Day 458 of retirement

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Hi All

Monday 10thSeptember 2018:

Quick stop at the mechanics as the mighty Mazda has a bit of a rough engine cough. Central Motors in Katherine fitted me in and has us back on the road by midday. Awesome service.

Left Katherine for Daly Waters Roadhouse (280km & 3 hours).

After checking into our cabin we made our way back to the old Daly Waters Pub. A year ago we signed and left an old pair of thongs there and they were still there. Awesome.

Tuesday 11thSeptember 2018:

Left Daly Waters for Devils Marbles Hotel (540km & 6 hours). Not much at Devils Marbles including mobile or WiFi coverage.

Cabin was clean, air-conditioned and had TV.

Wednesday 12thSeptember 2018:

Left Devils Marbles for Alice Springs (380km & 4.5 hours).

The last hurray for the Mighty Mazda.

RIP the Mighty Mazda.

The mighty Mazda has finally passed on in Alice Springs. She has been a bit sick the last while and has finally succumbed to her ailments, a worn out engine.

She has served us very well (for the 5.5 years we had her) over her 266,000km/15 years life. 56,000km of that was on our round AUS adventure. She saw extreme heat and cold, smooth and very rough rocky dirt roads and taken us into and back out of some very remote areas all in her stride.

Thanks Mighty Mazda. It has been an epic adventure with you and it is with very heavy hearts that we leave you.

Where to from here as we still need a vehicle for 2 months till we leave for the Philippines in November? We have checked out used cars and hiring a car. Used cars are very expensive in the NT. We found Hertz would give us a long term hire (2 months) and waive the relocation fee as we are picking the car up in Alice Springs and dropping it off at Sydney Airport.

So we continue our travels in a “Klever Kluger (The KK))”. Lots of room and very comfortable.

Once we had the KK the Mighty Mazda was de-number plated and dropped off at the wreckers in Alice Springs. We then had to go to the MVR (Motor Vehicle Registry) to hand in the number plates for a receipt so when we get back to NSW we will get our refund.

We will miss the mighty Mazda!

Thursday 13thSeptember 2018:

Left Alice Springs for Uluru (450km & 4.5 hours). Had a great smooth drive in the new Klever Kluger. Feels like a limo compared to the Mazda.

Great to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta appear on the horizon as we approached.

Checked in, had a light lunch and time for a siesta.

Went for a walk and enjoyed a yummy dinner. Out to the rock tomorrow.

First world luxury.
I drove 56,000km in the Mighty Mazda without cruise control.
Just drove 450km in the Klever Kluger with cruise control. Bliss….

Friday 14thSeptember 2018:

Went exploring round Uluru & Kata Tjuta today by car as we are walking round the rock tomorrow.

Such an awesome place. Photos just don’t do it justice. And you could spend all day just driving round and round the rock. As the sun moves the colors and patterns change with it, creating many different canvases of grandeur. Mother nature is awesome.

Saturday 15thSeptember 2018:
Awesome walk round Uluru today (10.6km in 2h 45m with lots of stops). Started nice and early as it was quite cool with enough breeze to keep the flies away. Wore our jumpers the whole time. Awesome hiking weather.

The north and south face of Uluru is very different from each other. The North face has a lot of Honeycomb erosion structures, whereby the south face is more cracks and holes (caves).

Awesome viewing as the sun lights them up in the early morning.

Sunday 16thSeptember 2018:

Huge happy anniversary to my beautiful wife Guy. 13 years ago today we meet in that coffee shop in Chatswood. And as they say the rest is history. Been an awesome 13 years and looking forward to many many more.

Off to Kata Tjuta today for a couple of hikes. It was 14C when we arrived and blowing a gale.

First stop was Valley of the Winds and boy was it windy. We hiked up to the first lookout but turned around as the wind was just too strong and cold.

Back to Walpa Gorge which was still windy but not gale force so we hiked into the end and back.

The temperature was a balmy 17C when we left so still rather cool.

After an afternoon siesta we caught a bus to take us to the Sounds of Silence gourmet dinner under the stars. We were welcomed by glasses of sparklings, beer and wine and coke, canapés of about 6 varieties plus sunset looking at Uluru and Kata Tjuta.  Then off to the dining tables with a didgeridoo player and a buffet with a vast selection of salad, chicken, kangaroo, barramundi and lamb followed by another array desserts, our fave was the warm apple strudel. Between the main meal and desserts, we were treated to a journey to the stars, there being only a quarter moon and no clouds, the constellations and Milky Way were just twinkling right above us. We also got lucky to be seated with a group of Americans and Canadians who were very cheerful dinner companions.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

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