Report 2 until 7 June
We are leaving Derby today. We have spoken to many people about the Gibb River Road. They all say that it is very rough and that they certainly would not do it with a Model T-Ford that is not a 4 wheel drive. But yes, 3 votes for the Gibb River Road. The plan had already been made in Edam. I start with an exciting feeling about this trip.
First the road is paved, I thought the first 200 km, but that turned out to be only 30.
It is nice to be here. The boabab trees are so beautiful. They look like living creatures.
Everything rattles on this road. Luckily Dirk made the Model T-Ford strong. The oil temperature gauge does not work anymore. Dirk crawls under the Model T-Ford. The plug is rattled loose.
In the picture you hardly see but there are all waves in the way. Occasionally the Model T-Ford sails itself to the other side and is uncontrollable.
The view of the mountains is beautiful.
Sometimes the road is red and sometimes brown.
But we discover that whatever color the road has, we rattle in all directions.
The Model T-Ford is looking very tough with all that sand on it.
Floodways are available throughout the route. Then you have to go through the water and sometimes that gives a beautiful picture. Here we went through a creek.
After 236 kilometers we arrived at a campsite. It is unbelievable. The whole day there is nothing other than nature around us and now we have a place to camp with water and a toilet and shower. Delicious.
Along the way everything was rattling, but the left rear wheel does not make a good rattle. There is space between the spoke and the rim. We have already driven several times through the water and have already given the spokes water, but the space has to be filled. Dirk has the idea to make rings from beer bottle caps.
The next morning at the campsite we get up and Dirk continues with the maintenance of the Model T-Ford.
Dirk changes a tire because it will be very bad and on this road everything will wear out even more.
After a while we leave again and we begin with good courage on the two day on the Gibb River Road.
We do not see kangaroos or dingoes or snakes, but cows. If they cross we can stop quickly because we drive about 10 to 15 kilometers per hour.
On the way there is still something to be lubricated and checked. Fortunately, the Model T-Ford is doing well this day.
There are many stones on the road and it is also very rocky along the road.
Today we have driven 89 kilometers and we have done it all day. We bounce and bounce over the Gibb River Road. When a car passes we are in a huge dust cloud. At 4 o’clock we arrive at a road house and after 7 kilometers a forest road we arrive at a beautiful campsite and set up our tents under boabab trees.
After dinner Dirk starts to implement the plan to fill the space at the spokes. He saws 2 wedges from his workbench and spans them between the spokes. This gives him room to press a beer cap.
When it gets light Dirk goes quickly out of the roof tent to work on the wheel again.
It is a big job, but it worked.
In the meantime I walked to the river (Manning River) and it is beautiful.
Rick and David wait until they can pick up further.
After repairing the wheel, Dirk is still doing the daily maintenance and then … everything has been successful.
We go and there comes a serious floodway. David measures the height of the water. Dirk drives through it. It works!! Only the last few meters spurted the T-Ford but we are there.
After 131 kilometers on the Gibb River Road we are on the Gibb River. Very special!
In the evening we have a campfire.
Fortunately no crocodiles.
The next day:
We have a beautiful spot on the Gibb River. If you camp in such a nice quiet place you have almost forgotten all the trouble.
Dirk discovered during the check that a bracket was broken from the spring package, right behind.
He makes a temporary bracket of a water hose clamp and makes it out.
When all that is done he cleans the air filter. That is necessary because there is so much dust and sand here.
In the meantime, Rick regains the shovel, a bolt has rattled loose and disappeared.
We go again and when we have driven about 2 kilometers we discover that we have forgotten the broken brace. Is it still in the sand on our camping spot? Dirk and Rick go back soon and ……. Rick found him. On the next occasion, I will treat them to braces. That will only take a few days before it is because it is still a long way.
We often disappear into the dust. Once there is a rain pebble in our Ford. One touches my glasses and a Dirk’s cheek. When a fast car passes by now, we stop and protect our face even more.
The bumping continues. Dirk bounces his hands with him, he has to hold his handlebar well and does it very well. The sun is low and behind us and so I could make a special picture.
Near the campsite we see a dingo. What a luck!!
We come after we have driven 85 kilometers at Ellenbrae today and are allowed to camp there for free. It is a beautiful place with water, toilet and shower. Luxury on this Gibb River Road.
The next morning we were alone at the campsite. Everyone left early. David looks at his photos and Dirk is working on the T-Ford.
The lady who gave us the free stay comes to take a picture of the T-Ford.
We drink coffee with the famous scones and leave for our 5th day on the Gibb River Road. But what now …. The Model T-Ford does not start with the starter motor. Maybe Bendix veer?
Our team has already left and now the T-Ford has to be pushed because we can not swing because the fan is in front of the radiator.
Fortunately the man from Ellenbrae helps and we have pushed him quickly.
We have to go through the water again.
Even on this stretch of the Gibb River Road, road trains run. What a substance.
We bounce and bounce through nicely. It starts to get used to a bit, but Dirk has to hold his handle very well.
We come to a piece where roadwork is. There is still a lot to be improved.
On the way Dirk checks the Model T-Ford extra
And what am I happy when I see the sign Camping.
It is a beautiful campsite with a bar and a restaurant. We will go there, because our stock of food and drinks has decreased considerably during this trip.
Gibb River Road day 6
Last night we ate in the restaurant and now we eat our old bread. Dirk gets a lot of parts from the Model T-Ford to get to the starter.
The spring of the bendix is broken. Fortunately, Sjaak had brought a new one with him to Australia and Dirk makes it now.
Meanwhile, the tin is filled.
When we’re done, we’ll go to the boababs for a photo.
The last piece!!!!!
Along the mountains
There is some dust on the ignition box.
Then we see signs!
WE MADE IT. THE GIBB RIVER ROAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But we will continue. We are not ready for today. We have an appointment in Kununurra and we manage to get there on time, the road is asphalted and we drive very hard. What a difference, this morning on the Gibb River road bump and now we’re going about the road. We are not yet in the city and a Model A-Ford is coming to meet us. It is Bevin who comes to pick us up.
I jump into the Model A-Ford at Bevin and the Model T-Ford and the LandRover follow us.
Bevin takes us to his lunch room and we break up with cool drinks and delicious sandwiches. Bernice is also coming and we all go to their beautiful home where we get bedrooms and a bathroom. In the evening they treat us to a delicious dinner in their restaurant.