Down along the bittamin

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 23:17
ThreadID: 75654 Views:3387 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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We had occasion to stick to the blacktop the past 10 days clocking up 4500km to Sydney and beyond along the Barrier and Mitchell Highways, then north to the Gold Coast along the Pacific Highway and then west along the Bruxner, New England, Gwydir, Kamelaroi Highways, The Kidman Way and back home along the Barrier again. Drove the plastic fly by wire electronic pretend 4wd and attained 9/100 in petrol usage

Set off with a bit of a worry about a noise upfront that has increased in volume and sounds like a bearing running rough. But everything held together and we arrived home this arvo

First excitement came almost exactly halfway between Broken Hill and Wilcannia. A young couple with three littlies driving a Falcon and towing an overloaded van had a mishap. The left hand main spring broke on the van and caused the stub axle to snap and the lot collapsed. They came to rest with the van still about a metre on the roadway. It was a tad dangerous with B-doubles thundering along the road. No mobile phone coverage out there so I used my trusty Satphone to ring a mate in Broken Hill and he contacted the Police. Asked the youngsters if they had water. Hmmmm, one litre in a plastic bottle and none in the van. So we gave then our 5litre supply that we carry in the little car. We still had another 3 litres in the fridge. Called in to the Police at Wilcannia and found out that a rescue mission was underway.

The rest of the journey was reasonably uneventful. T’was a tad stressful driving in the Big Smoke but we found our way around to Balmain. Then we looked for accommodation but there was none to be had. So I walked into the Police Station and a friendly young fella Googled it for me and suggested a motel in Gladesville. The overseer at that motel gave me a mudmap for an alternative route out of Sydney the next day, but we got lost after our business was done there and eventually found a track (Pennant Hills Road) and followed a number of B-doubles out on to the Freeway away from the mad rush to nowhere :-)

The journey up the coast was OK. I put the cruise control on 95 to stay out of trouble. Saw 17 Police Radar traps between Sydney and the border. Caught up with ExplorOzzers Mark G Gulmarrad and family and also Hairs (Hairs and Fysh) down at Brooms Head on Australia Day. On the way out of there Tom Tom took us down on to a dirt road and into someone’s back yard :-)

We stayed in Motels all the way. They cost between $75 and $140 per night. Cheapest fuel was $1.13 somewhere in NSW and the dearest $1.43 at Wilcannia (the cheap outlet!)

On the way back from the Gold Coast we ran into some nice storms and that cooled things down a bit as the humidity had got to us up along the coast. With the rain they have had, the countryside is lush with green grass all the way to Bourke. And the Darling River is running a banker but other rivers like the Barwon are still low.

Our roads are really in a shocking state and the Pacific Highway still has narrow bumpy sections. When will the dual carriage-way ever be completed? Going west the roads deteriorate the further out you go. Lack of real maintenance and few upgrades with heavy trusage by trucks and travellers see them going backwards. The road between Walgett and Bourke was supposed to be Light Vehicles only due to flood damage but we saw a number of B-doubles making their way on it. The best piece of bitumen is the road between Bourke and Cobar! One could easily do 200kmh along that stretch if it weren’t for the wandering goats and skippy’s.

My observations for the trip was that the worst tail-gaters along the Pacific Highway were the drivers of Commodore’s, Prado’s, Subaru’s and Navara 4x4’s. On the whole 99% of the drivers, including us, were well behaved and careful and always mindful that we drive at relatively high speeds on crappy, narrow roads and that accidents do happen! Of course there were one or two idiots driving at well over the speed limit and doing dangerous moves.

So now I’ll take a break from driving for a while :-)


Cheers


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Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 23:24

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 23:24
Willem

good to see you guys got home in one peice.yes the pacific highway is a discrace to say the least but they are doing bits and peices.
did the locals invite you in for a cuppa when you parked in their driveway...hahahah

it was good to meet up with you guys and thank you for stopping off to visit us at the beach,cheers.
AnswerID: 401994

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 23:40

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 23:40
Goodonya Willem,
thanks for the update. Good yarn as usual.
regards
Fred B
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AnswerID: 402001

Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 01:50

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 01:50
Great info Old Fella, But where Oh where were you going to find a Nissan that could do 200kmh along that stretch of road. LOLOLOL

Maybe a typo me thinks, have to pick you up on it, seems you did the same to me a little while back. LOLOLOL


AnswerID: 402006

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:12

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:12
I had the Xtrail up to 180 on the GPS the other day. Could possibly wind it up to over 200 with a tail wind :-)


PS: Not coming this weekend. Sick of driving :-)


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 11:02

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 11:02
Quote from Blaze: "where were you going to find a Nissan that could do 200kmh".......

You have a short memory ol' mate...... You saw a Nissan ("Nev" the wonder truck), only a week or so ago and yet ALREADY you have forgotten.

The valves would be bouncing around a bit, but 5000rpm would see my ol' girl doing 200k/h.

Hmmmmm, on 2nd thoughts, maybe I should keep my gob shut!!!! hahahaha

Willie, glad you had a safe trip mate.....I hate going over to that damned east coast too. I like your comment about everybody being in a rush to go nowhere; how bloody true is that!!!!!

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 12:38

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 12:38
Willie what are you thinking mate, fancy telling all those revenue collecting members from the constabulary that you were doing 180k/h in the Trail...LOLOLOL


As for u Mr Roach, if you look at the post about your speed week, even with the motor I suggested nev would leave pieces all over the road travelling above 150K/H :-)



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Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 05:06

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 05:06
Willem

You got me worried , whats this idea of using mudmaps , what happened to the GPS , ..........

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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:06

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:06
Doug

Didn't want to go over the Harbour Bridge. I don't trust our GPS...a Tom Tom one with basic info loaded..:-)

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 11:22

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 11:22
I remember meeting a bloke at Rathdowney a couple years back, I think I would have told him about the Garmin range , I have heard little whispers about him from time to time , he probably went and bought something else,

T.I.C........................

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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 12:05

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 12:05
Funny that....I have a Garmin GPS in my PDA. It runs a Tom Tom as well. Other TT was bought before an old bloke showed me the toy tricks of his Garmin somewhere in Queensland...LOL

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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 17:14

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 17:14
Hey Doug - I remember that conversation - and I still haven't bought anything yet!!! Now what I really need is one of those fandangled ones for the boat which tells me where the fishies are and how big they are.
Willem - glad you made it home safely - thought you might have hit the rain - certainly cooled it down a bit. I can handle 45 degree desert heat no worries - but by gee - that humidity is unbearable.
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Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 07:40

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 07:40
Great trip Willem, but you came all that way and didn't go a few extra Ks further across the Gateway Bridge to the BEST part of Australia ---- the Great South East....lol.
Cheers
AnswerID: 402021

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:10

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:10
This was a business trip only. No time really for a Look Around. But have been that way you mentioned many times before and have driven around those parts seeing much of it. The humidity nearly killed us this time...and to people who lived in Darwin and surrounds for many years. Too old now...can't hack it (humidity) any more...lol

Cheers

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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:57

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:57
Great read as always Willem... good to see you had a safe trip, and give yourself a pat on the back from us for helping the family with the broken van....

Onya mate!! ;-))

Cheers

Brian





AnswerID: 402031

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:36

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:36
Hi Brian

We may be that wy again later in the year and will then endeavour to catch up with you :-). This time it was too rushed.


Cheers



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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:57

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:57
Yep mate.....no worries. ;-))

Cheers

Brian
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FollowupID: 671597

Reply By: Member - Axle - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:12

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:12
G/Day Willem,


Hahahahha, Whats this Pennant Hills track , ?? , Its our favourite HWY,,Not!, But its all we have.Lol. Bloody nightmare in peak hr Eh!! Absolute disgrace really, but what do you do ??Put up or shut up..lol. Wish i'd known you where in this part of the world, Might have met up, You drove past our front door so to speak.lol.,,,, Where a few Ks east of Ourimbah.


Good to see you had a safe Trip

Cheers Axle



AnswerID: 402136

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:34

Monday, Feb 01, 2010 at 19:34
G'day Axle

Maybe next time :-) This trip was a communting business trip and there wasn't too much time left for socialising though I did catch up with a couple of EO characters further north :-)

Cheers

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FollowupID: 671593

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