Marla was where our tyre hell started.
The Oodnadatta Track was pretty bad. Corrugated and rocky with a few bull dust holes thrown in for good measure. After a couple of kilometres from Marla we stopped and let the tyres down. Camper and car rear tyres down to 25psi and the car front down to 30psi. We took off again at between 30kph and 60kph. The first part of the track was OK at 50 to 60kph but the further we went the slower we went.
On this stretch we had a few punctures and became pretty good at plugging the holes.
We took that as a bit of a hint and dropped the car rear tyres down to 20psi. After three flats we arrived at Oodnadatta and had a well earned break. Dinner and a couple of drinks at the Transcontinental Hotel and we retired for the evening at the caravan park at the rear of the Pink Roadhouse.
We awoke to a flat tyre of course and figured that seeing as we had four plugged tyres we’d get the worst one patched. Of course the only person in Oodnadatta with the keys to the workshop had a day off and wasn’t in town. Oh well, such is life. so we took the offending wheel off and plugged the puncture and off we went towards William Creek.
From there the road deteriorated somewhat with quite severe corrugated and rocky sections.
By the time we got to William Creek we needed to have a tyre patched rather than just plugged. The person doing it had never come across double beaded rims before and had a devil of a time getting the tyre off and after patching it had an even worse time getting it back on. If only he had listened but he was a young know-all pilot and I was a know nothing mug tourist.
While we were waiting for the tyre to be patched I noticed that one side of the camper was a bit down. Had a look and one side of the suspension had dropped so I jacked it up and re-tightened the trailing arm mounts. While I was at it I took of the wheel and plugged the tyre.
Anyway, after putting the camper wheel back on, off we went towards Marree. Suffice to say that there were more punctures on the rocks and corrugations and we eventually arrived well after sunset. We were so late that we missed the damper, more about that in a while. We got set up, had a glass of wine, cooked and ate dinner and went to bed.
Next morning there were two punctures to greet us. One was easily patched but the other seemed to be leaking in a lot of places. Asked Brendan to take it off and have a look and it was pronounced very dead. We got a slightly incorrect width tyre to get us on our way – hopefully to Hawker, SA.