Day 23:

20 June 2010

We woke up at the Dunmarra Caravan Park to fresh, clean, crisp air and several trailers of cattle outside our campervan.  One of the kids sleeping in the tent next to ours was coughing most of the night, so sleep was fitfull, but otherwise, good.  We showered and ate breakkie (granola and crumpets) and spent some time cleaning up the campervan.

We've become quite a team and everyone takes a job or two in the morning.  Maintaining the campervan involves refilling the water tank, emptying the grey water, checking the oil and tyre pressure, turning off the gas (used for the stove and the hot water heater when we aren't plugged into power) and, of course, emptying the black water tank.  Then, there's all the internal maintenance.  You can't believe how dirty it gets in one day.  So, inevitably, someone has to either sweep or vacuum the floor and, often times, the seats; plus, wipe down the counters, dining table and the bathroom.  Occasionally, we clean the mirrors with those handy glass cleaner wipes.

Today we diverted from Highway 1.  We've determined that our campervan cannot manage the stretch between Borroloola and Burketown due to the conditions of the road, so we drove south on the Stuart Highway, towards Alice Springs and tomorrow will be turning onto Highway 66 (Barkly Highway) to head east towards Townsville on the east coast.

An unexpected (and definitely undesired) diversion from our trip today was a visit to the Tennant Creek Hospital so that I could get checked out.  For about four days, I've had a range of unpleasant symptoms ranging from headache to chest pains (hence, no blogging for a while there - I just haven't felt up to it).  I know I've been partially dehydrated for several days due to a bout of diarrhea about a week ago (probably from emptying the black water - still the grossest part of this entire experience), but had no idea how severe it was until today when I simply couldn't handle what felt like the worst headache of my life.  Good news is, I didn't have a stroke.  I was, however, quite "dry" and they pumped two bags of IV fluid into me before releasing me.  Blood and urine tests only revealed I did have an infection, but it was general and not serious.  It was an interesting experience going to a "bush" hospital.  As I waited for the triage nurse to get the blood pressure machine, I noticed an alarmingly large spider and her huge egg sack under a piece of equipment in the room.

The staff was lovely there and amazingly nurturing of this city girl.  Rob and the kids were fantastically supportive of me and my health melt down.  They watched Star Wars and had afternoon tea in the campervan while I was in hospital.

Travelling with illness is not something most people talk about in guide books.  I figure I may include this in the blog since it derailed our trip (25Kms each direction out of the way) and has made me quite unpleasant to be around.  We opted to stay about 10Kms outside of Tennant Springs at the Juno Horse Centre and will be back on track tomorrow.

When we checked in at the Juno Horse Centre, the manager asked how I was feeling and suggested that next time we could just use chilli juice to cure my dehydration - gets ya drinkin' the water - goes straight to the brain!


More later. (Sorry, no pics today)