With the tyre pressure/bladder stop and the road side repairs, I had lost about 3 hours from my lunchtime departure. Luckily I had a slab of water and some reasonably healthy snacks on board thanks to Gemma ( previous owner) not only picking me up from the airport, but also taking me to town to stock up on supplies as well as a sleeping bag etc for the bunk. I'd also like to thank Benny and his father Chris for helping clean the truck for me whilst I was out shopping, checking fluids etc.
Taking another step back to before I departed, we noticed a small diesel leak from the supply hose rubbing on the front cross member, so I cut and wrapped that with some old hose to prevent it rubbing any further.
Back on the road, my goal for day one (Saturday April 30th) was to leave Kalgoorlie/Boulder by 12:30pm after flying in at 9am and make it to either Madura or possibly even Eucla, given a really good run.
Anyway, the way the day turned out, I got to enjoy a beautiful sunset approaching Norseman and pulled into the back of the truck stop there to check my repair and to fit up a 7" LED light bar to the grab handle below the bulldog. This was relatively easy, as I had also purchased a loom off eBay, with fuse, lit switch and relay, aux power outlet that I plugged a double USB outlet for phones etc to compliment the old high power sealed beams. With the battery well and truly shagged, the alternator did its best to give me about 12 volts with everything on, so I adjusted the old sealed beams to somewhere closer to being right, had a snack, another leak or two, had a quick phone call from my lady whilst I had coverage again and then got back on the road with Balladonia Roadhouse as my revised goal for the day.
The LED light bar was aimed too low and I had over adjusted the sealed beams too low also, so I kept my speed back to 80k and knowing I'd need to stop for another leak, I used the opportunity to give the little LED a tweak upwards. Just happened to look skyward whilst doing my business and was awestruck by the Milky Way in all its glory, so I allowed myself 5 minutes to walk around the truck, check tyre temps, tail lights and to just take in the amazing star gazing as my eyesight adjust to night vision.
It was getting bloody cold, so I got out my trusty old faded woollen hi vis work jacket, put that on and got back on the road towards Balladonia. The LED light bar was certainly helping now, but it had been a long day with the late night flight over, chatting with a navy guy and a generator mechanic and our lovely flight and cabin crew most of the way, seated in 1A.
I did however grab a few hours quality sleep at a motel near the airport and had a hearty breaky at the airport before the short flight to Kalgoorlie.
So with no heater, no door seals, the drivers 1/4 window without a latch and fumes coming up the gear stick tunnel I wanted to ensure adequate airflow in the cabin. So I popped open the drivers side bunk vent and left the roof vent open, whilst stuffing my overalls around the gear lever.
I cruised on into Balladonia Roadhouse thoroughly exhausted, could see some guys having a friendly beer out the front, but decided to go back to the truck, have another snack and climb into the preheated (read heat soaked bunk) and even removed my work jacket as it was so warm, opening the $18 sleeping bag into a quilt and went out like a light at what was probably 8:30...