Aussie RT Day 1: FLAT TIRE!

Australia, WA Roadtrip — By on October 17, 2010 3:21 AM


Seriously, I have to ask … who gets a flat tire in the first 10 minutes of a road trip??? Stacy and Kelly that’s who!

No joke, lie, or exaggeration.

We had just excitedly waved goodbye to Ludo and Steph, happy to be on the road with Hercules on the first day of our big adventure.  Hercules hadn’t even made it out of Darwin when we heard a loud slapping noise coming from the back right side of the car. Our eyes widened as we simultaneously asked the other “What is that???” Our first guess was that the strap used to secure the bikes to the roof was flapping against the car. We pulled over and Stacy got out of the car to inspect. “Holy f*cking sh*t!!! You HAVE got to get out here and see this now!” she exclaimed. We both stared in awed disbelief at the long metal rod resembling a thick coat hanger, sticking out from the rear right tire. We could hear the air hissing out of the tire and the car gradually began to tilt to the right. We could not believe our luck!

We called the nicest mechanic in the world, Dave, and told him our plight. He suggested we drive the car very slowly to a tire repair shop nearby. Two hours and $42.00 later (I think the guy had a crush on Stacy) the tire had been plugged and we were on the road again. Crisis easily averted but we couldn’t help but wonder if day one was any  indication of how this road trip may go?

We drove south on the Stuart Hwy toward Katherine Gorge, a four hour drive from Darwin. If not for the tire ordeal we would have arrived before dark. We had previously agreed that it would be best not to drive at night unless absolutely necessary. As the sun began to go down we agreed it was best to keep driving since we had already scheduled and payed for an early morning canoe paddle. Stacy cannot drive at night because of her vision so I took over the wheel. I drove very slowly in the middle of the dark road knowing full well that the bush on either side was teaming with wildlife. I remembered the Tasmania serial killings 2008, shuddered and drove even slower. To this day my little cousin Jared will ask me “Kelly, why did you run over a kangaroo, that just wasn’t nice?” Stacy thought it was crazy how slow I was going until three roos darted out in front of the car. No roos lost their lives that night, but quite a few cane toads became one with the pavement. There were so many of them and I felt like I was playing a reverse game of frogger. I felt bad each time I ran over one but Stacy rekon’s I shouldn’t since they are poisonous and destroy Australia’s fauna and ecosystem.

We arrived in Katherine around 9 pm, the thermometer on the dash board reading a steamy 95 degrees. As we prepared our $2 pasta dinner on our gas stove, the wallabies curiously gathered around to watch.

It was way too hot to sleep inside a tent so we opted to sleep in the back of the Jeep with the hatchback and windows left open while we sleep. Converting the Jeep into our bedroom is quite a process that we hope to streamline soon. We placed our backpacks in the front seat and the rest of the gear was stashed under the car. We removed the back seat and placed on top of our backpacks in the front seat. We laid down the back seat to accommodate the mattress and hung up curtains over the windows. We were both quite comfortable until we began to get wet in the middle of the night when heavy rain and wind woke us. We placed a tarp over the back door to keep out  the rain but left room for fresh air. We both slept soundly the rest of the night. Flat tires, wind, nor rain can get Stacy or I down – we are having too much fun! : )

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3 Comments

  1. Andy says:

    Kel,

    Love the site and following your latest escapades. Stay safe cus.

    Love ya,
    Andy

  2. Lisa says:

    Jarod liked seeing he was in your blog. He says you are “so crazy”. Smart kid, I’d have to agree with him. Glad you are having fun but please be safe. As I read your blog keep finding myself saying My God she is going to get killed. Love you

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