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Arrival in Adelaide

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We made it to Adelaide at about lunch time on Friday the 3rd of February.

As there are no free camping sites within the city area of Adelaide, as with most cities, we headed to the Highway 1 Caravan Park not far from  Gardens where Vicki and Rick live.

Nice Van park as far as they go but so squashed for room; our annexe was only 3 inches from the next door neighbours van when we pulled it out.

We don’t like staying in van parks much anymore and only do so when there’s no other choice. In most cases there IS a choice and we continue to stay in amazing places free of charge.

Sadly Vicki and Rick had a funeral of a friend to attend so we missed seeing them until Saturday when they kindly offered to take us on a tour of Adelaide and the surrounds. We met at their place at 10:00am and caught up on the last few years over coffee. We’d sort of put the plans for the next move on hold till we spoke to Vicki and Rick as we wanted their opinion as to whether we should take the trip up the centre to Darwin at this time of the year. We’d not intended to go up there till after March but thought we might be able to sneak up early.

Vicki and Rick make the 6060km round trip from Adelaide to Darwin every week. They leave at 9:00am each Sunday morning in their Kenworth towing 2 trailers and drive to Port Augusta to pick up a third. They’re not allowed a triple rig on the road before Port Augusta. They then continue to Darwin with their 110 tonne load supported by an awesome 60 wheels on the ground!

They drive “Two up” meaning one sleeps while the other drives which results in the truck making the trip in half the time as it would with only one driver. Many companies now only send their trucks on these long hauls with a Two Up team as the ridiculously stringent fatigue laws now governing the movement of Australian trucks makes it so restrictive on single drivers. The enormous cost in intial outlay and then keeping these machines on the road makes it prohibitive to have the wheels stopped for 7 or 8 hours each day.

The stories Rick and Vicki tell of their encounters on the road are fascinating – some hilarious, some tragic but all interesting. We could easily have talked to them for hours more about their stories.

If anyone knows anything about Australia’s road conditions and the seasons to travel them it’s these two.

Vicki and Rick and the Kenworth towing 3 trailers - 110 tonnes with 60 wheels on the ground and over 6000 km every week.

Vicki and Rick and the Kenworth towing 3 trailers – 110 tonnes with 60 wheels on the ground and over 6000 km every week.

"The Truck" with trailers

“The Truck” with trailers

There emphatic opinion on us going north now was – NO!

The wet season has not even started up there yet and when it does it’s folly in the extreme to attempt it.

Vicki told us the story of how she was passing a wash on the road once towing three trailers at over 100 tonnes. When she entered the crossing it was completely dry but suddenly a wall of water appeared from out of nowhere and actually pushed the trailers off the road. Remember this is 100 odd tonnes!

Vicki and one of her previous trucks

Vicki and one of her previous trucks

It didn’t take much convincing to make us decide to leave Darwin for now.

We had a wonderful few hours with Vicki and Rick as Rick tirelessly drove us through the beautiful city centre and out to the pretty beach suburbs of Henley, Glenelg and North Haven. It was great to not only experience Adelaide from a local’s point of a view but to catch up on so many years as well.

Adelaide is packed with magnificent old buildings like St Peters Cathedral

Adelaide is packed with magnificent old buildings like St Peters Cathedral

Henley Beach - Unfortunately our photo didn't look good so this is borrowed from Wikipedia.

Henley Beach – Unfortunately our photo didn’t look good so this is borrowed from Wikipedia.

After taking in the sites of this lovely city with its magnificent old buildings and churches and its trees and gardens we headed to the yard where Vicki and Rick needed to attend to some things on the truck before taking off in the morning.

We had the chance to look at the Kenworth up close and also to meet and talk to the owner of the company they drive for and the owners parents who come from the South Island of New Zealand.

"The Truck" up close

“The Truck” up close

The sleeping compartment behind the drivers seat. Top buck fold out to sleep 2. Note the TV set and also there's a fridge.

The sleeping compartment behind the drivers seat. Top buck fold out to sleep 2. Note the TV set and also there’s a fridge.

The Kenworth's "cockpit".

The Kenworth’s “cockpit”.

Not like towin' the Aussie Wide

Not like towin’ the Aussie Wide

We thought we might leave the Aussie Wide in Adelaide and make the trip up to Coober Pedy to fulfil Kerrie’s lifelong dream of visiting  there and we decided to take up Rick and Vicki’s kind offer to leave the Van at their place for the week.

We decided that the next day, Sunday, we’d go for a drive out to the Barossa Valley, (which Kerrie has written about here), but this evening, after a packed full day where we felt we’d been treated to a very special and valuable time with Vicki and Rick we were satisfied to make dinner and settle in for a cool but peaceful night at home in the Aussie Wide.

1 Comment on this post

  1. We had a lovely day with you both. Kerrie kept me company while cooking tea thurs night and we were blessed with a table of family and friends , then kerrie took over and cleaned up for me , YOU CAN COME BACK ANY TIME LOL , You have a great van and what a life style you have created for yourselves GO THE JONES XX

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