We have departed Broome, it was fantastic but we were itching to get on the road again and head to our next anticipated adventure…Derby! Nah just kidding, we intended on driving through Derby, stopping at the visitors centre to get some information on the Gibb River Road and then continuing.
Our plan was stopped when we arrived in town at 4:30pm and the visitors centre had just locked the doors. We thought maybe with just over 100km to the first camping spot on the Gibb, maybe it was better to spend one night in Derby and then continue the next day fresh. So we located the closest caravan park, after a short encounter with the funny and quirky owner, we had a small bay and set up our tent for the night.
In Broome we had taken a shower just before heading off, thinking we would not have a shower in a few days so we should ‘stock up’ as such, however as it was a caravan park in town we had all the luxuries. We cooked our dinner in the campers kitchen, hoping we would meet some other young people and make friends, however for the most part it was just us, which was also really nice, but then we had the company of a lady from Townsville who had just been crabbing and caught about 5 just for herself. We were amazed and a little envious, as we had never tried mud crabs before, but we had a nice little chat about her trip, and ours making friends still.
The next morning we woke up and took showers again, thinking ok this time we won’t have any for a few days. We fueled up and then headed to the visitors center, however when I started the car at the petrol station it seemed a little lagged, as if the car was struggling a little. We didn’t think too much of it, parking in the shade and heading into the visitors centre. After a very unhelpful few minutes with the lady there we headed out to the car and were ready to get going. The car had another idea, he didn’t start and after a few attempts the engine was just not kicking in.
Alex and I exchanged panicked looks and thought ‘SHIT’ what has happened! Since we were still in Derby we luckily had range (because Vodafone is great guys, don’t ever get it if your travelling around Australia), I called RAC who said they would have someone to us within half an hour. So in our shady spot at the visitor’s center, where every retired couple and their caravan came to stop, we waited.
A million things went through our minds, including, what if this is the last stop on our trip, the car has kicked it and we have had to stop in bloody Derby of all places. Time could not have gone slower, with someone coming from the local mechanic almost an hour later (so much happening in Derby apparently), he took a quick look, check out main battery and then told us we just needed a new battery.
Serious relief flooded both of us, sending messages to both of our families. Mum was so cute, saying ‘I was worried you wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep if your car was in the shop’ we had a little giggle mum I am sorry, because we also have the other ground tent…
After the mechanic replaced our main battery, he tested our deep cycle one which is used for the fridge, he said it was charging a little lower than it should, but that could have been due to the other battery dying. He said get it checked out when you can, we went to the local auto electrician but after waiting a while as he was busy we decided to just get it checked in Kununurra (that was a future problem, YOLO).
After the whole ordeal Alex and I had another moment of relief, we had definitely thought of many worse scenarios but luckily it was just our good, or shall we say not so good, old battery. So in looking back, Derby was a lifesaver and as I believe, everything happens for a reason. We were meant to stop in Derby the night before, to be in an area with phone coverage and a mechanic to save our butts, before a very long journey without any of those.