Following on from last week’s article, Jay and I eventually made it to the eastern states in my Mitsubishi Canter, but not without a few challenges along the way. Besides the thunderstorms, sand storms and heatwave, when you notice the smell of burning oil while crossing the Nullarbor, it is not usually a good sign. On closer inspection the oil was blowing out from the breather pipe, which was not catastrophic yet, but meant that there was a pressure build up for some unknown reason. Of course it was the long weekend, so no chance of sorting it properly and soon after the engine stopped, the oil leak ceased also. So in the end the transfer case was topped up and as we speak it is being checked out in Newcastle in preparation for the return trip next week.
Share driving with Jay for 4200kms was fantastic and a great opportunity to chat about life in general. Even though he is usually the techno king guru, his phone started losing reception during the JJJ top 100 countdown, which was on my birthday, January 27. While this certainly was not a priority for me, it definitely is for the Y generation and the truck radio could not pick up the signal in many lcoations. Ha ha, but it was a technically challenged baby boomer dad to the rescue, as my phone is always connected to a mobile phone antenna to boost the Telstra signal. So once he downloaded the JJJ app onto my phone, blue toothed the phone to his portable ‘doof doof’ speaker, we were back in business again. The original plan was for Jay to do the return trip also, but his new job application timeline requires him to fly back to the west while I sort out the new truck camper. I was loathe to drive through Sydney on the long weekend and originally told Jay I would have to drop him off west of Sydney so he could catch a train into the airport. But after such a journey, it did not seem right to end it at a train station and besides we had a bottle of Indian Ocean water to be deposited into the Pacific Ocean. So I bit the bullet and we organised to meet up with my daughter Lisa, at Manly, to do the deed. Yes, the traffic was crazy and so trying to park the truck was going to be a mission, but then, as I turned down a little street, into a tiny boat ramp carpark, it was like the parting of the Red Sea as a spot for a six metre plus vehicle became available. Then Lisa came walking down a private beach track from her place only 100 metres away and it was of course, hugs and kisses all round. So we had collected the original west coast water at Gracetown boatramp and were now transferring it at little Manly boat ramp-perfect. Lisa captured the moment for posterity and after a quick check out of her pad, it was soon time to head off for the final leg. I cannot thank Jay enough for sharing the trip with me, which has created many memories and stories to tell forever. Stay tuned for the next instalment as I assist in the final fitout of my new truck camper, the original prototype of the Aussie Base Station and look forward to the return journey in luxury.