Today I got the new tyres for the car. We’re going to give Falken Wild Peak tyres a go. Five new 17 inch 265/70 tyres and a wheel alignment. We’ll see how they perform over the months to come. The tread is supposed to be quieter on bitumen, better at dispelling water, and very different from Coopers or BF Goodrich. Let’s hope they are as good off-road as they are made out to be.
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Ok a couple of pictures of the car with new suspension lift, the pre-filter snorkel fitted, awning and cage fitted, together with the trusty old pod with a little added security. The awning is excellent – an Aldi special, really easy to put up (not so easy to install though). Next major thing is to change the wheels – going for Falken 17inch Wild Peaks, hopefully they are up to the challenge. Then an Anderson plug installation is required and we’re almost ready to go.
Ok between getting Snorkels fitted and suspension lifts on the car the very manual coffee processing continues. This week the beans were fermented, dried and finally, with the help of the kids, de-husked, leaving me with green beans ready for the final stages of roasting and drinking.
The final roasting proved challenging as I rushed the process using wok over too high a heat, resulting in partially roasted beans shown below. Initial grinds produced an orange powder that from previous experience is too bitter. After re-heating over a lower flame and constant stirring the resultant grind was much better. The roasting reaction is endothermic initially, but once the first “cracking” (like popcorn) commences the process rapidly becomes exothermic, giving off smoke. As soon as the second cracking commences I transfer the beans into a metal bowl on ice to rapidly cool and stop the reaction before the beans burn.
Still plenty to do at home – like harvesting the coffee crop. With lots of seedlings growing up there is only one bush that fruits and given the low volume of crop everything is manual at this stage.
Pick the cherries as the red colour starts to darken. Squeeze each cherry to remove two very slimy beans. The outer case goes straight back into the compost whilst the beans are fermented in water for a few days to remove the slimy coating. No need to add anything as a natural enzyme in the fruit helps the process. This step is not essential but certainly helps the handling process. Once removed from the fermentation dry the beans naturally. Depending upon the weather this may take a few days.
The map has been dusted off and stuck to the wall. The individually labelled post-it stickers are out of the drawer and slowly being added as we get recommendations or read of some beautiful place that must be visited. Even the kids have started participating.
We’re preparing for the “big trip”, a marathon, rather than a sprint, to see as much as we can of the beautiful country that is Australia. Novices off-road but we plan to get off the bitumen whenever we can. Lots of reading has already been done and still plenty to do. The pile of gear is adding to the checklist and already we’re wondering where everything is going to go.
Two months out and the focus is on the vehicle and how to escape the house.