Next stop Mitchell Falls, ah hem... At this point Arnie let his personality be known, he drives like a kangeroo, boing boing boing, uh oh. Rolled up the Kalumbaru Rd (a side track off the Gibb, so as you can imagine it was a high quality piece of road engineering, judder judder) and into Drysdale Station where we leapt out the car and ran to the bar for a lovely cold beer with our man Hugh, oh joyous high spirits, for now: Arnie henceforth decided he was going no further and so pushed him into the campsite having made the decision that the best way to fix him would be to consume lots of beer. Genius, in the morning he started but we still spent much hands on hip time contemplating what was wrong and sadly had to abandon the Mitchell Falls and head back to the Gibb. On which road we had the ultimate pleasure of seeing someone else broken down (yippee)!
Just about rocked up to El Questro Station (not however before stalling the car in the middle of a croc infested river - aaaaarrrggh and they like Germans too, I'm travelling with the wrong people!!!) and shock horror made a mad dash for the cold beers! A few rounds later and I had fire coming out of my ass. Think that one needs a little explanation perhaps as may give the wrong impression... Being the invisible shy kinda person I am ended up in front of whole bar helping out for a 'rodeo demonstration' that somehow involved putting burning objects in close proximity to my most precious organs (mon derriere) and then having them extinguished by my man Buddy through use of whip (not sure exactly what rodeo that's from though)! Spent the days with much gorgeous Gorge action and swimming in waterfalls and dropping valuable items in rivers and stuff (whoops), it was totally awesome dawson wonderbra (some very very bad german there).
Aargh, sooo much stuff to write here... a few more gorges and we made it back onto real roads (country lanes) and got into Kununurra (which is apparently hard to say with a german accent, ha ha) to do some on the go repairs (blue tacking holes in fuel tanks, etc, shhhhh) before getting into Purnululu NP via 2 hours of bumpy winding track in the dark (ignoring all practical advise about driving at night) only to have to utter the immortal phrase "the bikes are gone" - yep road too bumpy for the poor blighters and they fell off somewhere on the way!! (found them in a crumpled heap on way back). Spent day wondering the Bungle Bungles (i.e. getting lost in them) and blitzed it outta WA into the Northen Territories (a new state, another world) to Katherine, around 2am and Arnie had had enough and completely kaputted on us. The transmission was blown so we had to do the final 200km's to Katherine with no gear other than 4th. Nnnnnaarrrrrgh!!!!! Finally arrived in Katherine, THE single worst place in the world around 5am and spent the day tracking down the most miserable monkey like mechanic in the world, Steve "it'll be ready tomorrow definitely" the Wrecker. I HATE him. Katherine sucks. nB new gearboxes apparently not that cheap, nnnnaaararrrrrrrggghhhhhh!!!
I'll leave the story at that for now as it just seems to go on and on and on and on...
Lessons of the week include:
1. Commonly used phrases whilst camping: "where is the...?"
2. make no unnecessary stops, do not turn off the engine unless entirely essential, and who needs 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th or reverse gear when there are boys to push?
3. NOTHING will beat a cold beer and NOTHING beyond the necessary should be done prior to consuming one (fixing car, putting up tent, showering, anything)
4. no matter how little drinking water available a waterfight is NEVER a waste
5. When asked what time it is, it is sufficient to reply "September"
6. I am not a mechanic, no matter how many times I say the word 'thingamyjig'. I can now test a spark plug to see if it works, it does. Bzzzzzzz...
7. Urban myth 'Pavarotti is dead' is true, in his place we ate a LOT of pasta and sauce. Too much some might say, not enough others (Benno) would say. I wouldn't complain if I didn't see pasta and sauce for a few days (hours).
9. Mika is the best. Night at the Roxbury most definitely not.
10. There really is nothing good to say about Katherine. Not one thing. Especially as I have to go back there...