Cameron Corner store - unwelcomed

Not a 4WD story. Left the 4by at home and headed off on the bike over Easter 2012..I was about 30k west of Cameron Corner on the Merty road. I had pushed it too far that day and was buggered. I called what I thought was the Cam Crn store to let them know I was coming but misdialled and got Omicron Homestead. They offered to pass on the message for me. My message was that I was nearby and expecting to arrive later and if I don't get there something is wrong. You are supposed to let people know where you are right?

I continued on and came across 5 tourists in a Brits Rental bogged to the axles near Bollards Lagoon around 5pm. I called the same number again and said I had found these people, they were fine but needed a tow out in the morning and that I would stay there that night and not go to Cameron Corner.

Shortly after this, Fenn from the Corner Store, shows up looking for me. It seems the message was passed on that I needed help. Anyway I explained this and as it happened he was able to pull the tourists out of the bog. It's fortunately only a 20 minute drive

On my arrival at Cameron Corner store next morning I was greeted with a mouthful of foul abuse and name calling by the owner in front of other patrons and staff...Not impressed. I apologised and took it on the chin in fear of not getting the fuel and water I needed. He continued to chastise me about "wankers" coming out unprepared and how tough the country is and you need to be self sufficient.

Somewhere in my humble explaination he missed the point that the messages were mixed up. I had been in touch with the store for a few weeks prior as the road was closed. They said " keep in touch".

Now, in his defence I am sure he is sick of helping out ill prepared people but there was a definite attitude of ritcheousness there.

In my defence, I was very prepared. Had 2 days of water, food, a UHF radio, Sat phone, tools, tyre repair etc and I'm pretty healthy. The road advice they gave was not accurate either. It is a difficult road on a loaded bike with lots of sand hills and a few bog holes across the road.

Personally, I will never walk into this store ever and now that I have been, there is bugger all to see and would not detour this way again just to see a post in the ground.

I grabbed fuel, left $50 on the counter for his "troubles" and went on to Tibooburra where I stayed at a very welcoming Tooles Family Hotel. I spoke of the arrogant bugger at Cameron Corner with several locals who laughed and said, "yeah we've heard similar".

Even if I had been an unprepared tourist, I would expect a bit of a talking to but not the full on bollocking I got.. after all I assume the store does want customers ....surely. They'd have got plenty of custom from me that day with a different attitude that's for sure.

I was really disappointed. I had intended to stay a night out there. It's a long way from the Adelaide hills. Oh and here's a tip, a Tenere 1200 is too big unless you're an awesome rider.. Jeez it was hard work in the soft stuff.

Happy travels
Andrew
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Reply By: GT Campers - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:24

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:24
Andy, that may not be a "4wd" story but it is a very relevant one about, and highlights some of the situtions seen during, Outback travel. You seem very well prepared and experienced and were willing to assist others less so, so it is shame this bloke went off half-cocked...

BUT from what I've seen "out there" with wa++ers who think trip preparation is buying a khaki shirt and throwing a catalog of bits at thier big shiny new truck, plus hold the opinion they're some sort of pioneers who are the first people this year to have travelled Beyond the Black Stump.... I can see his point of view, too!!





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Follow Up By: andydownunder - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:57

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:57
hahaha.. good one.. Now I know where I went wrong.. Had no khaki shirt..dammit!
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 14:11

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 14:11
Hi Andy,
I agree with GT Campers.
What happened to the people from the rental car?
Didn't they back you up or couldn't they speak English?
Some of the things you see..l!. We live on a tourist route,& get visited by lost people They can hardly speak English, are reading their maps upside down & you help them as best you can.
One rental car mob broke down nearby, a car came back here & asked where they could get help. I told the person to find to out if they were registered for R.A.C.V. I don't drive.
The woman came back & said yes they said they were.
I rang the R.A.C. V. in town They said they'd be there in an hour. So women went off & gave them that message.
When I told the R.A.C.V. How to get here, I got abused & they wouldn't come.
Meanwhile,some one whom I know had come along & told them to push the car to the next township & off they went about 10 of them!
I walked about 6 k's that day to find them & gave up. When I saw the woman that next day(local) she told me what had happened. Thanks for coming back to tell me!!!!! I was still fuming!

A couple of weeks later I saw the bloke & he told me that they couldn't speak a word of Engwish. Day wasted! . MY Day off!!!!! Just lack of proper communication.
The bloke at cameron's corner should've given you a better hearing..
Obviously not the type of personality for such a Touristy store.
Bye for now.Ma.
Take care, keep safe
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 14:52

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 14:52
P.S. Rules ain't Rules anymore,
Some people are just smart A's too.
Back in the old days you had to register at the Police station either end of you're journey.
We did so when doing the Canning S R.
I got into trouble & a 1/4 day was wasted being told off & finding some one in the Police station to bother with me.

I told them that I had registered & that we had to report back. A must!
Then came the ranting lecture about how I could waste his hols or weekend out there looking for us because we hadn't called in & many don't ,so he ranted.
Well we're experienced bush drivers but we did the correct thing & he wasn't going to Ring the Police at the other end.

I have to wonder if people coming to this country & going gun ho have brought about this change especially when none of them can speak English or Australian.
I was furious & very hot & flustered & when hubby came back from refueling etc.
I told him what had happened as the cop was walking away.
I yelled that we'd have to try to get the council to ring for us. But the other cop had said it must be the Police station so they had records.
He turned back & said that he'd do it for us but it isn't done anymore & that I never should've been told to by the bloke at the other end.
We were traveling on our own & felt it was required.
I consider this as poor communication & not by us.
Bye again, safe travels.
Take care, Ma.
Have since heard a couple more stories involving this.
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 12:01

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 12:01
Andrew,

Fenn, and some of his mates, are 'characters' of the first order with a rough and rather distinctive sense of humour that many find appealing. It is just possible that you were on the receiving end of a roast and misunderstood the rough humour as a reprimand. Trouble is..... you will never know for sure.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: andydownunder - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 15:07

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 15:07
Alan.. I know for sure. What I wrote above is quite conservative and I tried to be objective. At the time I was holding back from smacking him in the mouth but it is just as likely the tosser would follow me and run me off the road, so I thought the better of it and remained humble.. a bloody good act tho :-)
I did initially think I was being roasted and laughed along briefly.. but it became very obvious and very abusive.. The other customers spoke to me after saying that was a bit rough. I met one of them onthe road further down taking shots of eagles. Look, I can take a roasting and would expect it if deserved but this was extreme.. using the F and C words repeateadly.. Being called f'ing soft cock..etc and totally talking rubbish in public that I called for help " coz I was feeling tired".. err no mate.. not quite the story and he didn't want to listen. He's an arrogant SOB that's been out there too long and has quite a high opinion of his own worth.

The people who were bogged were quite characters. They had plenty of food, water and to my delight beer as well that they happily shared with me for getting them " rescued". They'd been there for 7 hours. Drove on the low side of a bog hole and sunk. They were English and Irish but were living here temp in Sydney and heading out to Arkaroola for Easter. Nice people with just not alot of experience. There was a track around theh high side of teh bog but the didn't know to look for it... do now. It was a fun evening so that was nice.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 15:31

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 15:31
Thanks for the heads up Andy. Can advise I will definitely now NOT be visiting Cameron's Corner.

Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:51

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:51
Fair enough Andrew, a roast it wasn't!

Bit unusual though, must be some unknown factors, overdose of the grog maybe?

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: KYLE S - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 13:39

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 13:39
Andrew,
Yep! it is not pleasant being the victim of such folk. Particularly when they have an audience.
I know nothing of Cameron Cr so looked it up in case I called in by accident. Well now I know where it is that ain't going to happen.
Why would you have wanted to go there?
Why would anyone go there?
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 14:50

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 14:50
"Why would anyone go there?"

Kyle, if you have to ask that question, then I question what you are doing on an 'Explore Oz' site. The road through Camerons Corner is one of the main routes into NW NSW.....
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Follow Up By: KYLE S - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 16:36

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 16:36
Scott,
I am not sure of the process of following up your follow up. In fact I don't know how. Never the less, of course my tongue was and is firmly in my cheek.
But! to answer your question I am on OZ site as we recently purchased an old van to take us and the children (two German Shepherds) on "adventures" we have gotten too arthritic to camp any more (did a lot of that with the two legged children) mostly in the Flinders. Anyway, I have come to a time in life that the track must be black with preferably a white line or two.
Kyle
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:56

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:56
That's funny, I thought this site was open to anybody who had an interest in exploring OZ or needed info about traveling.

I didn't think a trip to Camerons nut house was a pre requesite to get on here.

Just goes to show how wrong one can be. ?????????

You weren't out of line KYLE, others may be.

PS I won't be going to Camerons corner nut house either.

Cheers, Bruce
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 22:38

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 22:38
"Never the less, of course my tongue was and is firmly in my cheek. " - well that's a bit hard to tell when you're posting to an online site ....................

My response was to your question as to why anyone would bother to go through Camerons Corner. Well, it is the most direct route from Innaminka through north and central western NSW.... however you could go via Thargomindah if you want to avoid it......
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Reply By: rumpig - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 16:32

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 16:32
It's shame to hear you had an experience like that with Fenn, we stayed at "The Corner" for a night back in 2010, and had a great time there. the food was great, we had plenty of drinks after dinner at the bar, and Fenn and Cheryl even allowed some of the boys in our group to be serving the drinks behind the bar by the end of the night.
all i can say is, you experience with Fenn is completely the opposite to what ours was like, i'd happily stop in there again and have a drink or 2 there.
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Reply By: Gramps - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:07

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:07
I agree with rumpig above. We were there for a couple of nights in 2009 and had a great time with Fenn, his family and other travellers at the Corner.

I'm sure there's been a major misunderstanding. Fenn used to post on here, infrequently though. It would be nice to hear his side of the story before people start making judgements.

Regards
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Reply By: Member - Jack - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:09

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:09
Seems to be a growing trend. I have declared to not visit the Innaminka store again due to the appaulling bad manners and general disinterest on display at the General Store there.

Without the Burke and Will historical interest, it has nothing else to offer.

As I told the lady at the end of a display of chronic disinterest, 'if you don't like your job, get one that you do like'.

And again .. travel to Tibooburra and it is a whole new and pleasant world, with welcoming people. They were not surprised at my comments and said they hear it all the time.

Never again, Innaminka!!

Jack
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 21:35

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 21:35
We were at Innaminka in 2005 when we found out our eldest two children and their friend had all died in a car accident the day before. The people at he store could not have done anything more for us. We had free rein of their house, food and phone. I'd hate to see the bill. And they looked after our car for two months in their shed, arranged transport to Adelaide all gratis. In my opinion they are the salt of the earth. I am totally indebted to them and they asked nothing.
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
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Follow Up By: Member - Leanne W (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 07:02

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 07:02
Hi Bonz,

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't begin to imagine what that time was like for you. Your story gives me a bit more faith in humanity - there are still people willing to go 'above and beyond' what you expect to help others in time of need.

Leanne
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 07:54

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 07:54
Thanks Leanne, yes it is times such as this that test us and also show us the amazing capacity of others to help.
.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 08:38

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 08:38
Hi Bonz:

What a tragic loss ... my condolences.

I am sure almost everyone in Innaminka would have given you the same sort of support and assistance if they were aware of your sad situation. People are like that everywhere, and I am glad that they helped you.

It still does not alter my experience nor opinion, however, when all one expects from anyone in such a business is some common basic courtesy and civility. This would seem to be beyond the capacity of the women working there in the general store, except, apparently in extreme circumstances such as you had experienced.

Jack
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Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 18:25

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 18:25
One has to remember that the people running these remote business places might have business skills - but often, they lack social skills.

Having said that, I think you'll find these people have to put up with some of the biggest dropkicks around, too.
Not everyone who travels to distance places is a sensible, properly-organised, well-prepared individual. Maybe you just caught him on a bad day.

I and my brother have come across any amount of dropkicks travelling long distances, who expect locals to support them, at their own cost, and at no cost to the traveller.

Some examples:

1. Pulled into the Balladonia Roadhouse one night. There are two "round the world cyclists" there, scruffy and dirty. The roadhouse manager is having a bit of a barney with one. When he comes over, I ask him what happened.

He says - "See that bloody cyclist? He's a Canadian and his mate is a Yank. He asks if we have a building he and his mate could camp in, as he doesn't have enough for a motel room."
"I said - Yep, there's a shed down the back you can camp in. $10 for the night".

"He says he can't afford that, and can he have a green rubbish bag? He wants to use that as cover when he beds down on the ground."

"I give him a green rubbish bag - and 5 mins later, he's back - asking - 'Seeing as the bags are free, can we have two more?!'.."

"That's when you saw me doing my lolly at the useless pr**k. We get them here by the dozen every month.
They all want help, they've all got no money, they all want everything for free. I've had a gutful of them!"

2. Another time the brother picked up a bloke wheeling a wheel along the road, between Norseman and Kambalda. He picks him up in the truck, and the bloke throws his wheel in.

The tyre has about 14 layers of worn plies hanging out of it. He says to the brother - "What's the next town, I gotta get this tyre fixed".
The brother says - "Kambalda - and that tyre's beyond help mate, you need a new tyre".

The tyre wheeler says - "Geez, I haven't got any money, so I hope I can get hold of another tyre for nothing!"
Then he goes on - "You know, people have been so good to us. Me and 4 mates left Sydney 3 weeks ago in our old Humber - and we only had a $1 between us when we left!"

"People have been giving us meals and petrol for free! - so we got all the way to Norseman on that dollar!"

The brother and I had a discussion about how, if you were running a servo or roadhouse, you'd give these deadbeats 10 litres of free fuel, to get rid of them, before they stole something!

Now, I'm not saying that Andrew is a moneyless no-hoper, like so so many travellers - but you can get some idea from the couple of foregoing yarns, of the constant stream of no-hopers and useless people, that regularly turn up at remote servos and roadhouses, who expect the owners to go out of their way to assist them - generally from hopeless positions, that are primarily of their own making.

I think part of Andrew's problem stemmed from the secondhand message, which is a notoriously unreliable method of communication.
As has been said many times, when a message is repeated, there's often a big difference between what was said, and what was understood.
AnswerID: 483022

Reply By: Member - Michael and Chris (QL - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 23:16

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 23:16
Andrew,
I have stayed at Cameron Corner and found Fenn easy to get along with. Why did you ring the wrong number twice? Would have been less stuffing around if you called the store direct especially as you said you were very prepared then have the wrong number and had trouble on the bike due to road conditions (seems you didn't research the conditions very well). As for nothing to see out there, some of the best places in Australia there is nothing to see (especially tourists). I have no trouble recommending Cameron Corner as a great place to stop over and have a feed and night off from the road.
Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: andydownunder - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:15

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:15
Thanks for your comments everyone. I did put myself out there expecting mixed results. I am not saying ,and never did say don't go there. I am simply saying what happened to me and I won't be. I was there and know what happened, I felt it was unjust but some of you may think it is OK to have called me f'ing useless c..t, that's up to you. I suggest you don't call someone that unless you are prepared to duck. As for why did I not do this or that.. well I could have filled a whole page of what exactly happened to minimise the interpretation, but you'd all be asleep by now eh :-)

Michael, I rang the number again as in the 1st call they didn't make it that clear that they weren't the store. Being a Sat ph there was some delay and drop out. Also if you read my post properly you would have identified I had research it well and had been in touch with Cheryl for some period prior. I had no trouble with the bike, just the conditions, which as you may know vary.

I tend to agree with everyone. We have all had good and bad experiences. I do have the feeeling that these outback places are enjoying an increase in tourism due to several factors eg, retired PPL having the time/$. Vehicles nowadays are good. So as mentioned the interpersonal skills are a work in progress.Pink Roadhouse for eg.. great owners, still are but they have new staff all the time ( backpackers) that process you. Espcially the American ones.. Yes sir.. hello Mm'am LOL kinda weird to hear that out there.
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Reply By: Member - Richard H - West NSW - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:35

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:35
During my working days I've had to do the angel of mercy thing quite a few times.

What amazed us was the dorks who went up into the Corner Country in clapped out FWD's and Kingswood's.

We'd be advised that a motorist was in strife up that way, and either I'd have to deploy a vehicle from here or Tibooburra to attend to these people. A lot of them were not members of a motorist organisation and so could not get roadside assist, or else just didn't have the funds to pay for a tow truck to come and get them.

Coming back from Tibooburra one February afternoon, near Lake Cobham, we came upon a clapped out 'troopy' with four German kids in it. They had driven down from Darwin, in stinking hot weather, they had a plastic jerrycan of water and their clothes, bugger all else. How it got that far was beyond me, but their gear box was stuffed and the vehicle wouldn't move.

They wanted me to tow them into the 'Hill', but I knocked them back. Anyway, we didn't have tow rope. So after a bit of a conflab together they opted for Plan B. The vehicle was left on the side of the road and we dropped them off at one of the doss houses in town.

You know, not one of them said thanks, and they could all speak English.

You just get so tired and cynical about these so called ill equipped explorers.

Their troopy, so I'm told lasted intact for about three days, and a couple of weeks later the R.T.A. buried it somewhere.
AnswerID: 483065

Reply By: Dirt Doctor - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 16:08

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 16:08
In response to Andrew's comments from Fenn and Cheryl at CC

Hi
Can you post this for us?
The message we received from Omicron was that a phone call had been received
from a distraught push bike rider about 40km out. So as per the norm and
getting late, Fenn left a busy store to attend to this call out. First he
came across the bogged car and people came running down from the hill where
they had set up camp. This chap came down with them in leathers and Fenn
asked him if he had just come in from the Strez and if he had passed a
pushbike rider. He told Fenn then that he was the rider who called. I pulled
the car out of the bog and then asked if the biker still needed help getting
back to the corner. He said he was right and decided to camp with the people
from the bogged car, a group of young British tourists.

Fenn came back to the Store. The next day when the biker arrived at the
Store, Fenn did get irate with him because he couldn't understand why the
biker didn't just pull over and camp anyway. And not put a station and store
into concern for a travelers well being when it was only someone who felt
tired. This biker did not have a booking. Had not contacted us from
Lyndhurst to say he was on his way. Even though there had been some contact
previously we were not aware of who or where he was.

As people who know where the Corner is and been through before, we never
hesitate to help anyone in genuine need. But feel like we are being used
when something like this happens, particularly when the Store is full and is
short staffed.



So two sides to every story

Andrew has posted this on several other off road forums as well so not sure what his agenda is I've been to CC numerous times bought fuel, had a few beers and hung around for a while. Had no problems & loved the place

DD
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Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 20:34

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 20:34
wow, so this is Fenn's reason for going off his trolley. Why didn't he go off at the biker when he found him? Instead he waited till the next day. A bit of pent up anger it sounds like. The biker was able to say sorry for his part in this, Where Fenn's apology.

wizzer73
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Follow Up By: andydownunder - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:53

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:53
Thanks DD for posting that. Appreciated and I came on today to post it also so all sides were covered. I did see it on another forum I was on.. I was getting a severe roasting on that one so many differing opinions and pehaps some allegiance.

But as suspected the stories got misconstrude due to me calling the wrong number. No-one really did anything wrong although I beleive I messed up initially by riding too far in a day. I realised this and just wanted to let PPL know I was out there incase something went pear shaped. I made a poor decision by not just pulling over. I had heaps of supplies ( experience comes just after you need it) However why I was unable to get this across to Fenn and have him see reason is beyond me and that is the basis of my being annoyed. I accept his actions if I were wasting his time and being an unprepared Toorak Tourist but this wasn't the case.

Perhaps I got him on a bad day, but far out... he was a bit unreasonable and would not concede or listen to reason, he'd made his call and that was that and that is the bottom line. Hence as a consumer I'll be avoiding spreading the wealth in that direction.
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael and Chris (QL - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 16:39

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 16:39
Andrew, fortunately CC store will go on without you and your money. You said you were coming on today to give the other side of the story, bit late after bagging them here and on other forums as well. You sound like a whinger. Fortunately most travellers have enjoyed their time spent at CC and have spread the word. Harden up princess and take it on the chin, maybe you were in the wrong.
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Follow Up By: andydownunder - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 17:22

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 17:22
Jeez mate.. also one for a bit of bagging.. Not whinging Just sharing a story and maybe helping out, bag me for that...fair enough. I was never looking to bag anyone and didn't promote or suggest you or anyone shouldn't go there. Perhaps this incident is a one off ... or maybe not.. My " agenda" as you put it was simply to highlight stuff. If this was common then perhaps it may help some of us out.. if it was just me messing up and/or CC having a bad day then so be it.

I don't really think your impliedaccusation of my intention is accurate or constructive but it is your opinion of which I respect and have taken on. I think though that perhaps a little of the context is lost emails/posts etc.

Anyway that is it as far as I am concerned
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 09:14

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 09:14
Back again,
Some thing in this story has gone astray as it usually does when word is passed on.
Andy initially said that he was looking to spend money at C.C.. a good meal, a good bed, fuel & a shower, Or spend money anyway. The foul language was unnecessary, just an explanation was needed.
It was the car that got bogged not him as far as I remember.
He hasn't explained it fully for length of post . Why didn't the people who were bogged stand up for him!?
Just a very big misunderstanding by all I think.

Take care, safe travels.
Bye for now gotta get to work, Ma.
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