Day 32 – Mitchell to Surat

We were woken at 1.00 am with alarms and noises coming from the Redarc electrical cupboard. Basically it was a low battery warning alarm and in the end I had to disengage everything electrical so that we could get back to sleep. This meant that the fridge was off but the temperatures were at freezing point so we weren’t too worried about food spoilage. That alarm is not what you want to hear when you are freecamping!!

I was up very early to check everything and found that the van batteries were almost completely dead and that as we had no power; we had no water pump, no fridge and could not even flush the toilet. Fortunately I met another vanner near the amenities and we commented on the heavy frost this morning and when I mentioned our problem, he immediately offered us a loan of his generator to get us going. It’s this great vanner spirit that makes this style of travel so enjoyable, and reaffirms one’s faith in humankind.

After a couple of hours on the generator we had a decent charge in the batteries and things seemed to be back under control – at least for the time-being. We took off for Roma and stopped at Muckadilla as there was a tap in the free camp. We filled our water tank and kept going to Roma. We stopped there and bought coffees and a nut loaf for morning tea. We drove around Roma and liked what we saw.

Then it was back on the highway in the direction of Surat. We had to stop for a kangaroo and a couple of emus. There were bad roads and plenty of road works.

We had lunch at Hema 863Q Free Camp Fishing and Restocking Club Park in Surat. It was a nice place but very crowded. Ann rang ahead to St George and found that there was no room at any of the caravan parks which was a problem as we needed power for the van to recharge the batteries, etc.

Information Sign at Surat

Information Sign at Surat

We drove around Surat and found the Surat Caravan Park. Not wishing to take the risk of not having a powered site for the night, I pulled into a drive through ensuite spot and started setting up while Ann walked down to the pub to sort out the paperwork. We then had a wander around town (didn’t take too long) and then returned to have coffee by the van and got chatting with Gary from the Sterling next to us. We later showered and went to the pub with Sue and Gary for a few drinks and had a great night. They live in their van and do casual work all over the country. It seems like a close to ideal lifestyle.

At this point we had to make a decision about the van’s electricals. Do we try to get things fixed somewhere on the road and then take our time heading home or do we head back home quickly and get it done there. We decided that as we were quite remote and not very close to any main centres it could be difficult finding someone to fix things so we would head back home via caravan parks and make sure things were fixed by someone we knew and trusted before our next Big Adventure.

Categories: 2012 Winton Adventure, Free Camping | Tags: ,

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