2011 Trip to Cape Leveque - Day 3,4

Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 03:03

Member - DereelGirl

Day 3
Up and off by 8am, we are getting into the swing of things now and packing up is getting quicker. Cutting thru the hills on the way out from Wilmington to the Stuart Hwy Jen is blown away with the view, here is someone who has travelled extensively outside of Australia and is only now discovering the beauty in her own backyard. Morning tea - from memory looking out over Lake Gairdner National Park, what a sight.

On we go, and I have to say the back is feeling great & we get to Coober Pedy early and, I bow my head in shame, we’ve booked into the CP again. It’s pretty crowded and we noticed a wayside stop on the way in was equally busy. I’m justifying the CP now.
The park is quiet even with the number of campers and I’ve got to say most of the place was filled with HUGE rigs. We settle in and have a nice meal, a beer, that we bought down the street and were given a magnificent sunset to go with it. The showers were busy the next morning as all the vans were on the move, I didn’t feel bad getting up around 6am as most of them had breakfast on the go.

Day 4
So we pack up and head out onto the Hwy and do a quick detour in to see the Breakaways and promise ourselves to delve further than the wayside stop on the way home. Traffic isn’t too bad on the Hwy and the car is going great guns even with all the crap we were carrying, then this little buzzbox passes us and I have to say I wouldn’t be seen dead driving it all the way out here. I don’t think I’d like to drive it anywhere, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something looked wrong about it. I was pretty sure it was crabbing sideways and that back wheel looked like it was going to fall off any minute, really some people.Well there we were merrily driving along when our first road train for the trip was coming toward us, and wouldn’t you know it just as we crossed paths we hit the only stretch of road that has had recent road works, we get showered, I hold my breathe, the noise is incredible as what seems like a hundred stones hit the car and windscreen. I look at Jen, then at the windscreen, it’s still there, in one piece. I don’t know how but it looks like we got thru that ok. A few klm’s up the road Jen lifts the visor on her side and there, right at the top near the edge of the windscreen is a crack running down about 3 inches and across about 6, we didn’t come thru unscathed at all. Bugger!
Oh well it’s done now, what’s a trip without a busted windscreen anyway? About ½ hr down the road and we are about to pass a dualcab & van and would you believe it, the dualcab signage on the side read….. “Windscreen Repairer” we joke about pulling him over and getting ours fixed but I think I’m up for a whole new windscreen with a crack that big, it’s probably going to run right across to the other side by the time we’ve finished this trip. We get to Marla and it’s time for a break and a cuppa and some fuel. When I’m on holidays I don’t look at fuel prices, it’s needed so you get it. We find a nice shady spot to have our cuppa and who do we pull up next to? Yep the windscreen man, they’ve stopped for a cuppa as well. I mention that I could have a job for him and he says ok I’ll give it a go. He’s got his kit in the truck, he bought it for $2k a few years back as he was sick of having to pay someone else to fix all his chips and cracks as they did a bit of travelling. $60 & 45mins later and the job was done. The crack filled and the ends drilled and plugged to stop the crack travelling any further. What are the chances of finding a mobile repairman out here?

Ok so lets get going to the border.
Just over the border next to the Finke river we decide to stop, 125klms short of Alice Springs. This will be our first free camp of the trip, I knew we could do it. There are already a few vans pulled in for the night so we find a spot and start to setup. The ground is really hard & I’m having a few problems getting the pegs in, hmmm I decide to tie the guy ropes off to the roof rack on the car. There’s still a lot of daylight left so we take a stroll down to the river, not that much water left and lots of rusty barbed wire, blocks of concrete and sections of roadway where flood waters have taken the roadways out over time. Our pre-dinner drinks were accompanied by a not so talented group with instruments with a twang in their singing, interesting, I hope they don’t go too late into the night. A quick & easy meal before it gets dark, we had cooked a lot of meals before we left and froze them. Our new fridge was turned into a giant freezer and the esky was for our day to day food & kept cool with bottles of water that were kept frozen via the freezer. Every morning we would take out what we wanted for dinner that night and a freshly frozen bottle of water and place into the esky & from the esky a melted bottle of water got placed back into the freezer. So dinner & dishes done it was time to sit and watch the sun go down. But wait, what was that I saw, yes it’s a mouse. Cheeky little buggers were all coming out now. If you sat still for long enough they would be running up your legs, we can’t have that. Time to retire inside the camper and as it’s almost dark we might as well just go to bed. I tried to read my book but the noise of those little rodents running up the flyscreen on the doorway was putting me off. Before I drifted off to sleep I could hear them running over the camper and under the floor. In the morning the first trip to the loo had me thinking it had rained during the night but on closer inspection it was thousands of little mice footprints in the dust.
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