Do I dare travel in remote regions, or am I jinxed?

Thursday, Oct 07, 2010 at 23:56

Member - Graham Watson (SA)

Do you ever get the feeling things never go right?
I have had several years of 4wd day trips from Canberra into the Brindabella ranges without any untoward events (except the time the clutch on my old 60 series packed it in just after we got back to civilisation). And in more recent times with short trips from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges. However all our longer trips have been bedevilled with problems.
Episode 1 Christmas Day 2004 Staying with in laws for Christmas and going to visit sister in law. There is an almighty bang as the right hand rear of the 60 series hits the road and the wheel goes rolling past me. Several studs sheared and others have had threads stripped. Fortunately it happened while travelling at low speed and not when we had been on the freeway the previous day.
Episode 2 April 2009 - 2 weeks travelling from Adelaide to Canberra and Sydney to visit Friends and Family followed by a few days in the Grampians. We get to Ouyen on day 1 and pull into a dirt carpark so my Daughter can take some photos. Getting Back to the car we hear the sound of escaping air and find a hole in the sidewall of a tyre. The only time we had been off the bitumen was when we drove into the carpark. I spent our time in Canberra getting a new tyre instead of catching up with friends.
Episode 3 October 2009 - A five day trip to do Googs Track with friends. We get 20km along the track when I start loosing momentum. The tyres have been let down so I shouldn't be bogging down. I get out of the car to have a look and I am not bogged, but there is a pink fluid running out from beneath the vehicle. The hose from the auto transmission to the radiator on my 90 series had ripped out of the radiator. Had the car towed back to Ceduna to be shipped back to Adelaide and fortunately there were enough spare seats in the vehicles we were travelling with to continue an abbreviated version of the trip. The radiator needed to be replaced but we caught the problem before the transmission was damaged.
Episode 4 July 2010 - Day 3 of a 3 week trip to Uluru, Palm Valley, Western MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs etc. Driving along Mulga Park road when the camper trailer decides it wants to lead for a change. I try to correct, the tongue of the shears through and all hell breaks loose. Result one rolled car and trailer, both write offs. No one was hurt, and another vehicle arrived within a couple of minutes. We were able to arrange transport to Alice Springs and to get the last cabin in one of the caravan parks (because of rain everyone was trying to convert campsite bookings to cabin bookings). We also got the last car available for hire, were able to bring my daughter and her friends return flights forward, and my wife and I were able to get the last two seats on the Ghan home ($180 each compared to $680 each to fly).
Episode 5 Sept 2010 - Getting back in the saddle for the first trip in the replacement 90 series. Going to the Flinders Ranges and Lake Eyre South with friends. Day 1 Reach Warren Gorge (20 km out of Quorn) after dark to hear the sound of air escaping from right hand rear tyre. Hurriedly find a camping spot. Change tyres in the morning and repair the punctured tyre. The repair holds pressure but fails the spit test with a very slight leak. Day 5 60 km out of Marree on the Oodnadatta Track heading to Coward Springs the left hand rear tyre bursts. Turn around and head back to Marree to get a new tyre before continuing on with the trip. Had the spare patched properly when I got the new tyre, but then found it leaked worse than my repair had.

With all those events do I say I should never dare go travelling in remote areas because something will go wrong? or do I say that at the end of the day everything worked out OK? Or do I apply Keatings J curve logic and say that though things got worse culminating in episode 4, they have begun getting better?
Graham Watson
BlogID: 2427
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