Tyre Carnage On Way to the Rock
[The eleventh episode of the prequel to my first travel memoir, Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.]
We sailed along on the road to Uluru, the warmth of the sun on our cheeks and breeze in our hair. Sand-hills rolled up and down and then into the distance. Black trunks of ironwood trees flitted past. The Rock made random appearances and disappeared. A wheel flew past and bounced into the bush.
[Photo 1: Glimpse of Uluru and Kata Tjuta © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]
I looked at Richard. ‘What was that?’
‘Where did that come from?’
‘The trailer,’ Richard remarked with a sigh and pointed.
The trailer scudded on its side, red dust billowing all around it.
Richard leaned over the rail and thumped the driver’s window. The Rover eased to a stop and Dad leapt out. ‘What?’
‘The trailer!’ Richard said. ‘Again!’
[Photo 2: Shredded tyre travails of the T-Team’s travels © L.M. Kling 2013]
The men gathered around the trailer and discussed their options in lowered tones. Dad frowned, he put his hands on his hips and gazed at the ground as Mr. B glared at him.
‘Poor! Very poor for a trailer!’ Mr. B muttered. ‘What are we going to do about it, mate?’
Dad shifted his feet and then with his boot scuffed the stones. ‘I don’t know. What do you reckon, Richard?’
‘I say, laddie, can you find that tyre?’ Mr. B asked.
‘It’s long gone,’ Richard said. ‘But I’ll try.’
‘They’re expensive.’ Dad kicked the one remaining trailer tyre. The men stared at the one-wheeled trailer as though they were visiting a gravesite.
‘Alright,’ Richard muttered, ‘I’ll go and see if I can find it.’
Richard stomped down the road. He placed his hand above his eyes and peered in the direction the tyre had vanished into the scrub.
Matt caught my gaze. ‘Boring!’
‘Let’s go up that hill and see if we can take a photo of Ayers Rock and the Olgas.’ Kata Tjuta, (called at one time “The Olgas” by the pioneer explorer William Gosse), is a conglomeration of boulders that lie 50 kilometres west of Uluru.
[Above: Photos 3&4: Views of Uluru (3&4) © L.M. Kling 2013]
[Below: Photos 5&6: Kata Tjuta(5) © L.M. Kling 2013; Kata Tjuta (6) © C. D. Trudinger 1981]
We mounted the nearby rise and admired the Rock, bathed in the blue of midday.
‘There are certain advantages to trailers breaking up,’ I remarked.
Matt nodded. ‘Yep, sure are.’
‘It’s like an adventure.’
‘Yep, sure is.’
[Photo 7: Sunset on Uluru © L.M. Kling 2013]
The men decided to leave the trailer on the side of the road and fix it upon our return when we passed that way. By then we hoped to have the parts and equipment required to reattach the rogue wheel that Richard had found and then hidden underneath the trailer.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2018
Feature Photo: Uluru © L.M. Kling 2014