Trip leader – Rhys
Starting from Flynn’s Grave, minus a few vehicles, Ray and Rob getting called into work, three vehicles set off 15 minutes after 0900.
Our first stop, although not on the plan, was Hermannsburg. After a quick call on the radio to everyone and Craig and Lisa not knowing the area, a quick thought was to show them the history of the mission in at Hermannsburg. Craig’s comment of he didn’t even know this was here, was a quick sign that the couple had not seen this before. An entry donation to the museum, and 2 hours later, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the takeaway shop at Hermannsburg and set off again.
Not soon after came the arrival of Gosse’s Bluff Crater. A little bit of disaster arose for yours truly. With a little hissing sound coming from under the bonnet, I decided to have a look. Well a little bit of what looked like steam, we very quickly found out that it wasn’t steam. It was one very hot, bulging battery which was extracting rather an abnormally huge amount of gas. To the quick working, we got the battery out of there. Upon looking at the battery on the ground I think it was rather good that I decided to check, otherwise we could have a much larger, more disastrous problem. With the little issue at hand we got rather side tracked about looking at the crater and was thinking of a way to move forward.
The first thought went through my head, we could put my second battery as my first. Then I looked at the complexity of getting the battery out from underneath the tray. The second though was to close the red arc relay with a bit of 12v current on the blue wire and jump start off this. However, it seems that with having the battery in the back of the car is a bit of downfall in the fact that there is a little bit too much voltage drop between the back and the front, despite the fact there being a fairly decent cable going from front to back.
The plan was then made to jumpstart the car off the main battery terminals and drive the car back to Glen Helen for support. So, with a little assistance from Sally, we jump started the car, Duct taped up the terminals to prevent any shorts in the terminals and more problems, from an old role I found in the back of the car, and the decision was made to continue onto Glen Helen to get further assistance and bypass Roma Gorge. I guess duct tape can still fix a lot of things hey! Apologies to Sally for bypassing Roma Gorge as we know you wanted to go into there. Might owe you one for that and the jump start.
Upon arrival into Glen Helen, Craig and Lisa stayed with the cars (as mine was still running) and I made a quick phone call. Thanks to the parents of yours truly it was organised that I would take the new comers into camp and meet the parent’s half way and play swaps on a new battery. (I guess I owe the old man a carton and a few dollars for the new battery as well). Upon return to the car to tell the crew, Sally had found out that the front passenger hub is rather hot. With a quick jack up of the front wheel there was a very little bit of movement in the wheel. It was upon Sally’s decision that she wish to return to town and get this looked at. This would mean the end of trip for her. The unknown was had as to what happened with this. I guess we shell find out at the next meeting.
We all left, with Sally going back into town and myself showing the new comers back into 2 mile before heading towards town to get my new battery.
Upon getting my new battery and arriving back to camp I arrived to find a few, let’s say less experienced type of people, stuck. Craig’s comment being that they had been stuck a few times and been there for about 45 minutes. He did say he let the tyres down to help them out but another vehicle had come to help so Craig’s decision was to watch. SO, we all sat down for a little entertainment. With even more lack of knowledge, they then continued to recover the vehicle. With just a rather thin steel back bumper on the back of this van they continued to hook up a snatch recovery. Craig saying should we help them, and me saying I don’t want to be near that thing when he drives off we continue to watch. Very ginger pull from a Hilux all was good and the people were unstuck. Few, no casualties. Craig and Lisa could probably tell a little more of that story as they were there for the whole saga.
With dinner eaten and a night cap was had all went off to bed for some much-needed rest. A slight drizzle the first night and the next morning, but was more of a surprise and not a problem at all for either swaggers. Cloud cover was present and the weather couldn’t have been better all weekend.
The rest of the weekend was rather relaxing and nothing else was done apart from a bit of sightseeing and talking about the area, with no more (well almost) problems. Only other problem being the fridge of yours truly got turned into an esky that next morning when I noticed the fridge had a fault light. Upon this finding the connector on my fridge lead had broken off on the solder tabs on the back of the connector. So, the bag off Ice I had in the freezer side, that was left over from the water container pulled me out of trouble and kept everything cold for the next day and a half. In exception of the ice cream which got turned into rather a tasty cold milkshake, Oh Yum!
On the way home, we left rather earlier than I expected. Craig had mentioned before that he wasn’t sure where the Llparpa claypans were. So, a little detour was had through the hills. Looking at the claypans we then moved onto the Ghan Pans, by going through the back road along the shooting complex fence near the motorbike club and a small drive up the razor backs. This is where the trip ended and a good fun was had by all.
Glen Helen, NT