it had to happen. ben c. predicted it and of course he was always going to be right: he said the discovery would leave us stranded somewhere. well ben, here you go.

at least we didn’t break down in the middle of nowhere and the rac (the western australian equivalent of the nrma, our auto club) was extremely friendly and helpful. good thing we made sure our membership was fully paid up before we left. oh, and i am happy i chose telstra as my mobile provider; whatever else you may think of them, their network is the only one that works out here. and that’s not nearly as remote as i just made it sound.

so what happened? well, we’re not sure yet ourselves. it’s sunday and unfortunately i took the spares box with the odb reader out this morning when i fitted another anderson plug (i know, how unlucky is that) so i couldn’t check myself.

the available evidence points to a broken alternator. first we got a ‘charging system fault’ message, a little while later the error messages came thick and fast as the systems were shutting down, so we decided to park in a safe spot and call the flat bed truck.

that entire episode happened on a little day trip to porongurup n.p. from our current base in albany, i.e. without the van behind us and less than 50km from camp. and get this: when the flat bed stopped to drop the car in front of the workshop – which we expected to be closed given it’s sunday – we found the door open an the owner inside. he’d come in to get some paperwork done. as a result the disco won’t have to sleep in the street but it’ll be safely locked up in the workshop.

all in all i still think we’re lucky. ok, something is wrong with the car which is not good and it will cost us money. but this happened close to a ‘bigger’ city and whatever part will be required will probably be here from perth within a day or two.

in the meantime we’re camping in a beautiful spot right next to the beach and the town is not far away in case the weather report is right and it rains tomorrow. nat wants to go to the hair dresser. i don’t because i’m going to grow a pony tail. true.

could have been worse, right? i know, that’s what people say just before it actually get’s worse – a bit like: what could possibly go wrong. i hope it won’t be. getting stuck in albany (where we planned to stay a few more days anyway) is one thing, fingers crossed we won’t find ourselves in a similar position later in northern w.a. or the northern territory.

and here are a few pictures from around albany. you’ll agree, the beaches in the south west of australia are just unbelievably beautiful. if you have to be stuck somewhere, i suggest you make sure you get stuck here!

btw just in case you, like me, have always been wondering why so many town names in western australia end in -up: apparently the suffix -up or -ing means ‘place’ in the noongar language.

which makes me wonder if the people from upper austria where i’m from are in any way related to the local aboriginal population. we also have heaps of town names ending in -ing: pasching (where i lived when i grew up), wilhering (where one of my sisters lives), leonding (where my mum lives) and last but not least also fucking (yes that’s a real town name, check it on google maps if you don’t believe me).

above some footage shot with zippy; she’s been pretty brave and really stuck her neck out this time. brave little bugger.