So you will probably all remember that back on our second or third day with Stewy and Kristy, they had major car issues and had to be towed (after numerous calls on the sat phone and a subsequent 4 hour wait on the side of the road).
We had stayed with them for most of the time, but then went ahead to set up camp for us at Musgrave Station. We actually passed the tow truck on our way so knew they were safe! The tow truck driver then dropped them all off at Musgrave Station to give us our sat phone back and also grab some dinner. They then continued on to Archer River Roadhouse for the night. The tow truck driver turned out to be the owner of the road house and he given them a cabin for the night.
The following day they were taken to Weipa to get the car looked at.
After making the 3 hour drive from Archer River to Weipa Stewy and Kristy made their way to the mechanics, only to be told they can't look at it until Friday!
The mechanic asked why the car had been towed there and not Cairns, their response being "this is where RACQ and the tow truck sent us!".
One of the locals then drove them all into town to arrange accommodation and argue with RACQ on the phone! Luckily they found a great girl in the RACQ call centre who helped them out and the car was then arranged to be towed back to Cairns, as should have happened in the first place!
RACQ advised that they would be covering all the towing costs and flights out of Weipa back to Cairns for the 3 of them. Really goes to show that you need the top NRMA/RACQ cover when travelling, well worth the extra cost.
Stewy and Kristy managed to hire a car to get them around while in Weipa and had arranged to stay there until we arrived so we could catch up again. We ended up arriving a day earlier than expected so we could find out what was happening and spend a bit more time with them all.
We said our goodbyes to Stewy, Kristy and Rori on Sunday morning as we headed off to start our cape adventure and they were flying down to Cairns to meet the car.
As it turns out, the car left Weipa on the Friday and didn't arrive in Cairns until the
Tuesday! Nothing happens too quickly up there!
Stewy was pretty sure it was a new motor that was required and had already sourced one from a wrecker in Cairns (the one and only motor there to suit his car, so he didn't have much choice!). As it turned out, the motor only had about 20,000km on it less than his motor, but what can you do.
They then received the call from the mechanics that yes it definitely was the motor, so the wheels were set in motion to get the car up and running again.
None of them had ever been to Cairns before so at least they still made a holiday out of it, even if it wasn't exactly how they planned it! While in Cairns they managed to see Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, the night markets, Kuranda and even the local music festival. They also travelled back down to Townsville for the weekend to visit relatives, so overall they did have a great holiday anyway.
They finally got the car back (and were then delayed another day due to another smaller problem, but the mechanic was straight onto it and they were on their way to meet up with us in Cooktown.
We met them in Cooktown at the Big 4 caravan park and we all stayed in motel rooma there due to the weather. Luckily we did because the wind and rain just got stronger as the night went on!
Went to the local pub and had a great dinner and filled each other in on our previous weeks travels (and gave Stewy his stubby cooler we bought him - "my friends went to the tip and all I got was this lousy stubby cooler", haha couldn't help ourselves!!
The next day we all explored Cooktown (in torrential rain!), they had never been before so we went to all the places of interest, as well as the shops.
Next day we drove to Lions Den Hotel and stayed in our safari cabins, Kristy was happy they didn't miss this one! The boys played with their cars, Stewy did an oil change, George fitted up the new spot lights, the girls sat around and chatted!
Next day it was on to Cape Tribulation via the CREB Track, they finally got some true 4WDing in! And what a track to do, think this made up a little for everything else they'd missed!
We were then back to Cairns (no sightseeing required as I think Stewy and Kristy had managed to cover every square inch of it! - and we have been before too), so straight to the camp ground. The Big 4 at Cairns is the best ever! Rori got to play in the water park and I got to play on the jumping pillow!
Our last day together was spent at Innot Hot Springs, which everyone loved. We had a campfire and my yummy choc-chip damper for dessert and it was a nice way to spend our last night together.
So it wasn't the Cape York adventure they anticipated, but they still got a holiday. They still got some 4WDing in and to spend a few days wih us.
The car and associated costs cost them a bit, but nothing they could do about that. You can do all the preparation in the world, but some things just can't be helped. The car is still going strong, they have actually just gone away beach camping again for the weekend, so all good!
It was sad we didn't get to spend the whole trip with them, but glad it all worked out well in the end. They are now planning their next trip to Cape York in 2015!!