It was time to hit the road again leaving the cold dusty Brunette racetrack behind and looking forward to the park like show grounds of Alice Springs. It was a 680 k drive and I was travelling with Steve Arney from Circle B so we didn't rush off and planned to camp at the old Barrow Creek race course, get a fire going and have a few quiet beers then enjoy an easy mornings drive into Alice next day. This was a very pleasant change from the last five days on the Barkly. With the Alice show a week and a half away I had plenty of time to catch up much needed repairs and maintenance to the truck and gooseneck. Firstly I had to buy a new fridge as the old past away over a week ago and I had to store my beer in Steve Arney s fridge, very thoughtful of him but a dangerous move accepting as he drinks two to one of mine. The fridge arrived and I screwed it into position so it wouldn't fall all over the place whilst travelling on rough roads. Next morning I found the fridge had stopped, one of the screws had punctured a line so I called the repair man who was keen to do the job and said that if I dropped it off I could pick it up in three weeks time but no sooner. By that time I'd be 2000 k's away so I had no other option but to head off and buy another fridge. This time I was very careful where I placed the screws in the framework. Another job was to replace the deep cycle batteries and increase the number to four as well fit four 192 watt solar panels to the roof of the gooseneck.Now I can stay anywhere in the bush and generate more than enough power to run all my household appliances.
The winter in central Australia can be very cold and this year was no exception, the nights reached -6 degrees and the days barely making 16 with an icy cold wind blowing the entire time. Not ideal conditions for sinking a few cold beers especially for a person suited to a 20-30 degree temperature range. Regardless, the Alice show was a ripper, record crowds arrived and my clients supported us buying all sorts of products including some of our new range of belts, pouches, jackets and cow hides. Kununurra was the next show, 1700 k's away and this time I travelled with Kate and Doug who between them manage the R.M.W Longhorn Express. Our first camp on the three day drive was near Helen Springs Station, a little sooner than expected due to the Longhorn Express blowing a tyre. By the time the tyre was replaced and a couple of coldies consumed we reckoned that was far enough for the day. The second night we made it to Victoria River, my favorite spot in the NT. By now of course we were enjoying the beautiful warm winter temps that ensure double pluggers and shorts are the order of the day. I pass through the Victoria River district three times a year and have a camp spot reserved away a bit from where the grey nomads pack in side by side.