1st July 2012
First of all after I woke up was to look for my missing iPhone. It certainly wasn’t in the campervan but I knew it would be on the premises somewhere. Found it. The Roadhouse owners found it on the road where I jumped out of the van to enquire about a power connection. Phew. Personal Crisis averted! Even though the owner went abit funny with me as I joked about him selling it on eBay then when he asked for the password for the phone to check if it was truly mine, I joked it was 0000 as I was thick. He pressed it in and therefore invalid. Oops. I told him the real password. It worked. It seemed like Far North Queenslanders do not get sarcasm.
Then onwards to our vehicle problem! In my last post, I talked about my visit to Cooktown but on the way back, our vehicle mysteriously lit up all the warning lights on the dashboard. Consulting the guide book, we were to stop and call roadside assistance. Problem. We had no signal. So we had to carry on to the Roadhouse. We did get there in the dark but as we had no light we decided to wait in the morning. That time is here. We consulted the guidebook and manual. We checked the brake fluid, all ok. We checked the water coolant, all ok. We checked the oil, all ok. We checked everything, all ok. So why are the warning lights coming on?
We used the phone in the roadhouse to call roadside assistance. Problem. There was a problem with our RACQ membership and therefore didn’t want to send someone to us this far north in the outback. Feck. What to do? After a long discussion between Smera, Elsie and I, we thought there must be an electrical fault with the warning lights and we should just drive slowly to the destination where roadside assistance would reach us. Mount Molloy…180km away. Taking the wheel, I set us all off in the hope that we wouldn’t breakdown and be stuck in the outback ready to be eaten by the slavering dingos.
We passed Mount Carbine, everything seemed to be okay and finally we reached Mount Molloy.
Spying a pay phone, we called them up again and they finally sent us a mechanic. He quickly opened the bonnet and figured out the problem after a few tests. There was a problem with our Alternator causing our battery to leak. Hence why all the warning lights came on. He was amazed that we had driven from the Palmer River as the battery was very near to be flat and claimed that we were extremely lucky.
So we couldn’t drive anywhere from here now even though he charged up the battery for us. But he said the battery would leak again. We could drive on to Cairns but there’s no way of knowing we wouldn’t break down when we get there. Ringing our campervan company for advice, they couldn’t send anyone out to us today as it was a Sunday and would tomorrow once we ring back the next day. Great. We were stuck in Mount Molloy.
Luckily for us, we spied a rest area for campervans 2 mins down the road so we could pull up there for the night and wait til the next day. So we did that, not before my stomach growled after no breakfast and I stormed over to the only Cafe open here. I ordered a Bacon and Egg Hamburger and I was utterly amazed at the size of it! In Australia, you truly get your money’s worth no matter how expensive it is! I lovingly scoffed it.
Pulling up at the rest stop, we were greeted by 2 fellow elderly campers and their over excitable dog. The dog was just like my dog, a stubborn, demanding and playful crazy dog and I loved playing with it. It even did the same mannerisms as my dog as I played fought with it. Elsie loved talking to the woman as a fellow teacher and both Smera and I talked to the man. Both were Australian. He talked literally forever and I was bursting for the toilet. A bit of a know it all actually as he kept testing me if I knew something.
They left after to walk their dog and for the rest of the day was spent reading my books, playing games on my phone, playing cards, going for a wander and seeing 2 birds fight each other for a snake close by, and cooking dinner before settling down to watch a film inside the campervan on this cold night. Literally writing this in a jumper and jeans!
We wait with bated breath to see if we can get to Cairns tomorrow, if not…it’s another night in Mount Molloy. God save us.
When you said “all the lights lit up”, I immediately blurted out “alternator” … one of the scariest car problems to have, no less in the outback far from civilization!