I drowned the 4x4!

whytey
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Joined: July 25th, 2011, 10:21 am

I drowned the 4x4!

Unread post by whytey » July 26th, 2012, 3:49 pm

Well there we were off on a trip to NT for the first time to teach the aboriginal kids first aid at a place called Numbulwar about 700km from Darwin. It was bad timing when we arrived at Darwin as the V8 super cars were in town and although we had hired a troopy with a snorkel, the Hilux dual cab i was driving didnt. So we packed up both vehicles headed to Katherine to pick up supplies and camped at Mataranka for the night. The next day we headed off onto the Roper bar rd ready for a day of gravel dust, heat, and river crossings. The place was amazing, i had never thought i would like the North as i dont do well in the heat but leaving 6c in Melbourne and 30c in Darwin was a great change from jumpers and coats. I wouldnt say the roper bar Rd was really 4x4 but there were parts you could see you would be in trouble if it was wet. I had a laugh when an aboriginal fella told me the Phelp river was also called Help river when the water was up a bit. We stopped at the Roper Bar crossing to have some lunch and enjoy the view but the troopy decided it must of liked the place for it refused to start. No power to the electrics? no dash lights, no power whats so ever. After pulling every fuse and still not finding the problem it was decided that i tow the troopy to the camp ground just up the road, you have got to love fellow travellers, for as as soon as we arrived in the campground and lifted the bonnet we were supplied with heaps of help and advice. One fellow introduced himself as a heavy diesal mechanic and could he be of any assistance! Well give him 30 minutes and a multi meter and he had the problem of an isolater switch sorted and we were fixed.

Next day it was in the cars again and off to Numbulwar, i loved the creek crossings on the way in except for one of the last ones were i stalled the car in the middle of the floodway, not a problem, just started the car and drove out the other side and stopped for a bite to eat. i had a funny feeling about that floodway about how it looked like nothing but a big puddle, if only i had of known what was going to happen a week later on the way back. We arrived at Numbulwar late in the arvo, met the students i was going to teach and were shown our accomodation. The aboriginal community were fantastic and made us so welcome i was was getting sick of waving to everybody, the amount of dogs wandering the streets everywhere was also an eye opener. Our greeting at the school consited of them giving us all big sticks to use on the dogs if you walk the streets, also we were told dont walk the streets at night as the buffalo do as well.

Four fantastic days were spent in Numbulwar and sadly it was time for the return journey to Darwin, again all the gear was packed and we all headed off down the gravel rd back to Mataranka. Only 50km from Numbulwar we came across the puddle (floodway) again. Now this time i knew there was a big hole in that water as it caught me by surprise on the way in. What i didnt know was that a heap of road trains had been delivering dongas to Numbulwar and the hole was a hell of a lot deeper! Stopping the hilux before the floodway i thought id take the precaution and put it in 4x4 just in case i needed it. Slowly i drove into the floodway which seemed alright until the frontend dissapeared under water, giving it a bit of throttle the water came up over the windscreen and in the drivers window. The vehicle had just enough momentum to make it out of the hole and floodway before she stopped dead.

Water was everwhere and i had no electrical power, so i was hoping that it was just wet electronics but secretly fearing the worst. Removing the air cleaner answered the problem as the whole air filter was full of water and i wasnt going anywhere. Great stuck in the dessert with 2 women, no phone coverage, and the other vehicle miles ahead with no way to contact them. After waiting 4 hours for them to return which they didnt, i decided to start writting notes for the aboriginals that were going past 25 to a car every few hours, it was one of these notes that 9 hours later saw the Numbulwar police arrive to help. My god what an ordeal.

We caught a lift the next morning with an aboriginal fella who was off to Mataranka, and he had a heck of a sence of humour. He stopped so i could take a photo of a buffalo, he told me to get out of the car and get closer. Thinking he knew his stuff i walked into the bush closer to the buffalo to get the photo and he kept yelling out go closer. Hmmmm, i had just been told these things will kill you if they get a chance and he's yelling closer, so i thought this is close enough. Well funny bugger thought it was a great joke to yell out for me to "go and pat him" and then he starts tooting the horn. Well i got my photo and i also set a speed record for getting back to the car. The rest of the trip was marvalous with so much wildlife to see i found why people love it so much out here. Would i go back?? you betcha, Im already planning a trip next year, this time a vehicle with a snorkle and a Sat phone.

Oh and i belive they now have a new name for that crossing; "Marks puddle"
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Last edited by whytey on July 26th, 2012, 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whytey
Here and there
Posts: 67
Joined: July 25th, 2011, 10:21 am

Re: I drowned the 4x4!

Unread post by whytey » July 26th, 2012, 3:52 pm

A couple more
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Last edited by whytey on July 26th, 2012, 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Missus
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Joined: October 21st, 2011, 12:52 pm

Re: I drowned the 4x4!

Unread post by The Missus » July 26th, 2012, 4:12 pm

What an adventure you had!

And beautiful pictures.

I'd be planning a trip for next year too if I was you :)
Adventure before dementia!

whytey
Here and there
Posts: 67
Joined: July 25th, 2011, 10:21 am

Re: I drowned the 4x4!

Unread post by whytey » July 26th, 2012, 4:59 pm

Just a few more
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patrol17
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Re: I drowned the 4x4!

Unread post by patrol17 » August 14th, 2012, 5:56 pm


smokescreen
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Re: I drowned the 4x4!

Unread post by smokescreen » August 14th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Great trip mate well that was until you drowned the Hilux but never the less a awesome trip i also enjoy the area around Roper bar there's some great little spots out there and I'm surprised at the amount of grey nomads that drag there caravans through there amazing.
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Aaron Schubert
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Re: I drowned the 4x4!

Unread post by Aaron Schubert » August 14th, 2012, 7:18 pm

Looks like a blast. Shame about the lux!

Aaron
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