That added zest to the trip up the Telegraph track by young Sunshine Coast mechanics Jesse Adams and Nick Rawlings. Jesse set forth in a Patrol with sleeping quarters in the back and Nick in a Cruiser with a rooftop camper and girlfriend Emily.
We met up with them at Merluna Station near Aurukun as they headed back down south.
Both vehicles had clocked up nearly 400,000 miles before their month-long duel and the boys had a ball. The Old Telegraph Track, they said, wasn’t as bad as they had expected. Isabel would do it easily but the problem would be her height and width.
Both claimed their relative vehicles had performed the best on their journey.
Nick pointed out the dot points written in the dust on the back of Jesse’s Patrol.
“Broke so far” said the heading.
· * Dual batteries
· * Side awning
· * Shock mount
· * Amp (on the sound system)
Jesse amiably produced a broken rear light casing to add to the list.
“So” I said to gloating Nick, “how’s the Cruiser going?”
He hesitated and grinned. “I can’t really talk. Don’t even go there.” He hesitated again and bravado won. “Nah. She’s holding up well.”
A fun night around the campfire left us vowing to get a petition up to contest the new National Parks regime of having to pre-book camp sites on line or by phone. It might work in some places but on Cape York no one is really sure what day they are going to be where and most of the time communications are non-existent.
Emily said they had estimated their route and made one booking but lost their payment because they were later. We all agreed we would do something about a petition and said farewell the following morning knowing full well we probably never would.
ABOVE: Jesse looks ruefully at his latest piece of broken gear, a smashed tail light as Nick puts one in his ribs.
BELOW: The banter of the brands continues.