This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2004 Travels September 13

MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER     PORT AUGUSTA

John worked on the van brakes, with encouragement from our van neighbour, who hailed from WA.

Whilst the rig was laid up, I decided to wash our bedding and towels. It was a good drying day for these.

The brake problem apparently lay in the fact that John hammered the magnet into place on its arm, at Yulara, thus ensuring it could not move as it was supposed to do. I was not sure what he was thinking when he did that! Anyway, he seemed to have now fixed the problem.

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Hooked up to test the brakes – Port Augusta

I appreciated having the day when I could walk around the caravan park, as well as just stretch out and relax. I love Truck and it had been an excellent vehicle for our purposes, but passenger comfort was not its greatest attribute.


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2000 Travels November 28

TUESDAY 28 NOVEMBER   KALGOORLIE TO CAIGUNA   589kms

We were breakfasted, packed up, hitched up, and at the mechanics by 8.30am.

I hung around for an hour and a half, while John and the mechanic worked on the system. It was much more complicated than the mechanic had expected – and the fault was in the brake on the other side from where the previous work was done! Anyway, it got fixed, and I was wrong in thinking that the problem was with the brake controller in the Truck.

We nearly drove away with the van wheel nuts not tightened up again!

Refuelled at Kambalda – $1.11cpl.

It was then a long drive, as far as Caiguna Roadhouse, with its attached caravan park.

Fortunately, it was cooler than on Saturday.

The country was somewhat varied, but overall, pretty flat. There were some dry salt lakes at intervals between Kambalda and around Norseman. A slight rise over the Fraser Range gave an outlook over the very flat surrounding country.

Initially the vegetation was dominated by low-ish mallee type eucalypts and the brilliantly orange trunked salmon gums, interspersed with lower regrowth and shrubs, with bare sandy soil between bushes. As we drove east, the trees became further apart and in areas there was just low grass and shrubs.

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Highway 1, west of Caiguna

We spotted a new bird for us – a purple crowned lorikeet – near Norseman.

There was steady truck traffic on the highway, but we had no problems with these. It was a rather good road.

We stopped in a roadside parking area to eat our lunch.

Not long after passing Balladonia Roadhouse, we entered the 90 Mile straight stretch, Australia’s longest totally straight stretch of road – almost 150kms long. I wanted to stop for a photo by the sign, but John was not so inclined.

By the time we reached Caiguna Roadhouse, at the eastern end of the Ninety Mile Straight,  it was time to stop. We did not want to be driving this road, with its wildlife, at dusk.

Our powered spot at the attached caravan area cost $16.50. It was basically a parking spot on gravel and asphalt, by a power pole. No shade. But it would do for the night.

Tea was gazpacho, salmon cutlets, salad, followed by fresh mango.

John found one of the van’s brake clips in his overall pocket. He was definitely most unhappy about this!

Early night.

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2000 Travels November 19

SUNDAY 19 NOVEMBER   DONGARA TO PERTH   382kms

We were away early, heading for Perth on the Brand Highway.

It was a pleasant enough drive, mostly through almost flat farming country – grain growing. There were occasional areas of rougher scrub country on rises.

Just after Gin Gin, without warning, the caravan brakes came on! At first, John thought the bearings had gone. As he was investigating, a very pleasant man driving a road works water truck, pulled up to see if he could help. He and John took off a van wheel and found that the magnet had come adrift in the electric brake. They took it out, wound the brakes out – and we could go again! There are still some nice people in this world, it seems.

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Our generous helper

We had not long gotten going when we had to pull over again, when John’s nephew M phoned, for a travel chat!

At the time of the breakdown, we had decided to make for the nearest Perth caravan park, at Caversham, so we made our way there.

Then John decided he wanted to be closer to the caravan spare part places, so we were off again – to the rather swish Perth International Village Caravan Park. Nights here were $18,90 for a powered site, which was reasonable, considering the facilities.

Tea was cold silverside, mashed potato, coleslaw.

Lots of TV channels to choose from, now.

11-19-2000 perth