Sir Leaksalot. 27/3-3/4/2011

Posted: April 3, 2011 in Oz

I’m in constant amazement at just how much stuff can leak on a Land Rover. The day before yesterday I mentioned to Megan that we had five separate leaks going on, the only thing that wasn’t leaking out, I stupidly said, was water. The next day the radiator top hose started leaking. It’s got to the stage that if I come out and there isn’t a mixture of engine oil, gear/transfer box oil, diesel and now, water under the car then something must be wrong. If it’s not leaking then it’s empty, is the attitude I’ve now taken. I paint a bleak picture; the truth is Harriet is doing rather well considering she has 260, 000 miles on the clock and we have just driven 2000kms in the last seven days.

It was a monster drive across the Nullarbor, a large unpopulated area of bush in south Australia. The only thing that broke up three days of constant driving was the occasional road kill and petrol stations charging prices that made me finally understand how BP makes millions in profit each year, even after polluting the entire east coast of North America. We filled everything up with fuel before we left civilization, including jerry cans, empty bottles of coke and a hot water bottle, as we had been warned about the fuel prices in the outback. We drove at pain staking 50mph in order to get the most from every last drop of diesel. We actually managed over 800 miles before having to fill up, a new record, although we might have cut it a little fine as we rolled into the petrol station running on fumes. There was a little bit of quiet time for ten miles or so before, as the tension in the car reached breaking point.

We also drove on Australia’s longest bit of straight road, putting a tick next to one of my life long ambitions (it’s on everyone’s list isn’t it?). To be fair though, you can’t physically drive a Land Rover in a straight line, as they tend to ‘wander’, and mine has a tendency to wander into on coming traffic as soon as it senses another car is coming, so it wasn’t as boring as it might have been in a newer car.

The road-trains are worth a mention too, as they are @$%& huge; 36 meters tends to be the average length. As they overtake you, (oh yes, they overtake!) at about 70mph, it has the same effect of the car being punched in the side by a wrecking ball, great fun.

We made it across the Nullarbor, camping in the truck stops and finally crossed into South Australia about four days ago. There is a border crossing as well, (we thought we had finished with them) but to be fair it’s only to check you aren’t carrying any fruit or veg across the state lines. This is meant to stop the spread of the fruit fly in Oz, they weren’t too bothered about the four kilos of Columbia’s finest in the back. (Have I made that joke before? so many blogs…)

We are now making our way down and around the Eyre Peninsular, stopping at lovely little campsites on the coast and watching with envy as the locals fish for fresh fish for their tea. Apparently I’m not a real man because I can’t fish, but I pointed out to my accuser that she wasn’t a real woman because she can’t crochet, a weak argument I know, but as it hasn’t been brought up again I must have touched a nerve. When the budget comes down a bit after all the fuel costs accrued over the last week we shall treat ourselves to some fresh fish.

We are  heading up to Flinders Ranges and then off to Adelaide. Anyone wishing to meet up with us should just follow the trail of oil, water and diesel left on the road behind us….

  1. Graham Taylor says:

    Sig, those waves look pretty decent dude. You should have got in for a wave, although the seals put me off as they mean sharks! Just trying to convince Emma to sell her engagement ring so we can grab a couple of flights and join you! Don’t think it’s gonna work though.

    Take it easy.

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