Thursday, August 27, 2009

A few liquid dramas

After leaving Coral Bay we headed to Exmouth. Coughing, spluttering and a loss of power in the engine gave us an unscheduled stop by the side of the road about 120km from our destination. A quick dip of the fuel tank revealed it was bone dry. (We have no fuel gauge in the bus, so dipping a long stake of wood into the tank reveals the fuel level. It’s a bit crude but it works.) We’re still not quite sure how we came to run out. We keep a tally of the distance we’ve travelled, and after about 800 - 1000km we start to look for a road house, knowing we can usually get about 1500km from a full tank. This time around we’d only travelled about 850km, so why consumption was so high is still a mystery. Anyway, kids and I stayed in the bus while Trucky took the jerry can and the Terios into Exmouth. He returned a few hours later and we headed off again, with just enough diesel to get to Exmouth. $515 to fill the tank!!

The drama continued the next morning when we stopped at Exmouth Visitors Centre to fill up with water. They are very well set up with a huge car park, and two taps of potable water for filling up camper water tanks. We pulled up at the tap and connected up. I started the water and immediately I could see it coming out onto the ground. Knowing we couldn’t be already full, I turned the water off and Trucky crawled under the bus. Inspection showed a split hose coming off the water tank. He cut a new piece to size, fitted it and then we were able to successfully fill up with water.

This all sounds all like just a bit of an inconvenience, but imagine having your water cut off at home, and no way of getting any for showering, doing dishes, even washing your hands. (We always carry 50L of emergency drinking water.) We both thought we had a hole in the water tank initially, and the idea was fairly traumatic, especially being Sunday in a small town where nothing’s open to get a replacement. The hose repair was reasonably uneventful, so that was a relief. I always feel better once we’ve filled the water tanks, knowing we’ve got the basics covered again for at least the next few days.

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