THURSDAY 10 APRIL CANBERRA
Although we’d been up at a reasonable hour, we were late arriving at S’s place. John had not realized how far the caravan park was from S’s place, and so we did not leave early enough.
Thus, he was tense as we drove, and I do not find navigating Canberra easy at the best of times – that combination was not a great mix!
We got there about 10.30am. The baby – just over two weeks old now – was awake and being “social”. But clearly, like all new parents, his mother was looking very tired.
We left just before midday – did not want to overstay our welcome.
On son-in-law’s recommendation, we drove to a big shoe shop in Queanbeyan and bought John two new pairs of shoes. This was a remarkable event: normally, persuading him into one pair is a big deal. It is very hard to find even one pair that suit his totally flat feet. He hates spending money on footwear and is prone to buying cheap and nasty stuff. We bought a pair of Rivers shoes, and a pair of Rossi air cushioned boots. I was really pleased that he agreed to buy some good quality footwear.
Whilst in Queanbeyan, which we know quite well, we did some supermarket shopping. Refuelled – 95cpl.
Then drove to Woden, to the Land Rover dealer there. We’d noticed some liquid seeping down the shaft of the clutch pedal and John wanted to get this checked out. They said it needed a new master cylinder. So, we had a dilemma – the clutch might last a while longer, or it might not – no way of knowing.
John decided to try to get it replaced as we passed through Dubbo, tomorrow, as the Canberra dealer couldn’t fit it in until Monday next. We really needed to get it fixed, somehow, not wanting to take the risk of going as remote as we would be, without it being repaired. The further away from major centres one gets, the harder it becomes to get work done on Landrovers, so there was that to consider, too.
All this was really infuriating because this vehicle was supposed to have been thoroughly checked over and made ready for remote area travel, by the Doncaster Land Rover service centre, only a couple of weeks ago.
Back at the van – where we’d left the mobile phone – there was a message to phone Adels Grove, which I did. The boss said she did not want us there, now, until 29 April. As there had been late rains this season and late road closures, they were expecting a very quiet Easter holiday period and did not need us.
So – our dilemma was solved. We could stay longer here, get Truck fixed, and also dawdle a little on our way north. Almost three weeks to fill in – lovely. John phoned and booked Truck in.