I realized in my last blog that I didn’t include many photos of Mt Augustus. Here are a few, but they don’t show the enormity of it. There is also the view from our camp site.

Easy pack up today, with the roof taken down yesterday and set off at 8:30am, looking forward to what sounds like a difficult, but picturesque road.

Saw a very healthy dingo a few kms into the trip. Gibber plains most of the way, glistening in the sun, as if covered by a heavy frost!

The road has surprised us, to say the least, traveling only 40-60kph on the easier bits, and 10-20kph through the riverbeds. Very slow going, through high crests, deep dips, long (dry) riverbeds, twisting and bends all the way, over rock and gibber stones.

After traveling at least 150kms with these conditions, we were pleased to take a turn onto a ‘major’ road. This road was only slightly better, though less windy, smaller creek crossings, less gibber stones, but still bad in parts.

11:30am and we were starting to talk about finding a creek bed to have lunch, when we noticed that the camper had a flat tyre. Shredded completely, almost off the rim! Russ started all the usual things, getting everything out needed to change a tyre, when we noticed (and heard), the right rear tyre going down on the car! !@#@#

Russ changed the car tyre first, then back to the Karavan tyre. The spare tyre is underneath the K’van, so he got that out – and that’s flat – a brand new, never used, tyre.

Up went the bonnet, plug in the hose to the compressor, pump it up to 36psi, and at 32psi, the compressor stopped! Must have killed a Chinaman we were starting to think. Poured water over the tyre, around the rim, and sure enough, bubbles – a faulty tyre or rim.

This is when we rang Cam to get him to arrange RAC help, from 200kms away!

Meanwhile, Russ was trying to jack up the K’van and our jack was too small, even with four block of wood under it.

Dust in the distance was our saving grace – Shane the Newman Station Owner, stopped with his three NZ jackaroos. He had a high-rise jack and the K’van was up in minutes, Russ had the wheel off, the faulty spare on, the young Jackaroos put the ripped tyre and rim back underneath the K’van, rang Cam to cancel RAC help and set off, with the advice to stop and check the faulty tyre every 50kms and only travel at 60kph! Set off at 2:30pm. The roads improved and we arrived at Paraburdoo at 5:00pm – no caravan park – so travel another 80kms to Tom Price, watching for kangaroos on the road. Arrived at 6:45pm.

Set up in the dark and the bed wouldn’t pull out properly, the torch battery started to fade and it was all we needed. We sorted out the problem, which I think was because we were so tired and not thinking straight, drove into Tom Price to a van that sold food and brought a chicken burger each, came home, had some wine, and flaked.

A bloody long and scary day – (is this fun and relaxing?) – well not today, but the rest has been great. I must say I’ve gone off the scenic route though!

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