On The QT

Aussie Adventure Day 9

Blogger: Pat Lynch

Day 9 – The Outback – 10th July

On the road for 8AM. Another lovely day. On our way to a water creek about 10km away. Very flat country and able to travel at 40km p/h. This is where the water came from for the village. It was powered by solar panels to drive the pump back to the village. Some lights are on in the van that we need to call Kevin, our mechanic to look at it. Not a great place to have car trouble, 100km from the nearest person. Traction control and ABS light is on. After 30 minutes or so and we decide to use the satellite radio to call the garage in Perth. After 3 attempts we get through to the correct person in the garage in Perth. He asks us to disconnect the batteries and leave it for 10 minutes. Also to take out the computer and check it for dust or oil seams. One has to think how long you could be out here. We see three cows and you have to wonder how they survive. Water diesel and your vehicle are the 3 most important things when you come out here. 10 minutes has passed and we refit the batteries and computer. We took some photos in between to keep it light. I can sense Rob, our leader is tense. We are lucky to have Kevin in the group who knows about cars. We restart and one of the main red lights has been fixed but there are 2 more lights that remain on. We check each fuse one by one and they are ok. We need to call the garage again. We got through and they advised us that we can drive with the lights on. Is is good to hear this.

Off we go at 10AM. We go through 2 dried river beds called creeks. Big drop down one side and up the other side. Very exciting. Stopped for a coffee break under a large gum tree. Quick coffee and off we go. I travel in Nick’s 4.2L Nissan which is new and has all the gadgets one needs. Compressor, freezer, fridge, computer and global navigation system are all onboard. We come to our last track and now we are on our own. We come to our first creek which we have to cross(dried up river). We walk for 10 minutes or so to find the best crossing spot. All three vans are across within 30 minutes or so. Tyres are left down from 60lbs pressure to 30lbs and once across they are pumped to 60lbs again. Stop for a quick lunch. The flies torment me and are the most annoying part of the trip!!

We now make the road with only a GPS bearing to work to. We travel with a dry creek(river to our left). This is incredible as I am literally shaken about in the vehicle. We are leading in Nick’s Nissan and we get bogged down. The other jeeps come to our assistance and elastic type ropes called snatch traps are used to pull us out. About 80ft is attached and we pulled and sort of bounces out….MAGIC… we are away!! We now fall in behind as the 2nd car and Rob is the leader. It is hot at 23 degrees and you must wear sun cream. There is not a cloud in the sky and has not been since I arrived. We follow the creek to our right. Rob gets his first puncture and it is repaired quickly. 5km p/h for the next several km.

We set up camp at about 5pm. 30 minutes before the sun goes down! We are 15km behind schedule. The bush was much higher than was expected. One can never say you will be at a certain place at a certain time. It is hoped to make it up over the next 8 days. If not something has to get cut out. It is cold tonight. We layer up with clothes(track suit bottom, warm jumper and even a coat/jackets) as the sun goes down. The cold hits one on the back. The camp fire is great and timber is gathered for both tonight and the morning. It is in plentiful supply and one seldom has to go 40ft to find the total requirements. Dinner consists of 1/2 potato each, fried chicken, cabbage, peas and sweetcorn. Dessert is fruit and ice cream. The rule is who ever prepares dinner does not do the dishes. Good light is provided from the fire and leads from extras batteries on all of the vehicles.

Find out if we make up the lost time tomorrow


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