S***tbox 2016 –Broken Hill to Narrabri

Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 23:32

Peter Beard (WA)

Tonight Pete and Paul are in Narrabri in northern NSW. It was quite a long haul from Broken Hill today – nearly 1,000 km – but the boys are pleased to report that the fifth day of the journey was the second that went smoothly without any mechanical issues. Apart from the automatic choke fast idle cam jamming this morning that is, but that was an easy five-minute fix once the air cleaner was removed.

This morning Broken Hill was covered with a heavy fog, which made it difficult firstly to find and service station for fuel and coffee and secondly to find the road east towards Wilcannia. It took a couple of hours for the fog to burn off and by about 9:30 am the fog had lifted but the sky was still grey and there was the occasional light shower.

The roads in western NSW are long, flat and straight, and the scenery much the same as eastern WA and central SA. After a couple of hours at 100 kph listening to the drone of the old Falcon things get a bit boring so Pete livened it up with some old podcasts of Roy and HG’s “This Sporting Life”, which was broadcast on Triple J every Saturday afternoon in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Even though the subject matter is a bit out of date in 2016, the old programs are still good for a laugh and more likely to keep you awake than listening to music.

By the time Pete and Paul rolled into Cobar the sun was shining and the day was warming. Warm enough to turn on the air conditioning for the first time on the trip. By the time Pete and Paul reached Cobar it was about 12:30 pm so time to buy a sandwich and a takeaway coffee at the roadhouse while fuelling up, then eating lunch on the road to the town of Nyngen, which is in the Shire of Bogan. Yes that’s right, Bogan. Pete and Paul felt they had found their spiritual home.

After Cobar they caught up with another weather system, which made the temperature drop and it started raining again. A quick fuel stop at Coonamble then a shortcut on less than perfect roads in the rain to Wee Waa via Pilliga. From Wee Waa it was only a 41 km trip to Narrabri, but it was raining steadily and old Henry’s 1985 headlights aren’t the best – especially on low beam – so it was a slow final leg into Narrabri, made more interesting following a semi with no tail, clearance or brake lights. Fortunately it turned right into a freight yard on the outskirts of Narrabri.

First stop was the Traveller Hotel to see if Pete and Paul could catch up with another rally team, but one of the crew was stuck out in the back blocks somewhere in a broken down bus and the other wasn’t there either. So after dinner and a couple of beers at the Traveller Pete and Paul walked back the couple of blocks to their motel. Tomorrow it’s Maleny in south eastern Queensland. The plan is to catch up with one of Pete’s old school mates he hasn’t seen for close to 50 years.

Click here to see Pete and Kris’s rally Facebook page, and to help in the fight against cancer by making a donation to the Cancer Council scroll down the page to the “Help Beardies’ Bucket of Bolts make a difference” panel. There is also a link on their Facebook page to more information on the S***box Rally.


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