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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Setting off on our big Central Australia Adventure

We were on our way home from the Gem Fields - a mere two hours from home - when there was an odd noise. Something like a rock hitting under the chassis, but there were no rocks on the road. We stopped shortly after at the rest area in Warra and Dazz had a look under and around - we have a problem. Quite a large problem, actually. Snapped bolts on the tow bar.

Now, we've been there, done that. Which is why we have a new car. A new tough car. Surely not. But yes, we snapped bolts.

A few phone calls later and Dad was on his way out to pick up the van and me. Dazz raced back into town to try to get the towbar looked at that afternoon. Of course, we were planning on a quick turn around and leaving on our central Australia trip with Mum & Dad the next day. To make a long story short the Hayman Reese guys was completely mystified and the only thing that anyone could come up with was a low speed bottoming out on the tow hitch (months before) had weakened something. We hadn't been happy with how low the tow hitch hung (because of the weight distribution bar arrangement), so after a bit of research and measuring with the old hitch on (no distribution bars) we decided to give it a go. About 1800kms on and we're happy with the handling, and extremely happy with the extra clearance we now have under the hitch. So, only 24 hours behind schedule, we left on our big Central Australia Adventure.

Our first stop was Dulacca, and it was cooold. Well below zero and ice on the window frame above our bed.

The next few days involve a lot of driving as we headed west, trying to catch up on our lost day. We were hoping to get to Cooper's Creek, just east of Windorah in time to put the kayaks in one afternoon, but our lunch stop on Kyabra Creek was too good to resist - warm midday sun and a stack of birds.

We did get to Cooper's Creek that afternoon and set up camp on the river bank.

Our next overnight stop was about halfway between Windorah and Birdsville, on the side of the road. As we went further west the sand dunes began, all covered in foliage.