Sep 23, 2013

Coober Pedy - Kenilworth September 2013

With the decision made to return to Bushtracker in Queensland to get the repairs done we said goodbye to Rick and Julie and headed South. We battled a strong head wind and though our speed was very conservative the fuel economy rocketed up to 27lts per 100kms !!! Instead of getting our usual 400 + klms per tank we achieved only 300klms! Thank goodness it only lasted that day and we pulled in at Lake Hart Lookout for our 1st night. It was blowing a gale so we didn't sit outside any longer than to watch the sunset.

Lake Hart Lookout

 The next day we were up and on the road by 7am and around midday pulled into the BP truck stop at Port Augusta for fuel for the car and ourselves. We had a very filling burger each and one of the best bought Cappuccino's we have had. Now we were starting to travel North and because this wasn't a site seeing trip we decided to travel the route the quickest up into Queensland, coincidentally it's almost the same roads we traveled on just weeks before. The Oulaw Motorcycle Club the Rebels were having an Australia wide club run and we were getting passed by groups of them, think what you will it's an impressive sight and sound to be overtaken by mobs of bikies, we were relieved they didn't do a Mad Max on us.


One of their support vehicles must have driven past us 3 or 4 times, we ended up getting waves. At one point we came across a couple of bikes stopped on the side of the road, i slowed down to see if all was ok and got the big thumbs up.

 The trip at this stage was fairly uneventful, we stopped at one truck bay for lunch and saw this 5th Wheeler with a damaged hub, at a good guess it looks like they lost the wheel, hub from bearings that had collapsed causing it all to let go. No one was around so we guessed they were off getting repairs organised. What did amaze me about this particular 5th Wheeler was the very light suspension set up, i sure wouldn't feel confident having that set up under a Van the size of that.

 Queensland has the WORST bitumen roads in Australia ! We had driven up through Broken Hill and on up to Cunnamulla, there we made a right turn and headed through St George and Dalby. The flooded black soil has destroyed the bitumen surface and we had a rough ride. Amazing that people put so much emphasis on corrugated tracks when main roads like these are allowed to be in such terrible condition. The other thing we noticed was hundreds of dead roo's and emu's, with very little water and rain fall out these parts the animals are all feeding along side the roads and becoming road kill by the many trucks and cars traveling.

An old cottage at Kainjkillenbun
The Bun Pub
We stopped a night at Westmar opposite the hotel and received a message from friends Stephen and Robyn [Gone Bush] that they were at Blackbutt showgrounds and had a wheel bearing problem with the van, coincidently that was the route we were going so arranged to call in the next day. Blackbutt is a lovely town, reasonably priced camping at the showgrounds of $8 per night, water but not power. The Town also has one of IF not the best Bakery we have visited and we have seen a few, i love my pies !! Well these were superb, so much so we ended up buying 10 for take away to go in the freezer.
The Beef, Red Wine and mushroom i would give 10/10, the Chunky steak a 9/10 and Vickie said the Lamb and Rosemary Pie was the best she has had. During our time there i also fitted in a Crocodile Pie, their Gold Medal winning gourmet pie, to me it tasted like Chicken Mornay, and though it was nice i preffered their beef style pies.

The afternoon was spent chatting with Stephen and Robyn and later another Van pulled in and it was an old contact i had with the VKS-737 HF network, Stuart and his wife Jane, they along with another couple joined us all for a few drinks around the fire before we all got in our vans and watched the AFL game between Fremantle and Sydney, what a top game and good result.

We are now based back at Kenilworth, the same spot we were just a few weeks ago, the van repairs have been put back until Monday as we are waiting for Insurance approval  ..... what have i always said about having plans ....... they just never work for us..

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