The T-Team With Mr B (14)
[The last few months I have revisited The T-Team with Mr. B: Central Australian Safari 1977 which is a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981. In preparation for its release later this year, I will be sharing posts of this adventure.
In this episode more carnage to the trailer. This time the tyres take a beating. But there are unexpected rewards for those who wait…]
Tyre Carnage On Way to the Rock
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.
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!’
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,’ I said. As we were walking, I conveyed the information I had gleaned from Dad about the Olgas. ‘Did you know, Matt, that the people who own this land call this amazing collection of giant boulders, Kata Tjuta which means “many heads”?’
‘How far are the Olgas from Ayers Rock?’ Matt asked.
‘My dad reckons they are 30 miles west of Uluru,’ I replied. ‘he says we’re going to camp outside the national park, just beyond the Olgas.’
‘Olgas, that’s a funny name.’
‘Yeah, it’s German, I think. Dad was telling me that in 1872, the pioneer explorer Ernest Giles discovered them and called them “The Olgas”, after Queen Olga of the German Kingdom of Württemberg.’
‘Imagine having a few rocks named after you.’ Matt laughed. ‘The Boulders of Lee-Anne.’
‘Matt’s Massif,’ I joked.
Matt tittered. ‘What about, Richard’s Rock?’
‘Hey, I just remembered, back in Ernabella, there’s a Trudinger Hill. How cool is that?’
‘So, every time, people see those funny rocks and boulders in the distance, they will be reminded of some mouldy old German queen.’
‘Now that you put it that way, sounds a bit odd, us Europeans putting our names on the features of this ancient land. I wonder if they’ll eventually change the names back to what the Pitjantjara peoples call it someday.’
*[Photos 3,4, & 5: Views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta © L.M. Kling 2013]
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.’
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; updated 2022
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