Home' Caravanning Australia : Summer 2010-2011 Contents On The Road
58 • Caravanning Australia • Summer 2010-2011
double bed at his grandparents, he had lost his subconscious
By the break of day, Jack came around and was his old self,
wondering what all the fuss was about. We left the hospital and
Anthony made a new bed rail.
Big Bertha was on the road again, westbound this time, and
our first destination was Dubbo. Anthony was grinning like the
Cheshire Cat, and the kids were abuzz with excitement to be
back on the road.
Travelling nicely along about 10km out of Dubbo, Anthony
looked down quickly at the dashboard. ‘Oh no, what’s going
on?’ he said.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked.
‘The engine check light is on, and I’ve just lost power,’ he
said, as he found a spot to pull off the road. He stood under the
bonnet, rubbing his face, with a look of confusion.
‘What is it?’ I asked.
‘I have no idea,’ he snapped as he jumped back into the car,
We were shortly on our way again, and the engine check light
was out. Then we hit a bird, and that engine light lit straight up
Making it to Dubbo, we were quite happy that day one back
on the road was well and truly over. A local mechanic put our
4WD on his machine and said that our problem was in the fuel
system somewhere, and that we needed to take it into the local
Nissan dealer who would be able to pinpoint the exact problem.
Anthony was very eager to get to the Nissan mechanic. It
was the Wednesday before a long weekend, and, of course, they
were completely booked out.
We put our vehicle issues aside and spent a terrific day at
Dubbo Zoo. Isabella was in her element. And the highlight?
Hippos having their teeth cleaned – now that’s something you
don’t see every day!
We had no further vehicle problems in Dubbo, and wondered
whether the problem had corrected itself. We made the decision
to motor on to our next destination: Broken Hill.
About 20km down the highway, our engine problems
returned. The only way to get power back was to pull over and
stop the engine for two to three minutes, then restart it, at which
point the engine light would go out and our power would return.
So we set out on a 750 km journey, having to stop every 5-15
minutes to regain our power – not much fun!
50km out of Cobar (approximately 260km into our
miserable journey), a Land Cruiser towing a camper trailer was in
the process of overtaking us. Anthony quickly reached for the
radio. ‘Landcruiser heading west, are you on channel?’
spectacular science shows and hundreds of hands-on exhibits.
It’s no surprise that it’s one of Canberra’s most popular tourist
Jack and Bella were asking non-stop if we could ‘see the
government’, which I took to mean Parliament House, so we
also spent a morning on Capital Hill.
Then Anthony suggested we go to the war memorial, and I
have to admit that I wasn’t that keen, but I agreed that it would
be good for the kids. We had a knowledgeable, interesting guide
who had us all mesmerised with his stories. With an interactive
section for the kids, and brilliant guided tours, there is so much
to see and learn at the memorial.
The mint was also on the itinerary, and in the souvenir shop
downstairs the kids found a machine that would let them create
their very own one-dollar coin – the only problem was that it cost
three dollars. ‘What a bad return on investment,’ I joked. Anthony
laughed and pushed the coins in the slot while the kids laughed
and jumped up and down.
Saying goodbye to Canberra, we headed off to see family in
the Hunter Valley.
Staying at Mum and Dad’s was great – all that space to
spread our wings. But as soon as we left, that relaxation
One night in our caravan, which was parked at my brother’s
home, we heard a bang, then whimpering. I went over to the
kids’ bunks to find Jack lying at my feet. I was quite worried, as
it’s a good two metres down to the floor. Jack was screaming
and holding his head, and he settled down in our bed, but would
cry on and off. After about 20 minutes, he let out a blood-
curdling scream and grabbed his head.
Worried, we took him inside my brother’s house to check him
out. He looked at my brother with a vacant look, and told him
that he was locked in a fridge and someone had cut off his nose.
Soon, he also started vomiting. I called 000, and the lady was
lovely and assured me that the ambulance was on its way.
The medics arrived and said they thought he was okay, but
they suggested they take him to the hospital for observation. He
vomited again upon arrival at hospital, and then he slept.
The doctor advised us to stay until morning so they could
monitor him. I sat back and watched the theatre that played out
before me in the emergency room, like a real-life version of a
hospital drama, with blood, drunks and police interviews, while
our little man slept.
I wondered why it was that he had fallen out of his bunk. At
the start of our trip, we had a bed rail. We used it for months
before we decided to remove it – he had spent months quite
happily up there without the slightest hint of falling. I came to the
conclusion that because he had been sleeping in a lovely big
Jack and Isabella at the questacon, Canberra.
Jack, Isabella and Belinda at Parliament House.
Anthony and the kids at Telstra Tower, Canberra.
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