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davo
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PostSubject: Travels in the top end   Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:21 am

travel in the outback brings many unusual and humorous tales. It also involves the use of 4X drive or small light planes that carry 5 -8 persons.

I had driven a 4X drive with my boss for some 6 hrs approx to a small top end town, popn 6000. We were unfortunately traveling in the 'wet' season. We arrived safely but were told - road now closed for return - leave car at local depot and catch plane back tomorrow.

arrived at airport and each of us were weighed separately to our luggage on a bathroom scale on the tarmac. The pilot fueled up and we took off this time in a 8 seater all booked.

10 mins into the flight my boss tapped me on the shoulder and asked "what is that mist coming out of the right wing?" - 'don't know says I - I'll point it out to the pilot who was just in front of me. "oh no says he" and circles around and lands again. we were a little disturbed at this point. we all had to alight whilst he first telephoned base and then refueled the craft by filling the tank in the right and left wings. the fuel cap had not been applied securely!

we took off again, this time everyone in the craft watching both wings - sure enough left wing vapor this time - pilot still oblivious to it all. When it was again pointed out he had only one comment "oh feck it" - landed again and refilled. finally took off an hr and a  half late but no adverse events. I dosed off to the constant  hum of a joyful engine when suddenly there was a long spluttering and explosive type sound. I awoke and rapidly inquired 'what's happened to the engine?' only to be told by my boss 'don't worry the guy behind you had a coughing fit'

we stopped half way to alight and pick up other passengers - we all had to offload for a comfort stop and a little old nun asked me "do you think the pilot is a safe one?" to which I replied 'yes I do, I have every confidence in him, he just doesn't know how to put fuel caps back on!'
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Ciderman
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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:07 am

LOL!  Love that Davo!  Never let anyone have a coughing fit behind you when you're asleep!

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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:15 am

feck I nearly killed him!
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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:15 am

drum drum drum

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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:50 pm

We have just begun our ‘wet’ season – and approaching the season of merry too. Xmas festivities are just as rife here as anywhere – mad mad mad. We are predicted to get 4 monsoons per season – most pass by but close enough to dump a lot of rain – thank you – and can knock a few barns over!

If no 4X drive stick to bitumen you can get bogged – I remember travelling from up our peninsula 2-3 hrs away one December and the black clouds were rolling in and rain beating down and we were in a 4X so felt quite safe but the when the Indigenous fellow next to me driving started getting worried so did I. we had no bitumen under tires – just hard sand which was turning into soft sand quickly – but not quick sand! – then the sand road just disappeared and there we were on the same dimension but driving down a river and trying to keep central. Without warning the van slid to the right and me mate said “bugger – I thought that might happen” we were stuck – but out he jumped turned a lock on the front wheel to engage 4Xdrive and out we drove – magic – I took my cap off to that guy but he had been doing it a long time and I was a rooky! – as we drove onwards to civilization we watched to storm swing in from our left and the challenge was to get onto bitumen 100 kms down to be safe – we managed it – phew!
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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:51 am

Davo, you have all the fun down there. The most we can hope for is a heavy fall of snow that we have to try and navigate through. But we always have to carry snow shovels and a bag of grit in case we get stuck. Nothing like the fun you have.

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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:37 am

well we now  have a tropical low building up on the west coast which has already dropped some rain for us 200kms away and I intend driving straight towards it tomorrow or as far as I can get - there are a few dips along the way with measuring sticks on the road side to tell you how deep the water is. I remember driving on a remote back road a few years ago with a mate in the top end and we hit such a dip filled with water - we had a govt non-4X drive - I said 'go on give it a go' but  he was more cautious and said 'no I'll wade through first' which he did and then came back and decided it was too deep to risk.
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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:41 pm

Chicken - I bet it only came half way up the ducks.

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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:54 pm

well in all fairness getting a govt car non 4X drive bogged down in the outback would not be looked on kindly by the powers to be - wadding flamingos more like it!
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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:58 pm

Davo, that takes me back to Queensland in 1961!  

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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:00 am

love the photos Cman - well a successful run to the west coast all the doom and gloom prophets including er in doors were wrong - blue skies,sun and water runways all dry. met a few cows chewing and one who waited until I had slowed down and past by sedately and then he walked across behind me - how polite - couple of brolos herons courting or having breakfast and a few road kills that the carrions were feeding on.

the first 100kms is fun and enjoyable the second not so started at 80kms and built up to 110 but the rush was pointless house empty except for my hung over son - the rest were sleeping over somewhere else so no thai breakfast just the left overs from last night! I shall complain bitterly when she arrives home and she will be duty bound to spoil me everyday!
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PostSubject: Re: Travels in the top end   Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:27 am

My sister has lived down under for many years.  They think nothing of driving a couple of hundred miles to visit someone for lunch.  I hope the roads round Dingley Village are better than those.  

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