My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 9
1pm Tuesday 2nd of May.
Approaching Ceduna, the sea was coming into my view on the right and I was eager to fuel up, ring Patricia and have some lunch, so I could continue on towards Pt Augusta as my destination for the day.
I was now using an indicated 2150rpm as that appeared to be the sweet spot where she wanted to sit, but what I did notice was I could hear the turbo producing boost at that speed. So in the back of my mind I knew that had to mean more fuel. I didn't mind so much as I wanted to make more progress and get to Pt. Augusta in the hope of finding a truck stop to have a feed and find somewhere quiet, dark but safe to camp for the night and then find somewhere to wash the truck the next morning.
To my surprise they have Hungry Jacks and Subway at the roadhouse on the western side of Ceduna where I had stopped, so I treated myself to HJ's after parking the truck across the road next to Gary Rogers Volvo V8 Super Cars transporters. Whilst waiting my turn an aboriginal extended family where ordering HJ's in front of me and one of them was about 6 foot tall, quite a strong looking bloke, with his hair up in a bun, light makeup and a nice feminine outfit on. He turned around and looked at me, so all I could do was smile politely and say G'day, to which he replied in a well spoken males voice "G'day mate". I take my hat off to him as it'd take some big balls to get around a place like that dressed as a lady.
I finished lunch pretty quickly, had a look at the auto accessories, fluids etc on offer and decided to go back to the truck and plug in my dash cam. I'd been meaning to do this on day one, but had too much happening to be able to spend the time doing that.
I'm sitting there building up air whilst unpacking the camera unit ($50 delivered off eBay) thinking "gee the air buzzer is loud today". What I hadn't noticed is that I had knocked on an unfamiliar switch on the previously added centre console which turned out to be the horn. Another job mentally added to the gunna do list, to move that switch closer to the steering wheel and make it momentary on style...
With the camera nicely mounted low on the windscreen towards the centre and the auxiliary camera plugged in and stuck onto the previously added console pointed at yours truly, I'd decide it's time to get going.
Turns out that sure enough the fuel consumption was now up to 40 litres/100k, ouch! The fuel leak hadn't degraded since this mornings patch job too.
I took the Bypass road to avoid the heart of Ceduna, even though part of me wanted to drive through and see if it was familiar as I had been there about 45 years earlier as a kid.
This was the first time I'd seen a Police car for the trip so far and I thought "here we go" with the shitty old tipper body, no plates and only the unregistered vehicle permit on the windscreen to show. He turned off on the next side street and I never saw him again.
Ten minutes out of town as expected the caffeine and phosphoric acid content in the Coke Zero well and truly kicked in, so my eyes were watering by the time I found a rough potholed parking bay of sorts to stop and take an urgent leak.
The dash cam kept on turning itself off every couple of minutes, so I thought I'd better read up on that after dinner at Pt Augusta.
I continued on and seeing the turn off to Pt Kenny reminded me of the times I spent there as a teen visiting my older brother, who was a country school teacher. He lived out of town and owned an ex cop HJ Kingswood with a 253, smoked and drank beer at night. He would then go to bed and read until the sun would come up and then sleep all day.
One time visiting there, I had my licence so he'd send me to town to buy groceries etc and it was there that I held the 253 flat on the new smooth wide road to town. I can still remember being nervous but excited doing speeds that we won't go into here.
I also passed through Kyancutta. I had been here once before with one of our customers in their then new 2224 V Series. Based in Kyancutta they used to supply most of the towns needs and rented a spot at a large depot at Gepps Cross in Adelaide. It was such a smooth truck compared to the White Road Commander that I had recently been in on a trip up the back roads all the way up to Mackay and back. Anyway, it was a good way to get to see my brother, as he just drove over from Pt Kenny and picked me up, so I could spend a few days or so with him. Then he'd drive me back to Adelaide for the remainder of his holiday.
From memory the roads where quite good and the terrain undulating and winding, which made for a nice drive. I stopped at Iron Knob for a break and then pushed on towards Pt Augusta.
It was now dark and I backed off to about 85 as I was worried about kangaroos jumping out from behind large bushes on the road side. Sure enough, one hops out from my right, so I decided to safely go around him on the wrong side of the road whilst getting off the throttle . Just as I get within a few meters of him and he's now just into my vacated lane, the bugger changes his mind and in one stride, lands, twists and heads back to where he came from. Argh... There's nothing I can do now and then BANG! I'm on the brakes, left indicator on and a whirring type of sound coming from the left front wheel.