Well – it’s happened. We’ve had a breakdown – not of the nervous variety – or maybe nearly – but the car has broken down in Tennant Creek. This was something we knew may happen on the trip but we were really hoping it wouldn’t! It looks like Peter Prado’s alternator has died.
We realised something was amiss when we pulled in to the Devil’s Marbles yesterday and noticed we lost the air-conditioning, then as we were parking, some new lights flashing on the dashboard. Matt tinkered around with it in the afternoon and concluded our starter battery was dead, but thought perhaps the alternator too was in trouble. So, the next morning we packed up, drove back (starting the car using our auxiliary battery) to Wauchope Pub (about 7km’s) and called RACQ to make use of our ‘Ultimate Cover’. They advised that as we were 113km’s from our nearest RACQ technician, we were 13km’s out of our ‘free callout range’ and it would cost $280 to get someone out to us. We decided to try to get to Tennant Creek ourselves – and if nothing else – on the recommendation of a nice truckie at the pub – to at least get 13km’s down the road and into our free callout zone! He said he would come behind us and pick us up if we got stuck! Well – we made it only just to Tennant Creek! We held our breath every kilometre of the 113km’s! Poor Peter Prado only just made it – conking out in front of the pub in the main street!! Matt will do a blokey post on all the technical stuff of what has gone on with the car once we actually confirm the RACQ man’s diagnosis of a dead alternator – aaaargh!!
So, we are at a caravan park in Tennant Creek (let’s just say it’s not our favourite place so far) until at least Tuesday which is the earliest we can get the parts delivered & installed.
It is a nice caravan park and our RACQ Ultimate Cover has come in handy and is paying our site fees and for a hire car should we need it. We have hot showers, it is warm (wahooooo!), we have mobile phone reception (read Blog & Facebook access), a pool, which although the water is freezing, the kids still spent half an hour in it, and a library down the road so somewhere to go for some reading and air conditioning, so it’s not all bad – we’re trying to stay positive and think on the bright side.
It’s been an ordinary couple of days. I fell down the steps of the camper and hurt my thumb (it’s really sore ok!), Matt has a serious dose of man flu (yes – he absolutely is suffering from pneumonia or typhoid fever – not just a cold!) our camera lense we were waiting on didn’t arrive in Alice Springs, the kids have been little terrors and now we have hit hotter weather our camper fridge is not staying cold when running on the gas – grrrrrr – this fridge has caused us lots of grief! Sigh ……….. and now the car has broken down.
I know, I know enough whingeing. We knew that things might get hard on the trip and this is part of it (Michelle – might need you to give me that pep talk you prepared for me!). It’s just a bit crappy to have a large car expense eating in to our funds with no jobs topping up the piggy bank grrrr! Anyway, the upside is that we will have some forced downtime which is nice! Matt and I have realised we are not very good at stopping and doing nothing – so with not much to see here and no car to really take us anywhere – look out for some blog updates coming along ……………….. or maybe I’ll really get in to this ‘do nothing thing’ and read a book, or something ……… we’ll keep you posted!! In the meantime, has anybody been to Tennant Creek and got any advice for us? And anybody out there got some thoughts on our b?!$#!dy not working again Dometic RM2350 camper fridge???