Monday 13 July 2009
We finally left home at about 11 am but before going too far we had to stop off at the caravan supplier as our battery and charger which we had fitted into the caravan was not working so another delay of about an hour and rewiring of the charger and we at last were on the road. Our first stop - Port Wakefield for LPG 59.9 cpl. The weather is cold and although not a lot of rain the clouds are black all around. We stopped again at Port Pirie for LPG 64.9 cpl. Back on the road and decided to stay the night at Mambray Creek.There are no powered sites so we tried out the battery and although it was working it wasn't charging as expected so we will have to work out the problem. It is a National Park and as we drove into the park kangaroos were quietly hopping around us, it was so quiet and peaceful and we soon had the van in and had a quick look around but the sun was setting and it was getting very cold.We could hear the rain falling during the night.
Day 2 Tuesday 14 July 2009
We were on the road again by 8.45 am and stopped at Pt Augusta for LPG 61.9cpl. There is quite a lot of traffic especially semis. We had the CB radio on and were entertained by the stories of some of the truckies and some colourful language too. The wind has changed from westerly to northerly now so our fuel consumption will not be very good. Stopped at Pimba LPG 89.9 cpl. I had my diary from 2006 and the LPG then was 77.9 cpl. We drove into Woomera as we had been told that the Museum was worth seeing and as it was closed the last time we were there we decided to see it this time and it was very interesting and well set up with some interactive displays and a lot of information. After leaving the Museum we discovered that the lock on our van had broken and after much pushing and pulling and key turning it just wasn't going to open. This is not what we needed and Woomera doesn't have much or anything other than a very small Foodland store. We weren't sure what we should do other than to drive back to Adelaide to get a new lock fitted by Jayco, but we really weren't keen to do this on day 2 of our holiday.
A chap from the Emergency Services came to our rescue and said he had been an RAA mechanic and he thought he could solve the problem, but an hour later we still couldn't get into the van and the only solution seemed to be to drill out the lock. Ron's new Makita came in very handy along with screwdrivers, hammer and an assortment of wire. At last we had the door open but of course we couldn't secure it safely so the duct tape did the job and we were on the road again. We got to Glendambo and decided to stay the night there. We were able to charge our battery and took advantage of the powered site. The caravan park is crowded but is only a one night stopover for everyone.
DAY 3 Wednesday 15 July 2009
We refuelled at Glendambo 79.9 cpl. It is a lovely sunny morning and we have taped up the door and are ready to drive on to Coober Pedy. The scenery is pretty much the same with low bushes and red sand. I have only seen one patch of Sturts Desert Pea and one wedgetail eagle and a few hawkes. We had to pull off the road to let a Wide Load with machinery go past but disappointed that there is not much wildlife or wildflowers.
We refuelled at Coober Pedy 88.9 cpl. It is windy but no rain but we couldn't leave the van and look around as the door is still only taped up. We have been to Coober Pedy several times before so we were happy to drive on. Fuel again at Cadney Homestead $1.03 cpl. We decided to keep driving as far as we could so that we can get to Alice Springs to get the door fixed. Stopped at Marla for fuel 99.1 cpl and on again to Agnes Creek roadside stop. We decided to stop here for the night, there are a few caravans and motorhomes already set up for the night. It is a lovely area and the sunset magnificent.
The corellas in the trees are very noisy but they settled and we had a quiet evening. A few more campers pulled in late but it is a large area and no-one is very close.
DAY 4 Thursday 16 July 2009
We were on the road early this morning as we want to get to Alice Springs to get the lock sorted out. The scenery changed for a while and there are small rocky outcrops with scattered bushes and small trees. We passed the SA/NT border and now the sun is shining for the first time since we left home. We refuelled at Kulgera LPG $1.00 cpl. We still haven't seen any wildlife and only a few eagles, there isn't any roadkill for them.
Arrived at Alice Springs and booked into the MacDonnell Caravan Park. Everything is booked out here and we were lucky to get into this park. We were advised to go to a locksmith for the required lock but after spending quite some time trying to find them as we were given the wrong directions and there are only 2 locksmiths here and the other one had moved premises, we finally got there only to be told they don't have the caravan locks and nobody in Alice Springs sells caravan accessories. Ron made a phone call to Adelaide and the new lock should be on its way, but we will be staying here until it comes.
DAY 5 Friday 17 July 2009
Today we went out to Standley Chasm approximately 50 km west of Alice Springs. The roads here are all very busy with motorhomes, caravans and 4WD's and tourist buses. It is a beautiful sunny day and not a cloud in the sky. It is amazing how blue the sky is here and against the beautiful rocks it is stunning. We did the walk into the chasm and timed it to get there at around midday as that is the best for the colour when the sun hits the chasm walls and it was beautiful. On the way back to Alice Springs we went to Simpsons Gap. It was a short walk into the gap and again the rock face was amazing and I got some good photos of the reflections in the pool. The sign said no swimming in the creek but there was no water flowing. Might have to come back some day in the wet season.
DAY 6 Saturday 18 July 2009
I woke early this morning - at about 3 am - thought I heard someone near the door! Jumped out of bed and looked out the window but everything looked ok so back to bed then heard the noise again so decided to wake Ron who had slept through my panic attack and he checked outside and nothing to worry about - it was the roll out awning flapping in the wind! Its seemed so quiet before and not a breath of wind around and so we didn't think we would roll the awning up and on checking the neighbours, their's were all out so we thought we'd be ok, so another lesson on our trip - don't presume anything. Then on going outside this morning we discovered the Toyota had a flat tyre, so before starting on our trip to Chambers Pillar Ron had to change the tyre and then take it into be repaired. Decided to check the others and although we had been advised before we left home that our tyres were all ok Ron had another look at them and ...... we now have 2 new tyres fitted as the price we were quoted was pretty good and we will feel better travelling with new ones. Now the trip to Chambers Pillar ..... on checking with the local Information Centre and with the tyre fitter, it seems that the road out there is very bad with corrugations and rocks and they all seem to think it would not be the best time to travel there so we have taken their advice so today we spent around the town and generally relaxing. We still have not recieved our new door lock which was meant to be here by Express Post so now Monday will be the next post delivery.
DAY 7 Sunday 19 July 2009
Today is Pancake Day at the caravan park so we ambled over the designated spot along with most of the other caravanners here and very quickly changed our minds as the queue was longer than the Royal Adelaide Show! We decided that breakfast back in the van was a better option and Ron was not feeling that good this morning having had a restless night and thinks he might be geting the flu. After another cuppa and a few Panadol we decided to make the effort and drove out to Emily Gap and Jessie Gap and packed a picnic lunch. They are very pretty spots and only a short walk into them - we had been to them on the last trip - but they are worth another look. There were not many people there so we had a really good look and enjoyed the peace and quiet there. At both places there are some good aboriginal rock paintings which were interesting. We spoke to the grandchildren on Skype last night - Jacob, Taleah and Amity and tonight Noah and Amelie. We are missing them all but it was so good to be able to see and hear them, they were so excited to see us on the "pooter"!! Went up to Anzac hill to watch the sun set. It is a great view of the city and the surrounding ranges, with the sun setting on them it was another lovely sight.