5/24/08: Had problems with the campervan today and spent the morning on the cell phone with AAM to try and find a solution. The deep-cycle utility batteries weren’t charging and a loud alarm was heard from inside the residence portion of the camper when the engine was started. I found the alarm was due to the cabin step being deployed. The purpose of this loud alarm was to prevent driving away with the step extended which could rip it off when driving close to a high curb.
Stopped by another miner’s dugout to have a look at several high priced parcels. Prices have REALLY gone up this year due to several reasons. The large metal (copper, gold, iron and uranium) ore mines have taken many of the young miners into their employ. But with beginning wages paying from AU$100K to AU$120K per year, it’s hard to stick by the opal miners adventurous and risky lifestyle. So the amount of opal available to purchase is very, very low. And the law of supply and demand commands higher opal prices. Another reason was due to extremely high diesel prices…AU$1.70/liter ($6.70/gallon US). And the final reason…the poor exchange rate between the USA$ and the AU$. The AU$ was at a 28 year high with the $US. I know…I know…quit your whining Steve!!