Chris Whittle


Chris Whittle

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Goolwa December 10th 2018

Firstly I'd like to apologise to all my followers for the tardiness of the blog for the final day, especially my Nigerian friends and the lady enquiring how long it would take to float a caravan down the Murray. All I can say is that the celebratory dinner at the Wellie Hotel was exceptional and involved Wilko singing a rousing song to the tune of Old Man River which elicited cheers and applause from the other diners (although it did get us kicked out of the hotel at 6.30), the Adelaide Test, a channel 7 weather reporter and a 3 day drinking binge which culminated in Wilko and I waking up naked in bunk beds surrounded by toys. We set out from the Wellington Hotel and headed towards Lake Alexandrina. The route is initially well marked ... read more
View from Wilko and Adam's
View from Mike, Brooksie and my accommodation
Murray Mouth prior to rescue

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales December 6th 2018

Another early start. As I was wandering around town looking for coffee I had a chat to one of the locals with a huge friendly dog. He’d retired in Morgan and why wouldn’t you! He directed me to the Road House. The roadhouse was manned by a sullen red headed 16 year old who was enjoying every moment of the job. I was having trouble looking over the counter but I’m pretty sure black tights were involved. There were numerous small children in school uniform running around. Now it seemed unlikely that she was the mother but you never know in regional SA. Because I was a tourist and carrying 3 coffees she made sure they were so hot it was almost impossible to carry them. Back at the caravan park great progress had been made. ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales December 5th 2018

We woke to the gentle sounds of quarrying and packed up camp to head into Berri for coffees. We had a lovely relaxing time. Even though Mike had taken my boat apart the night before we hadn’t located the problem that was causing my boat to sink. Brooksie had been murmuring something about “checking the bungs” . While we were in Berri we workshopped it over again and decided that it might be worth trying the bungs. As it turned out the o ring on one of the bungs was shot. We picked up a couple of spare O-rings at SuperCheap and new bungs at the camping place. Brooksie bought an opulent new lilo and one of those old man straps you put around your neck so you don’t lose your glasses. We were having a ... read more
Keeping the lockmaster company
Wilko smoking a joint

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales December 4th 2018

This morning Wilko was leaning down to pour some water when he cried out in pain and collapsed to the ground. Now everyone who knows Wilko knows he doesn’t take a dive, although in this case it was close to washing up time. It turns out his back was gone. I did my best to make him comfortable, but as you all know this is closely run adventure. There is a pact that the boys have but it is possible we hadn’t told Paul. While I was assisting him, Brooksie and Mike had already agreed to leave him behind with a tent, a sleeping bag and a fishing rod. Luckily, for Paul, he seemed to improving. I topped up the oil in the old 2 strike and we headed off. Adam was in the navigators chair. ... read more
Amazing  Cliffs
The Famous Renmark Club

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales December 4th 2018

Today was the real test of the plan. Our longest day circa 228 kms, longest between fuel stops and the most locks (4). There was a general feeling of foreboding! Heightened by the fact that because of the big day Brooksie had to forego his usual breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and grilled tomatoes. Instead there was a lot of complaining about skim milk and Vita Brits. As always the Murray River is spectacular and this stretch is much wider, and more populated than what we had experienced on the other trips. We arrived at Wentworth without incident, although the woman at the bakery store wouldn’t give Brooksie her name even though she’d asked for his when he ordered coffee. We had a chat to a couple who had purportedly come down the river from ... read more
Lock 9
Devils Elbow

Oceania » Australia » South Australia December 2nd 2018

First a couple of housekeeping items. Last night I discovered where the comments section in travel blog is. Most importantly I’d like to apologise to the UK couple who asked me in 2015 how long it would take to tow a caravan to Halligan Bay. I wouldn’t tow a caravan as you will note by the little memorial about half way to the Bay dedicated to the German lady who died of dehydration after getting bogged. I apologise for any inconvenience. Secondly I should explain the trip. I am joined by Brooksie, a great explorer and organiser who has walked from the Dig Tree to Christmas Creek, Mike Henwood, a stellar mechanic and organisation man known for his attempted circumnavigation of Australia with his wife and a toddler (no joke), Wilko, a champion snorer who knows ... read more
Dunlop welcomes you to SA
Wilkos fuel gauge

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Mildura December 1st 2018

Here we are about to set out on our 3rd Murray navigation. From Mildura to Murray Mouth. As you all know we spend a lot of time planning these trips. First we have the spreadsheet that details the itinerary, fuel stops, overnight stops, locks and all the shopping items. We called every tourist office to check on fuel availability. I was a little disappointed when Sally at Renmark (the last one I called) said “let me just check my fuel stops on the Murray sheet”. Now we’ve done this 3 times and no one has ever mentioned the fuel stops on the Murray sheet. I said can you send me a copy of it and she did. This sheet has completely de-risked the whole trip! Another area that Brooksie, Mike and I discussed at length was ... read more
That tyre was only 12 years old!
Duct tape! A mans best friend.

After our 457 visa recipient cooks an enormous breakfast spread and makes us a couple of cappuccinos we head down the Oodnadatta Track. We have a big day of driving so we don’t stop a lot just for fuel and the 3rdworst coffees so far at Marla. I may have to add Irish backpackers to the Asian barista rule. I have to show the guys Leigh Creek which is like one of those towns they build to test nuclear bombs. I think it was actually built to service the coal mine which the Government subsequently closed down. The SA Government tried to sell the town but couldn’t. We have a great run down to the turn off to the Flinders Ranges National Park. Luckily all the vanners seem to be headed South. In the late afternoon ... read more
Flinders Ranges
Me in my black rights

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » William Creek June 3rd 2018

Chris is reluctant to leave dogs but we manage to leave our dusty campsite after Chris has a cold shower. A pleasant drive to Coober Pedy where Catherine and I join The Ghan over 75 group to do the Amoonano Opal Museum tour – and avoid buying any opals! We then have a big win! You have to pay for water in Coober Pedy but when we turn up at the self-service tank we find some credit left in the meter! This is especially lucky as I half it over the next morning by spilling the water container. We were feeling a little nervous as we approached Coward Springs as everyone we had talked to on the road had stayed there. On arrival there was only 4 other campers – but the night before there had ... read more
William Creek
4 tyres and a pile of rocks

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Dalhousie June 3rd 2018

It is the third day of my compulsory rural component of my 457 visa requirement. We are required to work hard and help Chris Whittle esq with his overland adventure. After rising early and enjoying a morning swim in the steaming warm springs we make breakfast and packed up camp including the tent and Mr Whittle’s bedding, he has organised the expedition to the finest detail and is meticulous in the packing of the transport. Before departing tent pegs are licked clean, tent poles polished, wheel nuts are tightened with in an inch of their lives due to a previous unfortunate event which was of course no fault of the meticulous Mr Whittle. We make sure Mr Whittle is comfortable in the passenger seat and I drive the onerous and precarious drive to the town of ... read more
Making coffee for Mr Whittle
Me in my black tights

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