can find us.
Then we drive down to the water's edge and settle down for
On Thursday morning we finish setting up camp.
Shortly after lunch an OKA drives into
As we only
know some of the people coming we eagerly get out to greet
the new arrival.
But they are not coming for the rally, they don't even know
It is John from OKA 428 and he has only had his OKA for 2 weeks
and it not (yet) involved in the OKA community.
But he promises to be back on Sunday with his wife.
Just a few minutes after he leaves the next OKA drives into
It is Rowena Paterson with her XT 067.
She picks her spot and Ruedi digs the wholes in the sand
so the OKA stands a bit more level.
(We had decided that we would dig the holes as we had
also chosen the site ... and it is a bit crooked .... but
it is the most level spot close to the toilets!)
Next to arrive is Hal, with Elisabeth and Jack.
Setting up their equipment takes a bit longer than Rowena's
.... but it is mighty convenient that he brings a large
gazebo, the weather is deteriorating and it looks as if
we might get some rain.
Hal has also brought some of his newest "toys",
one of them being a fuel cell.
Ruedi (and later on many other OKA owners) is wrapped and
studies the prospectus very carefully.
He even measures the battery compartment to see if one would
fit .... and it does, so we better start saving.
On Friday morning there is still light rain falling so we
stay in bed a bit longer.
But then the weather clears up and it is time to get the
boat into the water.
Jack and Elisabeth don't mind the cold water and soon Daddy
Hal is taking them for a spin.
During the day Beverly and Richard House in their XT 080
In the evening we al gather under Hal's gazebo and
enjoy the light of his new LED lamps.
We are impressed with the amount of light these LED strips
generate and how little electricity they use.
Now we are really reaching a quality of LED light where normal
lights don't have any advantage anymore.
We decide to get one of them and leave our fluorescent tube
in the shed.
Hal walks around the lake and takes this great photo.
Thanks for it.
Even though Hal and the kids make a fire the temperature
drops quickly and it gets rather unpleasant so we all go
to bed quite early.
On Saturday morning Hal's wife Liza joins us ... and brings
some more blankets ....
(Bev and Richard House measured 2.8°C as lowest temperature
Soon the OKAs start rolling into camp and it gets hectic
for Ruedi with his "job" of digging the holes.
Of course a lot of OKA-ing happens ......
Must of the group don't know each other so it is quite interesting
to meet know OKA owners and have a closer look at their OKAs
and its interior.
Angelika from OKA and her partner David arrive.
We had reserved the only flat "caravan site" in
the area for them as they are not (yet) used to "out
After diner we all get together at the camp fire.
Thanks to Robert Williamson we have a lot of firewood and
can afford a large fire to keep us all
Today is Ruedi's 60. birthday. Cherry Williamson brings
a surprise cake for Ruedi.
wind keeps blowing out the candles so a blanket is held up
as wind stopper and Ruedi gets his chance of blowing out
Later on the instruments come out .... Cherry plays a Swiss
song ("Es Buurebüebli mag i nid") on her flute
and then of course "Happy Birthday".
Then it is Ruedi's turn to play on the guitar.
Shame Rowena did not bring her didgeridoo!
Even though David keeps placing warm coals under the chairs
of the ladies by 9:30 PM it just gets too cold and we all
go to bed.
On Sunday morning we wake up to 0.4 °C!!!!
During the morning John and Nell Blencowe from
XT 428 come for a visit.
While John is busy OKA-ing Nell has a look at the various
campers and is surprised to hear that the OKA is also a "ladies
truck" and driven by many of the OKA owner's wives and
John and Nell become the newest members of the OKA owners
Angelika's partner David is busy talking to the OKA
owners and we get the impression that he would not mind owning
an OKA himself ....
... so we "alter" his Pajero a bit.
But as we run away form the car Beverly House slips and strains her ankle.
(We later find out that she has actually broken the fibula at the ankle and had
to be operated.)
We wish Beverly all the best and a speedy recovery!
Shirley and Robert Burrows arrive in a 2WD.
XT 009 is parked in South Australia but being WA members they don't want to miss
out on the rally.
We all agree that they should be counted as well ... but only half!
In the afternoon the party starts.
Shirley and Robert Burrows get their 2WD to fetch Beverly
and bring her down to the group.
Her foot is still very sore but she manages a brave smile.
All the goodies are placed on the table and we enjoy a great
selection of "nibbles":
Crayfish, various antipastos, egg and bacon pie, great red
wine, dips, chips .....
Thanks again to all the members and their contributions making
this such a great party!
As most of us don't know each other Ruedi distributes name
tags making everybody's life a bit easier ....
Then Jo-Anne gets up and tells us that she has checked
out every OKA and also how level they are standing ..... by
placing her iPhone on the bull bars and using the level
app on it.
The winners are David and Pauline Gray with
Then it is time to move down to the fire for dinner.
Beverly is carried down in her chair.
Luckily the suggestion of Dave to dip her into the lake is
not followed ....
The spaghetti dinner is followed by vanilla custard, chocolate
mud cake, Swiss chocolate, marshmallows, Swiss biscuits ...
too much anyway but we all have a good time.
Kim Blythe would have loved to stay on but as he came
without Helen he leaves after dinner.
Well, guess next time he will bring Helen along so they
The weather deteriorates and we can watch a great night
sky with a moon with a large circle around it being crossed
by clouds, absolutely amazing.
Then at 9:30 PM some light rain sets in and quickly the party
disperses in no time.
On Monday morning the first ones start packing up.
Quickly Hal gets Susi out onto the lake for a last group
It was a great weekend and already some plans are being
made to have another rally in September or October.
We know that some WA OKA owners that were tied up for this
weekend will come too, so we might get close to the 26 Victoria
holds as record!
Here the list of the OKAs that were at Glen Mervyn
And the "want to be an OKA" ....
David and Angelika