2/9/21 - 17/9/21
Life is always interesting - we are always learning…….
Lifes new lesson to 'the left over Breakdowners' ANT's…….yes ANT's…… in particular Ginger Ant's. Ray & Pam's air conditioner had stopped last Sunday night when we were out at Scott & Michele's for dinner. Out in search Monday morning for someone to repair the AC but to no avail. The week's daily temperature has been hot 37 degrees daily with overnights of 25 degrees and the humidity has set in. So all four of us have sweltered throughout the nights. A repairman was finally found and on inspection Ginger Ants had moved into the circuit board of the AC. At that, we realized we had the same tiny ants that had recently been sited in DABUS. A rush down to the supermarket and we found the last two cans of surface sprays in Woolies. Back at DABUS and sprayed the ants and the next morning discovered them in the microwave and drawers, so a cleanout was required. It had taken nearly a week but Ray & Pam now have a new AC, we might have to join them in their camper to get some relief from the heat.
So…. Yes back to the Ginger Ants…..they love wires, fuses and anything electrical. They move into electrical panels, etc do the damage and then die, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
On Thursday 2nd September, our mechanic Tim, called in to give us the news we didn't want to hear. The current location of our radiator is unknown, 3+ weeks after ordering it, so he suggested we book the hire car for yet another week……..Not Happy Jan (Tim).
Again we are keeping busy, with our daily dip in the Hot Springs and gas bagging with other fellow travellers, life could be worse.
Sunday, Fathers Day, we needed to get out of town, so Ray, Pam, Alan & myself took off to Mataranka, as the market was on. On arrival into town only 5 stall holders were there, so it didn't take long to sight all the offerings for sale. We had pies for lunch at the local bakery and then a dip down at Bitters Springs. Just a quick 200k + round trip for a swim. The day ended with Fathers Day dinner with Scott, Michele, Ray, Pam and ourselves at the Katherine Country Club.
Tuesday 'The Ghan' arrives at 9am, into Katherine, with the passengers disembarking and going off on the Katherine Gorge tour. 'The Ghan' leaves Katherine Station at 1pm, so we slipped down and took some photos then drove around to a railway crossing to observe the Ghan train traveling along the tracks, a great sight to see.
The last two Saturday nights we were invited out to the RAAF Base at Tindel, thanks to Scotty and Michele, to the open air cinema. Michele is on the committee and could sign us it. Both nights were enjoyed sitting back with great company enjoying the burgers, chips, drinks etc whilst watching the movies. We saw Jungle Cruise and Free Guy with balmy nights and under the stars.
Our radiator arrived last Friday morning, (32 days later)only to be told by our mechanic Tim that he would fit it first thing Monday morning. Then later on Friday, he arrived into the yard and proceeded to repair/work on two other vehicles that had broken down recently. Again, not happy Jan (Tim). Our day finished off with a great evening at Scotty & Michele's house, where Scotty made and cooked up an awesome array of Pizza's, which was then followed by lots of naughty sweets.
NT Time - first thing Monday morning turned into Monday afternoon, when Tim arrives with a greeting of 'Good Afternoon'………… sitting waiting, waiting, waiting all morning, like we have nothing better to do…..The temperature is getting hotter this week with 38-39 degrees each day and my temperature was starting to boil. It's time to get the radiator in and to get moving.
After a few hours with Alan assisting Tim the radiator is in, so off for a drive around town. The nerves are raw, just so worrying that nothing is going to go wrong…….Back at camp, Alan discovers the radiator is bubbling, it seems like a deeper engine problem. A follow up call to Tim and he came back out to conduct a CO2 test with good results.
So the decision has been made to vacate Katherine on Wednesday but prior to leaving The Breakdowners decided on putting together a roast dinner and inviting our new friends that have been made, since we have been in Katherine. Roast pork and beef with heaps of veggies were on the menu, followed by Jodies wonderful dessert. Scotty, Michele, Peter, Jodie, Chris & Brenda joined Ray, Pam and us for dinner and a great night was had before saying our farewells. We will definitely keep in touch with everyone and will call in on our way up to Darwin next.
Katherine is a town that we have now called home for the last 42 days, it is a town that has grown on us. We have enjoyed meeting new friends, supporting the local business's and love the community feel about this town.
Goodbye Katherine…….until next time we visit….
Wednesday morning we left town by 10am and with much trepidation we finally arrived at Mataranka (100k) with no issues. The radiator cap is only on slightly, so not to build up the pressure in the radiator, we feel we will be nursing DABUS home. After a float down Bitters Springs and lunch we proceed southward bound, we decided it was way to hot is stop at any free camps, so travelled the 275km down to Daly Waters.
We booked in for two nights and enjoyed the atmosphere, food and the pool. Ray & Pam arrived on the second night, so it was great catching up with them again, (only after being apart for one night) we will probably be leap frogging with these two during our journey south.
This morning after leaving Daly Waters Pub, we checked out the Stuart Tree, where the explorer John McDougall Stuart is presumed to have carved the initial 'S' on this tree back in 1862 , during his successful journey from Adelaide to Darwin in 1861-62.
We then drove 10km onto Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn. Here for $28 for power & water with a free beer and wine it works out to be $13 per night for the power & water site. Here we sit under the shade of a large tree, after spending time in the new swimming pool typing up this new blog. We are enjoying the freedom of travelling again and have everything crossed that all goes well for DABUS.