We follow Katherine Seddon and her family as they make the 2,500km journey through the far reaches of Central Australia and Western Australia. Katherine is a mother of three cute ratbags, an ENJO lover, wife and desert dweller. She likes sharing leaf tea with friends, camping and coming home for a hot shower. If you missed Katherine’s previous instalment visit here.
Day 1 – We left home (Alice Springs) early because we really wanted to start the trip on a good note. So rather than trying to pack the car while the three kids badger us to within an inch of our lives, we packed the car the day before and got up early, leaving at 6.30am and having breakfast on the road.
We established the routine for our driving days in vague consultation with the kids. We would leave early, although this would get harder as we had to pack up camp each morning. Eating breakfast on the road saved faffing around in the morning and then we’d have the first activity book after breakfast. After our first stop, maybe 200kms in, we would hop back in the car for an episode of Play School.
After that some more snacks and maybe a new activity, or continue on with the previous one, or listen to an audiobook, followed by lunch. After lunch we would have quiet time where one, two or ideally for our sake, all three kids would pop off to sleep and we would have a magical hour and a half of our music and serenity.
In reality, we had only one day of that, and it was more like half an hour, but still it was great! After the kids sleep we’d put on a movie in an effort to counteract the post-sleep grumps that only our children seem to get. It mostly worked a treat. More adult time!
So after our in-car lunch we stopped at Yulara, the township next to Uluru. Visiting Uluru again was therapeutic as the last time we were here our family succumbed to a hideous strain of gastro. As I pushed aside visions of a vomiting husband in the Sails in the Desert car park, I was able to enjoy the break of playing frisbee with the kids on green grass.
However, this idyllic scene was about to be shattered. Just after Kata Tjuta we hit the dirt road and our tyre blew out. Sadly, the tyre repair kit was useless against this puppy. Thankfully the husband is rather adept at changing tyres, and while he did so, two other cars stopped to help which was comforting. Thanks also to the passing camel truck that pacified an anxious four-year-old.
Praying for no more flats because we had chosen* to only bring one spare, we were disappointed / somewhat anxious the roadhouse at our first overnight stop – Docker River didn’t have any tyres that fit. I didn’t even really know that tyres come in different sizes. Well, I mean I obviously did know that you get the small sedan type tyres and the big 4WD type tyres, but that was about it.
That night we were exhausted and after a quick camp dinner of pre-cooked chicken drumsticks we all went to bed. We were going to sleep out in our swags, but I ever so slightly freaked out after visions of snakes slithering into the kids swags while we merrily slept away. So the tent was erected.
* I promise, this really was a choice and not a naive mistake. Pretty much everyone we spoke to recommended we take two spares on this trip but we decided to take the risk because it would have cost us a fortune to install the roof racks we needed to take a second spare…enough justifying!
P.S Leave tips or commiserations for Katherine here! https://www.facebook.com/KatherineSeddonEnjopreneur?fref=ts