Day 14 : Batton Hill (Hay River Track)
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
I woke up totally fatigued this morning. Jade woke me up with an elbow to the ribs… I was in the midst of a disturbing nightmare, and felt groggy from that, and exhausted. We got up around 9am and got straight to work on the prop shaft, which went in pretty easy. We packed up, filled our waters, had showers, but i felt like I was carrying 200kg on my body the whole time, with a foggy mind and heavy eye lids.
We got a coffee & brekkie rolls as we left to get on the road, which ended up being around 1pm- bloody late. I promptly went to sleep and woke up around 2.30, moments before we saw a truck on the side of the road, with the driver waving us down.
“Are yous goin to Jervois?” He asked “Tell Denise JD’s broken down and to call Russell at Bonya community” he told us.
We asked if there was anything we could do to help, and he showed us his front tie rod, which had completely snapped in two, with each end hanging down below the cab. He said he was going to fix it with a length of axle he had, but had to cut the splice off it, and didn’t have an angle grinder.
Though we were planning to turn off shortly before Jervois, of course we went there to tell them, and though there was some slight hint of eye rolling (apparently this is a common occurrence, not surprising when he said he ‘was only doing’ 120km on a road where 80km feels plenty fast) they immediately called the community, and we could give them the run down of what he needed.
It was a cool place, with old bowsers and niknaks around, pickled animal specimens on shelves at the back of the tiny shed of a shop, which only took cash. They chatted to us about the roads, and gave us an idea of the way of things in that part of the world.
Not long after, we were en route to Batton Hill Camp & the start of the Hay River Track.
The drive here was nice, sitting on 20kph again, the corrugations at that speed just feel soothing, as we listen to music as we go, and see the sun go down. We got out at a particularly golden sunset, to let down our tyres a bit (18 front and 26 rear). This camp seems cool, there are other people here, be good to chat to ‘em tomorrow.