Darwin Via the Gulf June/July 2013 "Days 22 & 23"

Thursday, Jul 11, 2013 at 08:03

D-Max Dave

Day 22
Headed off this morning aiming to get to Barkly Homestead to camp overnight, unfortunatly it didnt work out as we planned, we had made really good time and had turned off the Stuart Hwy onto the Barkly Hwy when a Check Engine Light came on.

I pulled over and checked the usual things, water, oil, belts, battery etc and all appeared well, when the car was restarted the light was off, so we continued on our way with the car running as it should.

We got a few k's up the road and when the light came on again, pulling over again we tuned the car off and checked everything again, as it was the first time all apeared OK, this time unfortunatly the car would not start, it apeared to be disabled, all the dash lights worked, the battery was fine, but it wouldnt turn over.

With over 100k to Barkley Homestead and the same to Tennant Creek and the time getting late we were a little concerened about spending the night on the side of the road in a place where we couldnt set up the CT and trucks whizing past.

In a last ditch attempt I disconnected the battery to reset the ECU, this seemed to work allowing the car to start and the light was out again, unfortunatly soon after getting going the car went into limp mode alowing us to move but at a slow pace, we limped into Barkly Homestead at about 5pm, barley making it over the small hills we passed on the way.

Calling RACQ we found our only option was to go backward to Tennant Creek on a tray truck where a mechanic could look at the car.

We ended up staying in a motel room at the Homestead, I wouldn't recommend them, they are not that nice, and very expensive, the campground on the other handlooks really nice.

We had a meal at the resteruant there that night, it was very nice and a good price.

I didnt sleep very well that night, worrying about the car, I was very glad to see the sun come up the next morning.

Day 23

The tow truck arrived at about 9am, and we were loaded on and ready to head off about 10am.

It was a two hour trip back to Tennant, on the way there we discussed our accommodation options with the driver, I have to say it didnt sound great, there was no way we were getting back on the road today so we would be spending at least one night there.

We chose one of the three Motels in Tennant, and after driving through the town and seeing the CP's and other two motels we were very glad we chose the one we did.

The driver stopped at the mechanics and I explained what had happened, then we were taken around to the motel which was just around the corner, we were dropped off there with the CT, getting a room right next to the CT which was great.

If you are staying in Tennant I highly recommend The Bluestone Motel it had great rooms, great staff, a great resteruant, a decent albeit cold pool, and it was well priced.

Not long after we settled in we got a call to say the car was ready, it had only been 30 or so minutes so I have to say I was sceptical, when I picked up the car I was told that they had replaced the fuel filter and the car was fine, I asked if they had used a computer to check for error codes but didnt really get a response so I guess the answer was no.

Their test drive was a 10 min drive up the road and back, no speed, no load, no operating temp.

Anyway that night we packed up the car for a quick gettaway the next morning, for dinner we had two of the nicest Pizzas we have ever eaten from the resteraunt at the Motel.

Day 23

We headed off about 9am, our aim was to get as far as we could in the day, we had no real plan except to free camp that night, at about 3pm we had decided that we would spend the night at a place called Clem Walton Park at Corrella Dam, which is located about halfway between Cloncurry an Mt Isa.

From where we were when we made this decision we estimated would be there before 4pm, in the next few k's on or way to the dam my suspicions about the workmanship of the mechanic at Tennant Creek were realised, on came the Check Engine Light again, after speaking with my mechanic back home we elected to ignore it so long as oil levels and temps were ok, we drove cautiously the remaining way to the dam with no issues and when I restarted the car the light was off.

The camp spot was really nice, lots of room with most spots overlooking the water, mostly grassy, and very quiet at night. The water in the dam was pretty low but still looked good, I would recomend this free camp if your looking for somewhere betweeen Cloncurry and Mt Isa, just keep in mind there are no ammenities at this camp.

We had a very little fire that night, fire wood was very thin on the ground so if you stay there take some with you.

Oh if you stay there try and spot the two fresh water Crocs that are supposed to reside in the dam, I didnt see them but was assured by some campers who stay there regularly that they are in there.


Dave T
BlogID: 5070
Views: 1349

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