1. Port Augusta

We hopped on the Greyhound bus at Cadney Homestead and prepared for our 9 hour journey. Our first stop though would be Coober Pedy (again) where we would have a 45min break. We were trying to work out if we would have enough time to get to John’s Pizza, have our order made up, eat it at a table and get back in time. If there wasn’t time to eat at the table we could just bring it back as a takeout and eat it on the bus. What we hadn’t allowed for was how popular it would be on a Sunday evening (we thought it might be closed!) and how long the takeout queue would be. It was going to be a half hour wait but they kindly seemed to expedite our order so we were able to run back to the bus with our contraband, you aren’t supposed to take hot food onto the bus.

We arrived at Port Augusta at 2am. The hotel proprietor had said that he would leave a key in the door of unit 3. As I opened it I could hear running water, someone must have left the tap on. I headed to the back of the room, a bijou kitchenette with the bathroom off to the left. Water was running from under a door on the right, across the lino of the kitchen area and into the bathroom where, fortunately there was a plug hole in the floor devouring the flood. At that time it didn’t seem expedient to ring the owner, the bed area was dry so we just fell into the twins after wading back and forth to the bathroom, and fell asleep to the sound of running water. I tried to tell myself that it was just as if Roger was in the shower, for a very long time!

We had arranged to check out at 11.30am so were a little put out by our 9am house-keeping knock. She went away now knowing that we would be a while longer. Roger went for a shower at about 10 and discovered that we had no hot water, much the same time as the maid came back to ask us what time we’d be leaving as she only had our room left to do. I had been so looking forward to a leisurely luxury shower after a lie in so was most disappointed. I told her about the problem and that perhaps she should tell the manager as we needed another bathroom. When she realised we were coming out of the room imminently she said that we could tell him ourselves!

Packing everything away again we trundled into the hotel to be met with a rather stressed Mick. We almost felt that it was our fault that we had a leak but definitely that we hadn’t rung him when we arrived as there was no hot water anywhere in the hotel. So much for my nice cleansing, refreshing shower! He also admitted that he thought we were a pair of blokes, taking my name to be the masculine version of Gill, so had specifically given us the only twin room. I don’t know how long it would have taken him to discover the leak if we hadn’t been in that room as it was actually coming from a burst pipe in an adjacent empty room. We didn’t think it would have been too bad as the water was reasonably contained but what we hadn’t considered was either that the whole hotel would be affected but also, despite being in a more temperate zone, water is very expensive here. Oops.

Later that afternoon, whilst we were waiting to meet Karen from camel trekking, the heavens opened and torrential rain came down, off and on, for over three quarters of an hour. Apparently its been doing that for over a month 8 hours south of Wintinna as well.

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