This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2007 Travels February 5

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This was an eventful day!

John had to go to Hedland for purchasing. Whilst there, he went to Casualty at the hospital to get them to check him out as he really wasn’t feeling any better. As well as the pain in his ribs, he had developed a rash that he thought was from his braces, or just from the heat, and fairly constantly salty, sweat soaked shirts. Nup – the rash was from SHINGLES! The rash had developed into a nasty one. It was, unfortunately,  too late for him to have the injection that would alleviate some of the symptoms, since this was the fourth day since the onset of symptoms. They gave him some strong pain killers.

It was fortunate that we were scheduled to go home this week.

Not far from the hospital, John was pulled over by a policeman for speeding. He was not having a good day! He told the policeman this, and that he was going too fast because he was “crapped off because I’ve just been told I have shingles”. The policeman let him off!

Back at the Village, John decided he might as well keep working, to take his mind off his ills. He safety taped the open electrical pits that the FMG man had been exercised about. The electricians’ company had to organize the covers – I wasn’t holding my breath.

After breakfast, three of the men had left to go to Hope Downs, to install a hut for Telstra. Some sort of reciprocal favour that BB had arranged. They took K’s company Landcruiser.

K worked on the punch list here. He was up and about again.

We all became concerned when someone phoned from Hope Downs because the men had not arrived. K thought they must have gotten lost – he thought they’d have been going down the BHP road south, but wasn’t sure. He couldn’t raise them on the sat phone, so we became even more worried. Turned out they did get somewhat lost. Missed a turn, or took a wrong one, and fetched up somewhere too far to the east. It was a real maze of tracks down there, as new mines were being developed all the time.

Then, in a true turn of bad luck, they got a flat tyre. There was no functional spare, because K had gotten two flats last week, and had not gotten around to organizing their repair. The sat phone they had with them was not working, either. It went flat last Sunday and had not been re-set by K, so it was not picking up the calls we were making to it. This was typical bloody poor management, that could have had tragic consequences.

Eventually, they phoned, from Newman, where they had been taken on a tilt tray truck, after someone came across them stranded out on the road. In Newman, they were lent a wheel that fitted, and got back here at 9pm.

That epic misadventure took all day – and they never got to Hope Downs.

There had been no fuel for our vehicles here, since last Wednesday. John called in a favour from one of the contracting companies – we had lent them gear – and they agreed to refuel our vehicles at their workshop. John drove the Acco across there, I took the bongo bus over.

K would be going on leave for a week from the 7th. A would be in charge – just as he was at the tail end of the RV1 build.

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