SUNDAY 26 NOVEMBER WOODMAN POINT TO KALGOORLIE 676kms
We got away smoothly, before 9am.
It did not take long for John to realize that the van brakes were STILL not working!
When he and the mobile van mechanic “fixed” them last week, they worked connected to the man’s machine/controller. At the time, John did not think it necessary to test them out with rig connected to Truck. Now he was cross that he didn’t.
I suggested we stay in Perth, where all the big suppliers of parts, and repairers are. Or even get back to the man who was supposed to have fixed them. But he was determined to press on. So we negotiated the way with no braking on the van.
It was a long trip to Kalgoorlie, in more ways than one!
The outside temperature got steadily hotter as we went east. The Truck temperature gauge went up a bit too.
The day was enlivened by a phone call from G, the former colleague/friend who had touched base with us briefly in Devonport in April. So I caught up with his news.
We refuelled at Sawyers Valley – $1.02cpl, then topped up with twenty litres at Merredin where it was $1.08cpl.
Near Merredin, we suddenly developed a loud clunking noise from the wheel area. We pulled over, had a look and could not see anything amiss. Then drove on, slowly, trying to work out which wheel it was coming from. At this stage we were both thinking that this was all getting rather monotonous.
Realized it was coming from the van. When John investigated closely, he found the sheel nuts on one wheel were really loose – all bar one, which was sort of holding that wheel on! He then realized that, in his rushed repairs of a few days ago, he must have forgotten to tighten the wheel nuts properly. That was so nearly a disaster! He tightened them all up and we were right after that.
At Kalgoorlie, we went into the Prospector Caravan Park, for $18 a night.
We were told there was a severe storm warning for this area, so we took a site in the open – no shade trees this time, despite the heat!
The skies went a bit dark and cloudy, but no storm eventuated here. We heard later that it had hit Esperance, with 100kmh winds and much destruction. Missing that was at least one bit of luck for the day, for us. I guess finding the loose wheel nuts before the wheel actually came off, was another!
We also found out that today was Kalgoorlie’s hottest November day on record, at 43 degrees. No wonder we sweltered! When I showered, used the cold tap only – and it was warm. So was the water from our van tanks.
Tea was gazpacho, cold lamb, asparagus, fruit.
We worked out that it was going to cost us about $700 for fuel to go home. Normally we would not be doing such big distances in such a short time.
It was a warm night, but we managed to sleep.