We found it, the last few hindred meters of track was a bit of a low 1st scramble, but the pool was worth iyt. Water was at least 25 degrees and way over my head. crystal clear an deep blue surrounded by the most enourmous paper barks. One of the those places you will probably never come back to but will always remember. if we had of had more food and fuel we would have stayed. Alas we had to get moving to Marbel Bar for an expensive 20L of fuel to get us to Port Headland were the fuel was better priced and there was a super market.
Av speed 16kph. Amazing scenery, rocky trak p: 22 31.495s 124 24.288e
Betsie - Its been a while
Its been ages since I have actually got off my back side and blogged!! As you've gathered, we have been up the Tanami, soaked up Broome, stayed longer in Port Headland than was necessary due to me getting a stomach bug, and finally landed in Tom Price, our western most destination for the trip.
Tom Price was a welcome stop on the trip. An odd stop though I must say. Russell and Linda are relatives of a good long time family friend. Although we had all been at various family gatherings
No quite. Russell is a mad engineering type who has lived for the last 20 years in the haven that is Tom Price. Surrounded by all of the engineering facilities provided by a dedicated mining town, he has been able to indulge in one of his passions. Radial engines. When we arrived he was busy doing the final preparations on his latest creation, a 100% scratch built 9 cylinder radial engine utilising Over head Cam 600cc Honda XR600 barrels and heads. Its fed by an intercooled supercharger and run by a Mega Squirt ECU. WhatĂ˘Â€Â™s itfor?? Just for fun he tells me. Its to big for a boat and not really aircraft worthy, the props just for fun(and cooling). I suggested strapping it to the back of something with big wheels and taking it out into the desert or down a beach!!!
We were also treated to a guided tour of the local secrets. Betsie got a rest on the back lawn and we all piled into his Disco and headed on out. Wittenoom, a long since abandoned Asbestos mine was the first destination. A deserted sealed road up the gorge past deep blue swimming holes and gravel banks flecked with bright blue chips of asbestos were what greeted us. We went right up the to the old workings and around the old mine village at the head of the valley. Such a pretty place, and so ghostly after 40+ years of abandonment. Not somewhere you should be on a windy day perhaps, and a bit of sensible caution around stirring up to much dust is probably advisable. The call for lunch was made by one of the big deep blue swimming holes and we spent an hour or so cooling off. We also headed up to the summit of Mt Nameless and Mt Sheila to take in the vast surroundings. An awesome few days in excellent company, not something we will forget in a hurry!!!
With time rapidly marching on, and lots still to do, we had to say our good byes and hit the road. The plan is was to head in to Newman, fill up every available container we had with good water, load up on as much fuel as we could squeeze in, fill the fridge and cupboards and head on out into the desert again for a few days. We wanted to do a bit of the Canning Stock Route. For those that cant be assed googling it, surveyed and created in the early 1900s, the scale of the Canning Stock Route is epic. It runs for almost 1800 kilometres, crossing 800 sandhills and four deserts in one of the most inhospitable environments on earth. 52 Wells were sunk along the route to sustain the mobs of cattle on their journey South.
The plans was to join the CSR at Well 23 by coming in on the Talawana Track and travel up to well 33, before heading back out on the Telfer mine road. It was roughly 700km off road between fueling points, most of that was going to be bumping along at 15kph over endless hundreds of kĂ˘Â€Â™s of corrugated track. By track, I mean just two corrugated wheel tracks through a desert that stretches out in every direction as far as the eye can see. Why not do more of the CSR you might ask? Most people bump along it for about 3 weeks to get from Wiluna to Halls Creek, requiring usually at least one pre arranged fuel dump. Not many people attempt it alone either. The section from 23 to 33 has a couple of restored wells, is less popular/travelled than the section from well 33 to Halls Creek so potentially in better condition and we were told its goes through some spectacular scenery, not just desert with rolling sand dunes one after another. We had mountains, salt lakes, table lands, black wood forests, desert oaks and even a cave thrown in for good measure!!! Add that to the Talawana track and you've got yourself a good solo mission for 5 or 6 days. The heat was intense, 35 to 38 degrees out side at about 10am. We were up to 43 in the truck on the second day. Luckily we hit well 26 at about mid day which had plenty of water for a cool off. Its amazing how quick your clothes dry in that sort of dry heat.
The reward at the end was Carawine Gorge. A magic place with running water after days in the desert heat. We spend the best part of the day there swimming, doing the laundry and checking over the truck. It was while I was under the truck doing a spanner check I met my first red back spider. Well, it actually met the blunt end of my 32mm ring spanner I should say. It was just hanging out under the truck on the side wall of the rear tyre. I was lying underneath checking the suspension bolts and spotted it next to my head........ Later that evening I got talking to our "neighboursĂ˘Â€Â™ and they mentioned another pool that was worth a visit before we left the area called Running Waters. Apparently it was another spring fed pool with clear blue water that was around 25 degrees, surrounded by giant paper bark gums. He gave me some sketchy directions, which I only half listened to, as I was sure I would find it on the map and work it out as you do. What I didn't realise was that when he said " small unmarked road off the main road", he really meant "two wheel tracks with grass down the middle that head off into the desert, off a little dirt road". It took some finding, and it wasn't until we met up with another vehicle that had also been camped at Carawine Gorge that same night and compared notes and maps that we eventually found it!!! By this stage I was starting to get a bit edgy about fuel. I had put 20L in at $3 a litre at Punmu as a safety net to get to Marble Bar, not intending to do some more beating around in the bush looking for cool stuff!!!!!
We made it to South Headland this evening, fuelled up with good fuel at a normal price of $1.74 per L, re stocked with food, loaded up with some bottled water for special treats ( all the towns run on bore water and it tastes salty and strange if your not used to it!!) and headed up the road a bit to a 24hr stopover camp at De Grey River. All the main highways over here have these campsites. They are like an large rest area with a toilet block and a couple of rubbish bins. The idea is you drive all day, rock on in and choose a corner, set up camp for the night as ya do, and head back out on the road the next morning. Its just what they do over here, and the entire country is set up for this kind of travel, its incredible, especially when you think of the drama we have trying too find somewhere to camp on a road trip in NZ!!! Anyhow, I digress. We are heading back up north to the Kimberly to do the Gibb River Road and eventually end up in Darwin. From there it is probably time to think about finding our way back towards Hervey Bay.
If you have noticed that Betsie is sporting tape on the headlights, its because its holding the drivers side headlight lens together!! Road trains are brutal and we got peppered the other day, smashed the headlight and put a chip right at the top of the windscreen, in a mongrel place that I canĂ˘Â€Â™t get too with my windscreen repair kit. PIA!!! I have marked the crack, and it hasnĂ˘Â€Â™t moved over the last week of corrugations and heat so it might be ok. Other than that, I swapped the tyres around, and fitted the two that had been on the rear for quite a while to the front. For what ever reason they have worn in such a way, and been fitted in the correct way, to now make the steering pull to the center of the road. Tempted to swap left for right and see what it does. Wheel alignment still measures ok and all bushes are good, the only thing that's changed is the tyres. The only other thing I have done that is note worthy is park it up on a steep bank and squeeze an extra 750ml of oil into the transfer case and about the same into the gearbox. Being over full has shut the transfercase up heaps, it starts to complain a bit in the heat after a few hours at constant 110kph. The Aussie L.R guys reckon the extra oil volume means the temp stays down a bit, so taking their advice.
The mission continues...................
Betsie - You know it's rough when...
It's been a while since I blogged. Things have been going fairly well, Alex is coping by singing non stop about anything that comes to mind, drawing in his books, eating what ever he can get his hands on (Banana bread is the new favorite) and demands strawberries everytime we go to a supermarket!!! To him,the perfect campsite has sand were we can build a garage and roads etc for his dump truck. He's also pretty good at undoing his seat belt, climbing in the back and lying down on the couch the
My observations from the road are that for a country that is known as being dry and barren, it is absolutely teaming with wild life. It's hard to describe, there are so many birds everywhere, from flocks of parrots, to crows, pelicans, to eagles with a 2.5m wing span. Not just the odd eagle or hawk either. The other day at Karumba, I counted 47 eagles soaring above an area, just circling. We past a five of these giant eagles today busily shredding a recently deceased Roo on the side of the road. The ground is alive with insects, termites, ants, crickets and yes, flys. It's been a real surprise to me the shear numbers of native animals just doing there thing everywhere!!!
The drama with the suspension lives on. We did a huge section on good sealed roads from Karumba to Mt Isa. On leaving Mt Isa to head to Birdsville the sealed road turned into a single lane of sealed road down the middle with a gravel run off strip on either side. The seal deteriorated the further we got from town, and at 90km/h on this surface it started to show up some issues I hadn't expected. The dreaded wheel shimmy. We stopped for lunch at Dujarra, and I got under the front with the pry bar and torch, and got Sarah to shake the truck from side to side as hard as she could. There was some movement on the panhard bushes, they hadn't failed, but you could see the rubber was deformed and hanging out the side of the bush. The same scenario for the radius arm bushes, the rubber was all deformed away from the center of the bush, and the left rear bush had spat some of the rubber out the side. Yay.
If only I had noticed it the night before, I could have dropped it at a shop in MT Isa and said "fix please", but now we were 150ks from town and I had some decisions to make. We were parked in a camp site sort of area in Dujarra, there was shade, a toilet, water and safe for Alex. I decided to fit the spare radius arm bushes which were a two piece bush, so no special tools required. The catch was the Panhard rod bushes, the ones I had as spare required a press to fit. Rather than disturbing the panhard rod, as the vehicle was still drive able, we decided the next day we would take it back to Mt Isa and get the spare bushes fitted. So now we have no spare bushes left.
I rang around in Alice, and have ordered a set of two piece poly bushes for the panhard from Pedders Suspension. I have also sorted out genuine Land Rover radius arm bushes and panhard rod bushes from the Land rover agent in Alice. The plan is once we get there, I will get the genuine bushes fitted to everything, and retain the two piece bushes as spare, and also have the two piece panhard rod bushes aswell, so I can fit them on the side of the road. I'm kicking myself I didn't have them with me, but at least with having the press in bushes, I saved my self a long wait if I had had to get them ordered in to Mt Isa.
In order to get to Alice, we have to cross the Simpson desert first. Let's hope it all hangs together, I will be looking after Betsie more than ever now!!!!
Betsie - Put the jug on, it's a long one
Lots to say, lots of photos to share and we are finally almost there!!!
First up, let's talk about Betsie. There hasn't been a lot so far, but enough to make me vigilant and regular with my checks.
We had a clunk when cornering sharp under brakes around the Daintree area. Rear bolt on front passengers side radius arm need a tweak up. A few other suspension bolts needed a tweak as well during that spanner check.
I noticed a wet mark up the side of the gearbox during routine
The pop top has been outstanding. The rubber seal on the passengers front end started to slip off, easy fix, stripped off the whole seal down the side to take the tension off the corner and refitted the corner. Hasn't moved since. One of the catches seems a bit average, it seems to move rather than pull the roof down tight, so keeping a close eye on that incase it's showing metal fatigue, as all the bolts are tight. Nothing like sitting up the top with the windows open spotting croc's etc with the torch at night, Alex loves it!!
My door developed a rattle making the corrugations sound worse than they were (ok, you could hear my door above all the other shaking, squeaking and rattling going on). A quick adjustment of the striker on the pillar solved that for now.
The next up coming repair is on the snorkel. The corrugations have ripped the mounting screws out of the cast alloy windscreen frame. There's a lot of leverage on them, especially with the pre cleaner, in fact it could really do with some kind of diagonal brace at 90ged to the snorkel. For now, It looks like I can possibly drill right through the windscreen frame, and manage to replace one screw on each bracket with a nut and bolt. The other screw positions are hidden behind formations in the casting. That's tomorrow mornings experiment. The pre cleaner is awesome. Everyday I tip at least a tea spoon of dust out on my morning pre start check over.
The trip so far......... Put very simply, it's a bloody long drive up here from Sydney!!!!
The Bloomfield track was steep and slippery, but a great drive. Looks like it all took a hammering from Cyclone Ita in April. We stayed just out of Wajul Wajul down a sneaky track to a swimming hole. It also looked like it had been wrecked in the cyclone, the rope swing above a large gravel bed was a bit of a give away!! Some odd happenings during the night unfolded at that camp site. A mysterious vehicle stopped out by the end of the track at 1am in the morning and started its engine at half hour intervals for a minute or so, lead to an uneasy nights sleep. By uneasy, I mean I hopped out of bed, got the truck ready to go (we never leave anything outside at night anyway) , put the roof down, got Sarah into bed with Alex, and I sat in the passengers seat with my sleeping bag over me, the doors locked and the keys in the ignition ready to get the hell out of there if required!!!! I suspect they were pinching fuel out of the road work machinery parked just up the road from us, and we really had no reason to worry as they would have had no idea we were there. But if someone had seen us go in there earlier......................
Archer Point was awesome, sunny, breezy, and ya can't swim. Grrrrrrr. Got to play with the solar panels though.
We hit Cooktown just at the right time, there was a fuel truck delivering fuel and there had been no Diesel in town for the last two weeks!! It was there we also realised how much of a good move it was to ditch the gas stove for the liquid fuel stove. It was $47 to fill a companion bottle, with an hours wait. How does that work??
Elim beach was nice enough, but if we had another vehicle with us, we could have driven 15km north up the beach to the river mouth and stayed there!!! At least that's what the two guys I spoke to at the beach access were going to do, on the next low tide. Next time I reckon :)
Lakefield national park was good, so many tracks, I wanted to explore them all to find that hidden gem, but alas time wasn't on our side. Sweet water lake was magic, white Lillie's, birds everywhere, crocs, frogs, green ants, and termite mounds. All we get at home is the constant hum of bloody Wasps!!!!
Heading north from Lakefield national park, I almost turned round and went back!!!!! I new as soon as we hit the Peninsula Developement road it was going to get bad. I thought it was pretty bad out to Archer Point and Elim beach, but this was another level again. I had the fronts down at 25psi, and the rears at 35psi so they looked like they were bagging about the same, but I just couldn't do it. There was no where that was smooth enough for you to get through that 40 to 60km/h zone to get up on top of them and do 80km/ h. Then if you did manage to get to that speed, sure enough there would be a dip in the road, a pot hole, a soft patch, a corner, another car coming in the other direction doing 120km/h with a monster cloud of dust billowing out from behind its enormous caravan swallowing up any visibility and peppering you gravel as it went by, or, the corrugations just got MASSIVE, and you just had to slow down.
As it turned out, once we turned off the at the junction of Weipa and the cape, the road improved and you could do 80km/h with the corrugations nothing more than a slight hum. Untill you hit a pot hole, a dip, a soft patch, a corner, or passed another vehicle going like a bat outa hell creating a dust storm worthy of any central Australian Desert!!!
While I was making repairs to the drive flange at the Morton Telegraph station, a couple of guys approached us to make sure all was ok. We bumped into these same two vehicles at Palm creek at the start of the OTT. One was in a brand new Patrol, which had 4000ks on the clock when he left ACT, and the other was in Disco 1, a nice truck with a sensible set up. He drove down through the easy track, and winched him self up the far bank. The Patrol driver had a sneaky track he had been told about, that brought us onto the OTT just up the road, so we opted to tag along with him.
If it hadn't been for meeting these guys, I would have given the OTT a miss. The main track was fine, quite washed out and I was glad to have the locker and loads of suspension travel, but there was plenty of traction. The easy crossings were deep and technical, and people just seemed to crash through them oblivious to the damage to their vehicle they may have just inflicted. Cockatoo creek was the most technical, we had four people standing in the creek marking the route, and the water was over knee deep in some places. After we were all through, someone in a prado with a trailer just hit it straight across the middle. Didn't even get out to look. I don't think they will be driving that home, rainbow colored water............. One un named ford saw us with a tide mark half way up the doors and water lapping at the top of the bonnet. It's always that catch 22, to go back the way you have come could well be worse than the obstacle immediately in front...
Gun shot, well, you gotta be really keen to use your winch, have a super long winch extention, be prepared to burry the front of your truck in the mud while you set you winch up, scrape your rear end all the way down the rock face, the cross the creek, and do three different winches to get up the other side. Waste of time when your thousands of ks from home, and thousands of dollars poorer if you need to get your truck recovered out of there to the nearest work shop!!! There is a perfectly good bypass........... Man or mouse???? In this case, pass me the cheese :)
We parted ways with those two guys at Elliot falls, as they were going to head out Vrilya, and we wanted to keep going north, and look at heading to Vrilya on the way back. As we had stayed at a few camp sites, and stopped at a few road houses, I had a chance to talk to a few people who where on their way back from the cape. Easy to spot the red dusty vehicles from the clean ones still heading up! From talking to them I had started to form a picture about the dreaded Nolan's brook crossing. It was deep. It was worse than ever. Two well kitted out defenders on their way back had gone as far, and decided that it was just to risky, well over bonnet height. Camped at Canal creek last night, another guy in a monster 80 series on 35's with way to much money spent on suspension said that 30 dead vehicles have been salvaged from there in the last two weeks, and there lots more in town suffering consequences of having been stuck in the deep water.
Needless to say, we branched off the OTT just before Mistake Creek and headed on north to catch the ferry over the Jardine river. Whilst waiting for the ferry, a guy came over for a chat. Another Defender driver. His was parked in the camp site beside the waiting area. Dead. Another victim of Nolan's brook. I got quite curious when he said the sump was all twisted and there was an enormous split up the side of the block. I just had to go and see!!!! This Defender 110 was a monster. 33x12.5's, reckoned he had 10k of suspension under it, it was HUGE. Long story short, got stuck with the bonnet submerged, water got in around the air box lid and hydrauliced whilst waiting for the tow out to happen. I got a good pic of the split block on the proper camera so you will have to wait for that until I get it off. It was a 200tdi. We will definitely go and see Nolan's and the old Jardine crossing on the way back down, but I'm not putting Betsie anywhere near it!!!!!
For now we are enjoying the peace and tranquility of Crocs infested Wroonga Point. School holidays finished last week, so we have it all to our selves. Walk to the tip tomorrow, and no I haven't forgotten our precious cargo Rex..............
Peter & Sarah Hal
Betsie - The Grand Scheme
We are finally somewhere exciting. As if just being here wasn't exciting, but this is were it starts to get good!!
We crossed the Daintree river on the ferry this afternoon, and are heading up the coast towards Cooktown. We stumbled across magic little spot down by the river with a swimming hole. I can't find the name of the river on any of my maps so might have to go and read the sign on the bridge just up the road. Usual story when your looking for a quite spot to camp, look closely on
The plan is to do the servicing on Betsie in the morning, and see how much of the day is left following that. We have only just ticked over 4700ks, so it's a few hundred early for an oil change, but in terms of the route we are taking north, it makes sense to do it now. It also hasn't had a decent spanner check since Hervey Bay, so it'll be a full inspection of everything.
The plan is to go through the Daintree National Park by heading up coast via the Bloomfield track, to Wajul Wajul, and arrive at Cooktown. From there we might head to Elim beach if we can get permission, otherwise we will nosey on through Lake Field National Park via Battle Camp road to meet up with the Peninsula Developement road at the Musgrave Road house. I'm still on the fence about Cape Melville, in that you can't do everything in the time available, and it's not a through route. It's a detour of around 260ks which is a long way in low range, but it does look spectacular!!!
Betsie - Things that go bump in the night
Well, more like things that make strange unexplainable noises in the engine!!!!!
Yesterday we filled up at Blackdown, and I used the high volume truck pump like I always do. I then moved over to the airline while Sarah was inside paying. I was halfway round checking the tyres and I noticed there was a different noise coming from the engine. I assumed that because I was squatting down beside the rear wheel and the front of the truck was tight up against a steel shipping container, I was
We drove another few hundred meters up the road to a shop Sarah wanted to go into, and I noticed the noise was still there. While she was inside I popped the bonnet for a better look/listen. It certainly wasn't like any normal belt noise, and wasn't coming from the usual places this engine makes belt noise from. If I had to pick a spot I would say front of the engine, the drivers side and rotational. All the belt driven stuff in on the passengers side of the engine. Needless to say there was a definite feeling of panic and a knot of dread in my stomach. Yay, serious engine trouble.
I was playing with the revs to see if it got better or worse, if it sped up with the engine speed etc, and it suddenly disappeared and didn't come back. Hmmmmm, ok, a strange rotational noise that magically fixes it's self. Just what you want. We did another 250k's that afternoon, stopping and starting and it was all ok. All of the pre start checks proved everything was as it should be the next morning, and we have done another 400 odd k's today, and it's running like a dream.
Needless to say I lay awake all last night staring at the roof churning away on possibilities. My theory is it was the injector pump. Dumping the fuel in from the high volume pump has stirred up some crud in the tank, which either restricted the pick up, or gave the lift pump a hard time, and the injector pump was struggling for fuel and was making some odd noises in complaint. My revving the engine relieved the blockage and it's sorted itself out. For now. Either that, or the cam belts about to break because the tensioner bearing has seized up, or a cam bearing has nipped up onto the cam shaft and is now wearing out the block, or the oil pump is wearing into the timing cover, or the cam pulley or injector pump pulley has come loose, or the fan bearing is about to fail.
Non of that makes sense, the only thing that does is the injector pump. It's all still going really well, better than ever, so who knows. Hope it doesn't bite me in some really inconvenient time and place!!!
Other than that, I have list count of the dead Roos and pigs, and we have all had a swim in the Reid River this arvo, so all is good!!! Pete.
Betsie - On the Pacific Highway
What an action packed couple of days!!! We arrived at the Expedition Center yesterday (Friday) at about 8:30am and loaded up the remaining odds and ends, swapped the gas struts on the roof, fitted the curtains etc etc. From there the next stop was to pick up the Sat phone. Some minor issues with that regarding payment, in that they usually deal with mining company accounts so didn't want to deal with cash or credit card. We ended up leaving them to figure it out amongst them selves for a few hours
I think it took Sarah the best part of 2 hours in the Super Market to get everything required to stock the vehicle up from scratch!! By this stage the day was rapidly disappearing and I had wanted to get 250km away from Sydney to Mungo Brush. We slapped the shopping in the back, the meat and in the fridge and hit the road, the idea being once we got to camp we could then figure out where it all needed to go at our leisure.
The highway out of Sydney was horrendous. The traffic was fine, the actual road was rough as guts! It was concrete, with patches on top of patches, mixed with the odd piece of asphalt just for good measure.
Daniel from Mulgo had said he thought the spigot bush on the fly wheel was worn as he thought he heard it rattling when he was moving it round at his work shop. Didn't make sense to me as I replaced everything only 1500ks ago. Sure enough, I found the noise. It was the bling alloy gear knob and it was loose, and even after a tweak back up tight, it soon came loose again. It sure made a racket when it started to come loose!!!!
The other strange one, is i thought the steering felt vague, well more vague than usual anyway. There seemed to be slightly more play in the steering, as if the steering box needed adjusting.
We arrived at the camp site called Banksia Green, which was a little sheltered camp site nestled behind the sand dunes of a big long white sand beach with clear blue water. Of course by the time we arrived it had been dark for two hours already and we still had all the shopping to put away.... Alex and I played catch in the dark with our head torches on, using a ball that lit up when you bounced it. It was pretty late by the time the two of us were allowed back inside, but Sarah did a good job of sorting it all out. Little did we know we had an audience, it wasn't untill a few minutes after we had turned all our lights out that the Dingos came prowling for a closer inspection. They slipped through the campsite like shadows in the moon light.
This morning (Saturday) we awoke to bright clear sunny skies with some good heat in the sun. After breakfast and a bit more sorting out of gear, we ventured over the dunes to the beach to be greeted by Dolphins playing in the breakers. I was surprised at how warm the water was, so naturally I had to go in for a swim! It wasn't long before Sarah and Alex joined me :)
I was busy doing my morning checks on Betsie whilst trying to figure out what was going on with the loose gear knob. Such a strange thing to happen out of the blue, and it just kept coming loose within a few k's of tightening it. Why had it never happened before??? Even stranger was that the point that it went tight was now further round than usual meaning the shift pattern was shown off center. So strange. I came up with a few ideas to remedy it, and ranked them in order of desperation, should the first idea fail. Thread tape, then lock tight, then epoxy, then drill a hole in it and fit a self tapping screw to lock it. Worst case I throw it in the bin and fit one from Repco in Brisbane. Actually, that might slot in right after the thread tape idea.
I hit it with thread tape, and crossed my fingers. Next I examined the steering. Nothing was amiss underneath, so it traced my way back up through the linkages to the steering wheel. Something was loose, but the big nut in the middle (haha) was tight. Hmmm. Turned out there are four small bolts that hold the center of the steering wheel boss to the outer of the steering wheel boss and they had worked loose. How?? Why??
All I can think is that during shipping it's been subject to a constant vibration for days on end and it's been at just the right frequency to upset the gear knob and those bolts. Otherwise, who knows, everything else looks fine!!!!!
We only got as far as Smoky Cape this afternoon, but in doing so we had a look at the light house, and found a camp site early. Alex saw his first kookaburra and his first Hoppers, which was fun to see. He's been hopping around since.
We had just sat down to eat ( potato bake in the camp oven and sausages ) when we saw the first flash of lightening followed by a clap of thunder and the rain started. I had been watching the sky change for the last few hours, so we were ready for it!!!
So right now we are all tucked up inside, Alex and Sarah are watching a movie and I'm tapping away on my iPad. Cosy :)
Betsie - A big day in Sydney
It's been a big day. First up, there is no conceivable way I could navigate Sydney in a car without a GPS. At one stage we were on the M5 in a tunnel that went for nearly 6km, which of course threw the GPS reception off, only emerged at the far end of the tunnel and miss our exit ramp while the gps was still figuring out where we had ended up!!! We are getting to see some off the beaten tourist route parts of suburban Sydney as we go, so it's all fun. It was good to finally see Betsie again and
Betsie - Bye Bye Betsie
We loaded Betsie into the container at the port of Tauranga and said good by to her for nearly a month. We will be reunited at the Expedition Center in Sydney on the 22 June. The voyage to Sydney will arrive on the 2nd June, and it should have cleared customs and been delivered to the Expedition Center by the 10th of June. A Pop Top roof is being fitted at the Expedition Center, so it should be well under way when we arrive on the 22nd June.