Up the Guts – Day 4

Day 4 Tuesday 18/6/19, Murray Bridge, intermittent showers 14˚

We slept well last night, perhaps it was exhaustion after a long day that was peppered with a lot of stress. Being quite a distance from town we catch a cab to Bridge Motors to see what the verdict is on the car. The mechanic shows us a burst coolant hose which he believes would have been hard for anyone to spot when servicing the vehicle. The car? Well that should be ready this afternoon. We breathe a sigh of relief.

A Darter takes flight in the houseboat marina, Murray Bridge, SA

Toothless and his Missus are back in town and head for our caravan park. The Prado’s need to buy a new gas connector hose for the BBQ and Elle’s new TV must be attached to its arm. Afterwards we adjourn to the caravan park to do a bit of washing but now Toothless is looking forlorn. Their bathroom hatch has blown off. We spend a relaxing afternoon, talking about where we’ll head for tomorrow, watching Toothless on the roof picking out the old silicone and fitting the new hatch (he’s the handy one of the lads). I grab the uke and tinkle a few tunes, Elle is doing the washing and trying to get a decent signal on the new telly as we’ve got 28 channels and she has only 1. At the edge of the park there are houseboats moored on the Murray and pelicans hover overhead.  There’s nothing like the feeling of being on the road on a lay day. The phone rings, ripper the car must be ready for pickup…

Toothless Johnno beavering away at the roof hatch silicone to the tune of a ukulele.

…the blokes at the garage can’t get the old girl started and suspect a cracked head, they certainly aren’t able to repair the car in the 3 day timeframe outlined by the RACV. Deflated, we contact the RACV Total Care folk and start the process of getting ourselves home. We used their service several years ago when we broke down in Rockhampton so we understand how they’ll get us, the car and the van home. With heavy hearts and a few tears we have a noisy farewell dinner in the camp kitchen and knock off a couple of those bottles of shiraz that we bought in Great Western and an extra large cheese platter to reduce our fridge contents as we’ve all got groaning fridges in readiness for the desert leg.

Summary Day 4 – 0kms, Power, Toilets, Showers, Water, Camels = 0, Car = 0. From celebration to commiseration.

24 thoughts on “Up the Guts – Day 4

      1. He’s in a top spot. In 2015 we went up the West coast and I broke my ankle at Edith Falls, so we missed Darwin by 300kms. In 2016 we called in there on a ship and loved the place, vowed to go back. Now this little mishap. Fun and games eh. BTW the folks at Katherine hospital were marvellous.

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  1. Oh my. Much worse than our last breakdown. Last year our Jeep (diesel) suddenly went into ‘limp’ mode when we were midway between Arizona and Alberta. We took it to the dealership and they said we could get it home, but it wouldn’t have normal acceleration. They weren’t kidding – big semi-trucks passed us on the mountain climbs!


    1. That’s a scary situation isn’t it? We had a similar problem with our old Jeep towing our van across Melbourne’s highest bridge. Even scarier was that the dealer wanted to charge $1000’s to repair it and our regular guy did the job for a few hundred.


      1. Seems like what happened to daughter’s Pathfinder at Xmas. Appeared to break a hose and overheat, but then was stuffed engine. They had stopped as soon as temp gauge shot up, too. We “cooked” a diesel engine on a Hilux, years ago – mechanic forgot to tighten lower hose fastening. But no sign of it on temp gauge – no coolant, no gauge working! For that reason, we have installed an engine block temp/low oil warning gauge on the Coaster.


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