Australia, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Dunmarra, Manbulloo, 04 – 20 August 2021

Darwin

From Mungerannie I continued on the Birdsville Track South to Marree and then turned onto the Oodnadatta Track heading North-West to William Creek. I filled up at William Creek and turned East onto the William Creek Road which goes through the Woomera Rocket Range, a vast area bigger than some countries used by the Military and finishes up at Coober Pedy. I was not planning to stop at Coober Pedy but when I was filling up I noticed a bulge in the left rear tyre which is just below the fuel inlet. Next stop a tyre shop and they said the tyre was damaged and could not be fixed and should be changed confirming my suspicions. They did not have the tyre that I wanted so I decided to swap it for the spare tyre. This is a time consuming task  so I decided to stay the night. First I had to half empty the boot to get at the bolt that lowers the spare tyre to the ground. Next get the tools out and loosen the wheel nuts, then jack the car up, I brought a thick piece of timber with me just for this purpose (never thinking I would have to use it hahaha) so the jack would have a stable platform. Next remove the tyre and put the new one on and do up the wheel nuts until they bottom out, do not tighten or you might accidentaly roll the vehicle off the jack. Lower the jack and remove, then tighten the wheel nuts fully. Next secure the damaged tyre and reload the boot. Retighten the wheel nuts after driving a few hundred kilometers.

The damage to the tyre is called Staking and happens when you brush past bushes on the very narrow tracks which happens all the time and they either puncture the sidewall completely or thankfully in my case just damage the outer layer. One of the reasons I bought Falken tyres was because they have 2 ply sidewalls, most tyres only have one ply sidewalls and they are punctured more easily. This must have happened in the Simpson Desert and I did not notice because I did not check the tyres and therefore left myself open to a blowout on the road.

I visited Coober Pedy in 2001 on my bike and remembered the spaceship which was left over from Pitch Black (2000), it is still there.

The next day I drove North to Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway and was stopped at the NT border because someone sneezed in South Australia but after I explained that I had only been in the desert I was allowed to pass.

Since I had been to South Australia I had to remain in the Northern Territory for 14 days before I could head for home in Western Australia or I would have to quarantine for 14 days after crossing the border. At that point in time WA considered NT a safe state but not SA, the plot thickens later on hahaha.

In order to get back into WA the state I have lived in for most of my life I had to apply for a visa called a G2G Pass. Upon reading the fine print I saw that there are only two entry points by road, Eucla in the South and Kununurra in the North. So if I decided to stick to my plan to drive through the Tanami desert on the Tanami Road it would cost me $50,000 and possibly a jail sentence. Change of plans, head North and kill time at stops along the way hahaha.

I applied for my Visa and it was granted immediately because I am a resident of WA, subject to meeting all the quarantine requirements if required. Non residents are not allowed in unless they have proof that they can eradicate all Viruses, Cancer and World Poverty.

Next stop Tennant Creek, I stopped here twice in 2001 just for the night, this time two nights, not exactly a tourist hot spot. The lady at the Caravan Park said most of their units are closed because they can not get anyone to clean them and the streets and parks are lined with locals lounging around.

Dunmarra Wayside Inn for three days, in the middle of nowhere with a generator that stops working every now and then hahaha. They are famous for the meat pies and sausage rolls they bake on the premises.

Next stop Manbulloo Station 12 km East of Katherine, from there I planned to go to Timber Creek and then across the border to Western Australia. But two days before I was due to depart they discovered one case of Covid in Darwin and lockdown for 4 days. Now the Northern Territory which was a clean state became an unclean state to the WA authorities. Therefore I would have to quarantine immediately I crossed the border and get a Covid test, wait 3 days and if the result was negative I could proceed.

The problem is Kununurra which is the only town across the border has 4 small government approved quarantine hotels and they are all fully booked. Therefore if you arrive at the border without a booking you will be turned back and not allowed to enter the State hahaha. The earliest booking I could get in Kununurra was 01 September 2021 for the required four days. So I decided to go to Darwin and wait there for eleven days instead of at the Homestead where I had already been locked down for ten days.

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1 Response to Australia, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Dunmarra, Manbulloo, 04 – 20 August 2021

  1. Lilly Isaac says:

    Dear Chris I forgot I have on 30th Thursday my cardiology surgeon appointment every 6 months they check on the pacemaker they have put in so Thursday we cannot see you then it becomes 1st of October which is Friday would you like to come on that day do let me know you have any left over plastic small bin bags I would like to have few of them thank you Chris from Aunty Lilly

    >

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