Yep, off we set from Coen in high spirits for the 260 k corrugated experience to Weipa. Morrie's unusual flatulence after a minor creek crossing proved to be a flat tyre, puncture mark invisible to naked eyes, so to speak. After a fair bit of heaving, grunting and high lift jacking we had the spare tyre on and off we set again somewhat more muted at the thought of another flat tyre bringing everything to a grinding halt. It was, however, not to be (PTL) and we arrived at Darcy Hallam's hacienda in Weipa without further ado. He prepared a beautiful meal of oysters, prawns and fish and we felt lucky to be alive, if not fortunate not to have exploded. Darcy is a lovely guy and a captain of the pilot boat in Weipa, bless his drawers.
This morning we were lucky to experience a classic belt and braces performance by a "lollipop" man in Weipa. He brought us to a halt at his crossing with his lollipop and then indicated to his mate 3 metres away that it was safe to cross with a sharp tootle on his mouth-activated whistle. Truly impressive! The good citizens of Weipa care very much for each other!
And so on to the tyre repair joint in Weipa where Peter treated us to the driest laconic humour we had so far experienced. John, please take up the story......
Picture in your mind Weipa Acme garage and sort of battery and tyre joint...............yep, that's it. Galvanised iron front, the BP sign had become flaccid and the reception area was the size of a small billiard table.
We employed our ingress tentatively as we were nervous and anxious about Morrie's flat tyre and the robustness of our future peregrinations. The three people in the reception area were already a little cramped but we befriended them as John makes eye contact and smiles with anyone with a pulse - Oscar, the Dad with the tats and the 30" waist James the two year old son - " Where's your nose James ? " said John 10 times.." Where's your nose? "............" This is your nose......." said John....10 times....but Oscar was clealrly becoming a little uneasy at this behaviour which - PTL - John identified but , I have to say just in the nick of time. The other cobber looked like a maths teacher but he drove a 1991 Peugot 404........you know the 1600cc jobbie that would not pull the skin off a custard....my God he was soooo proud of this heap of rubbish but we both were sensitive to this wayward love affair and encouraged him to go for the repco alternator although it was not a genuine Peugeot part.
He finally capitulated which shot us to the top of the queue.
" Pete " John said " It's about Morrie's tyre - it's flat and you look like an expert "............" That's yer first mistake " said Pete......kinda like Elliot Goblet.........but said Pete " I know my tyres...........yep....pick 'em a mile off - they're round and black ".
We knew straight away we were in good hands.
The round of golf at Royal and Ancient Weipa would not have been so long if it was only 30 degrees and the lunch menu did include a salad sandwich but the Smiths crisps and the 34 degree heat mixed with the bore water was a prescription that, fortunately was only the domain of elite athletes.........Ged and Christine, Christine still don't fully realise how fortunate they are.
The highlight was the phone call on the 10th from Elliot Goblet " Yer tyre's fixed and ready for discharge from hospital ".........well, talk about laugh, but, nay , the laughter was muted as we still had reservations about Elmer ( who we had glanced briefly at the 8.15am rendevous ) and his capacity to identify the tyre's malady.
We rolled back into the forecourt of Weipa BP Acme at 3.17pm, hot and sweaty after a gruelling 18 holes and ,lo and behold the whole thing turned to gold. Yes, we had run over a sharp rock, punctured the tyre but repairable, Pete ( Elliot Goblet ) made a donation and Elmer threw Morrie onto the hoist with arresting professionalism and put everything back together like all the King's horses and all the King's men with Humpty Dumpty.
The egress would have been wonderful after parting with only 40 clams save for the fact that Elliot Goblet took a shine to Ian's erudite approach to the whole thing and took about 29 minutes to tell Ian his life story - it would have been more comfortable for John if this joint had even a crude dunny.
Mr Goblet went close to being included in the Henderson Christmas letter and made another donation for wasting Ian's time.
Darcy's steak and salad went down a treat tonight after our luncheon of crisps.
Good night.............I think I'll have a Bundy and coke.......haven't had one for about twenty years.