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2011 Bash Diary & Gallery

Day 1 - Baulkham Hills to Inverell
Great start in the morning. We were seen off by many family,  friends and supporters.
Thank you to all that came.
The morning run was great and the car ran like a dream along the Putty Road until about mid morning when we stopped for fuel at Maitland. Soon after that point the car became sluggish and underpowered, struggling up hills and reaching a top speed of 40kph up hills.The car performed Ok on the flat roads but just struggled badly under load.
Our lunch stop was was at the DAG Sheep Station near Nundle.
We continued on after lunch, to Inverell. During the afternoon run, we decided to pull over for a coffee stop. At this point we changed the air cleaner, thinking that it may have been clogged with dust thus causing the power issue.
The car continued to be underpowered, even after vthe stop. We were at a loss to explain the performance issue. Fortunately, the Valiant Fuel gauge is a bit faulty, and we ran out of fuel when the gauge was reading 1/4.  This meant that we had to fill the car with the fuel in the Jerry cans - power problem solved!!!! The fuel we picked up at maitland must have been wtered down or faulty because all of a sudden we had full power back with the Sydney fuel that we had in the cans!

(from the Bash diary of Car 2214)

The start at Totally Home Bella Vista.

Our Lunch stop - Day 1

The eating quarters at the DAG station

Our first Party Stop which included Elvis, the Hippies, Batmobile, Spartans and Trojans

Day 2 - Inverell to Charleville.

The day saw us hit the dirt once again. This was a really long day as there were many kilometers to cover. We stopped at a town called Boomi along with many of the other Bash cars and had refreshments at the local hotel. This was a great stop with fantastic atmosphere.
After this stop, we then continued on to the Qld town of St George, however, on the way, we had a slight diversion over to the Nindigully Hotel which was 2km off the Bash route. Andrew knew of this pub and has always wanted to visit, and since Bob was at the wheel, he made an "executive" decision to go "off route". We were so glad he did! We found that both Elvis and the Hippies had done the same thing. This is an iconic pub and a definite "Must See" if you are in the area.
We finally made it into St George for lunch around 3pm. However, by the time we finished lunch, the afternnon bash route was closed and all remaining vehicles had to take the bitumen to Charleville..
The Trojans ended up in a convoy with the Navy team, the Sheriff team and others, making our way through the evening to our stop for the night.
The evening drive was a scary one as there were hundreds of kangaroos about, several of which had been collected by Bash cars. We had avoided them, but the Spartans had hit one of the roos.
We arrived late into Charleville and by the time we had arranged our accommodation, dinner was over.
With no shops open, dinner was a few boxes of Cheezels and a few beers!
This is the night we shared a room between four with one sleeping on the floor. We had 4 hours sleep.

Day 3 - Charleville to Longreach

The day started poorly with the New Zealand All Blacks beating Australia in the Rugby.
As such, and in honour of our Kiwi guest who was so king as to give us live feeds of the scores during the game, we flew a New Zealand flag which was kindly donated by Brigit from car NZ2.
Lunch was was at a school in a town called Blackall where Variety made a number of presentations, one in particular, reminded everyone why we Bashers do all the fundraisingand support Variety...
A young girl was presented with a special mobility bike, which would allow her some freedom and mobility around the school, shops and in day to day life.
The afternoon saw us into Longreach via a town called Isisford, where we along with many other Bashers stopped at the Clancy of the Overflow Hotel .
Kevin Barrett joined us here at Longreach, and sadly, Bob and Kim were leaving us the next day.    Dinner was at the Qantas Museum. This was a special night, as Bob (from Car 2214) managed to win the presigious "Mug of the Day" award.  If you know Bob, you should ask him how about it!!!

Day 4 - Longreach to Cloncurry

The day started with a visit to the local dentist. Geoff has had issues with a wisdom tooth eversince the start of the Bash. Well, now the issue is resolved and the tooth pulled out - finally some relief for the crew of 2214 as we no longer have to listen to the moaning! We had coffee at the local bakery while Geoff had the tooth taken care of.. We said our farewells to Bob & Kim and left for our lunch stop at Winton.  Afantastic little town and schoolwhere lunch was provided and the kids put on a fantastic show.
The morning saw us at the Bashbusters party stop, followed by driving on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I think the picture tells all.
The afternnon saw us travel through Kyuna where we stopped at the Blue Heeler Hotel. This is where we left a little "special something" at the bar. Maybe someone from Network Building Supplies may be able to spot what it is....
Later that afternoon, we also stopped aththe Walkabout Creek Hotel, from the Crocodile Dundee movie. Yes... it's the original hotel from the movie, but it has been moved to it's current position in McKinley in QLD.

Day 5 - Cloncurry to Mt Isa

An easy day today as we travelled through a town called Duchess for a Fun & Games stop before then heading to Mt Isa for lunch and a mine tour at the Hard Times Mine.
This is the day we spent cleaning out the car and repacking it.
We picked up our new passenger - Peter Trewartha (who was kind enough to bring 12 kg of marinated lamb for our special BBQ)
We had a relaxing afternoon by the pool prior to cleaning and making any final repairs/adjustments to the car.
Dinner was at the Civic Centre. Unfortunately, the "friendly" Mt Isa Police, thought it would be a good idea to book both car 2214 and car 800 for failing to completely stop at a stop sign.  $300 later, we were on our way to dinner where we saw the Bash Idol contest. This is where all the talented Bashers get to let down their hair and perform for us. Geoff and Robert from the K9 car stole the show with their rendition of the Zorba dance!

Day 6 - Mt Isa to Tennant Creek

The second longest day with 750 kilometers of red dirt and bulldust.
We said our farewells to Kevin and headed west. Upon leaving Mt Isa, we were given a packed lunch as there was no official lunch stop today - as there was nothing for miles and miles..  After crossing the QLD/NT border, we took a break to appreciate how far we had come considering the conditions.
We continued west and eventually got to the first fuel depot at Barkley Station (over 500 km down the road). The queue was so long, we decided to empty the remaining jerry cans into our tank rather than queue up at the bowser.
We continued west, past an old nuclear bunker from the 1950's that was used during the days of the British Nuclear experiments at Maralinga.
We finally made it to The Three Ways which is about 20km north of Tennant Creek. We popped into the roadhouse but chose not to fill up because fuel here was $2.05 per litre. We had a refreshment instead, along with several other Bash cars.
We finally hit Tennant Creek where we did fuel up at a more reasonable $1.97per litre. It is an expensive fill when you fill 4 x jerry cans and 1 x fuel tank totalling 150 litres!!!
Dinner was at the Tennant Creek Civic Centre where we were entaertained by Super Hubert. He does a fantastic show for adults as well as infant children.

Day 7 - Tennant Creek to Top Springs

Reading back on the notes,I have noticed that little has been said about the Valiant's and Fairlanes performance during the trip. This is because they have run like a dream.

We have actually had severe blinding dust, corrugated roads with sharp rocks and we have already seen the demise of a number of Bash cars for various reasons.

Today saw us leave Tennant Creek and head to Newcastle Waters Station which used to be owned by Kerry Packer. It is a huge property with 90,000 head of cattle. Lunch was fantastic The property was absolutely majestic and seemed to run forever.
The afternoon run from Newcastle Waters to Top Springs was a long and hard haul which claimed many cars.
The road was dusty, corrugated, and carried road trains on it. At times, we had complete white out and had to stop to let the dust settle before moving forwards again. There were a number of car casualties on this leg due to failure of components.

We got into Top Springs around 5:30pm, but there were cars still arriving much later with the last coming in around 11pm. Some were towed, some were on the back of the table top truck.

This is also the night we had our "Greek" night with the lamb spits, Greek food, drinks and even some dancing. The party continued until 2:30am

Day 8 - Top Springs to Kununurra

After a big day and night yesterday, we all awoke from our swags, had breakfast, and then got dressed in our Santa Suits to promote the Variety Santa Fun Run!   The morning run was to Timber Creek for a quick lunch then on to Kununurra in time for the Ord River Cruise.
The morning run saw the first of our real creek crossing. Some of the crossings were infested by freshwater crocodiles!
The road was rough in the morning which saw the Spartan car have a small breakdown with a lost lock nut on their steering arm.  Unfortunately, though we stayed with them for about 45 mins, we came to the conclusion that we were no help so we continued on to Timber Creek while the Fairlane waited for a mobile workshop. 30km from Timber Creek, we came accross another Valiant which was broken down with ceased diff.   We gave a lift to one of the crew from that car to Timber Creek where we had a quick lunch. before heading off to Kununurrawith an extra passenger from another broken down car.
We got to Kununurra and picked up our last new crew member who had flown in the day before.
We got to the cruise and had a pleasant time on the Ord River and learnt about Lake Argyle.

Even when you know they are there, crocodiles are hard to see!

Day 9 - Kununurra to Mount Barnett

After a good night's sleep, we awoke to clean the car out once again. The dust problem  continues and we thought we should give ourselves a fresh start with a relatively clean car before attempting the Gibb River Road. We repacked the carand removed anything that we did not need for the day and put it into storage on the pallecon that we had hired on the Variety semi trailer.
We started off with breakfast at a local park in Kununurra on the banks of a river. We picked up our packed lunch and headed offto Mount Barnett.
The Gibb River Road was extremely  rough for the morning run from Kununurra to the Pentecost River crossing.  There were severe corrugations and sharp rocks strewn over the road.
The river crossing was easy enough. The depth was only about 0.6 meters. All we had to do was place a curtain accross the front of the car to protect the electrics and then everyone but the driver got out of the car and stood on the rear bumper which lowered the back of the car and in turn raised the front. We then drove accross the 300m wide river without a hitch. Unfortunately, not all cars found it this easy.
We continued along through the Kimberley, the road improved a little but was still extremely rough.
We came accross another river crossing which was not overly deep and was an easy pass. On the other side, we decided to stop with some other cars for a coffee and a dip in the billabong.
We eventually travelled the 350km and reached Mount Barnett Roadhouse around 5:30pm where we set up camp joined everyone for dinner.
We had a bit of a party that night. It went on until around 1:30am.
Cars were still coming in at that time. The Gibb River Road took it's toll on many cars. Many had been damaged to the point of requiring a tow into Mount Barnett. It was a tough road - and we were only half way accross it!

Day 6 was "Cowboy/Cowgirl" theme day since we were in outback QLD. We decided to think outside the square and dressed up as Queensland Cowboy footballers!

Day 9 - Kununurra to Mount Barnett

A great night's sleep in the swag saw us up and already packing at 6am. The roadhouse had opened up around that time so we raced off to fill the car before the queues got too long. We decided to take everything out of the cargo bay to see if we could locate the source of the dust problem. When we raised the false floor of the rear cargo bay, wand looked into the area  of the spare tyre well, we discovered that EVERYTHING was covered in dust. Obviously, a welded seam had come apart and was letting dust into this area. There was nothing we could do about it at this stage, so it was decided to just leave it and only try to isolate the dust to prevent it spreading throughout the car. We laid a tarp accross the area and taped it down, then we dropped the floor back down and reloaded the cargo bay.
We had breakfast around 7am and then decided to take the 7km run down to the beautiful Manning Gorge for a bit of a look around. As it turned out, by 8:00 am, the sun was already beating down and it was starting to warm up rather quickly. A number of the other Bashers had the same idea and there would have been about 30 of us admiring the natural beauty of the Gorge.
The fresh water looked very inviting - especially considering the heat and how dusty we were from yesterday's run. It took no time to decide to jump into the water. It was safe from crocodiles as there were only fresh water crocs and no "Saltys".
The water was fantastic and we stayed there for about an hour before heading back to the roadhouse for the start of the day's run.
The morning run took us to the  Imintji Roadhouse where we had some lunch. On the way we had a short but deep creek crossing where we made a big splash for the camera crew on the other side. The car got rather wet under the bonnet and when we pulled up at Imintji 1 km later, we had to wring out the carby air cleaner.
We then continued after lunch along the Gibb River Road, which was still very corrugated and extremely rocky in places with rocksabout 20cm long strewn throughout the road at various places.
After a driving around 250km, we finally made it to the Derby turnoff where we then hit tar and drove the 30km into town.
Approx 200m before the checkpoint in Derby, the car ran out of fuel! We rolled up to the checkpoint, signed out for the day and then had to empty a jerry can of fuel into the car before we could then drive off into the town centre and get our accommodation.
We stayed at the Spinifex hotel that night, which had just opened that day (thank goodness)!
Dinner was on clay flats near the beach and was a great event.
Derby is an interesting place situated on the ocean shore but you can't swim here because the beaches have rogue crocodiles that will not hesitate in having a person for lunch!

Day 10 - Mount Barnett to Derby
Day 11 - Derby to Broome

A hot shower in Derby followed by clean sheets in a brand new virgin motel room was a great revitaliser!
We took the Valiant to the local service station and gave it a quick wipe down with a sponge to get the dirt and dust off the outside so it looked respectable (ish) for the parade in Broome.
We then headed to breakfast which was at a local school before then heading off to Derby Jetty.
All the cars were driven onto Derby Jetty for a photo shoot which was done bfrom the helicopter above. I'm sure the photos will look spectacular and I can't wait to see them.
It was a beautiful morning and it was decided the night before that all cars wouldtake the 215km highway route to Broome and stay off the dirt today.
There has been enough carnage and dammage to cars and we wanted all those that have made it thus far to be in the final day's  parade in Broome.
The run to Broome was a nice easy one. We stopped at a roadhouse about 30km out of Broome along with about 20 other cars for a refreshment and a Chiko Roll. We continued down the highway and pulled up along with EVERY other Bash car  about about 5km out of Broome in a truck parking area so we could then all move off in a procession to the final parade in Broome.

When we arrived in Broome, we were met by many locals as well as family and friends that had travelled accross to see us finish.
The cars were all parked at Male Oval and the party then continued for a couple of hours before we then made our way to our accommodation to freshen up before going to the Variety Happy Hour and watching the "stairway to the moon"

Day 12 - Broome

A restful night's sleep saw us at a 7am breakfast at Broome State school.
This time I was joined by my wife, who had flown in from Sydney. The Spartans' wives as well as oa couple of the wived from the Sheriff's team were also there.
The fundraising awards were handed out and both the Spartans and Trojans received  the "Variety Cup" for raising in excess of $17,000 each..
That night we had the "formal" end of Bash party which had an Arabian theme.
Once the party was over, we then stayed on a few days to explore Broome and enjoy a bit of a break.

Car 2214 - the 1967 Valiant Wagon:

The Valiant had a lot of work done since the 2010 Bash.
With a complete rebuild of the suspension, new dual circuit brakes, new limited slip diff, driveshaft and reconditioned transmission, extractors and dual barrel Holley carby, there was not much left to replace.
The car ran faultlessly and is an absolute credit to the guys that did all the work.

Thank you to the guys at The Ultimate Suspension who made sure that the suspension would take the pounding of the harsh terrain. These guys are the Gods of suspension - thanks Ken, Peter and all of you that helped make our run a trouble free one.

Thanks to Re-Nu Auto Transmissions. John and James did all the mechanical work that was mentioned above.  They worked tirelessly to make sure reliability was built into all the work performed.

Mechanically, the car was absolutely faultless - not even a flat tyre!. However,


- I have to check all the seams and reseal the panels to keep the dust out in future Bashes
- The car could do with disc brakes and this may be a consideration for next year's Bash but not absolutely neccessary.
- Though we did have a fridge onboard, it really cant cope with the hot days, so this needs to rethought out
- I think we need an external sound system with a descent amp
- The internal speaker system needs to be made better as the back seat currently muffles the music.

Car 2214 - Raising money for special needs children
 through the 2015 Variety NSW B to B

This page last modified on Sunday, December 18, 2011