Monday, 19 December 2016

Some Isa Nostalgia

I reckon this is a pretty good shot (taken with my vintage Asahi Pentax).

 This was taken back in September 1995, when my two sons and I went for a camping trip at lake Moondarra, to the North East of Mt Isa.

There's not much there, except for the artificial lake on the Leichhardt River, from which Mt Isa draws the bulk of its water supply.

To access the camping area, we had to traverse a pretty rough track which had a 4WD access only sign posted at the turnoff from the main road. I wasn't sure the 1970 Peugeot 404 which I was driving at the time would make it, but thought it was worth a try.

We were going well, crawling along in 2nd gear and avoiding the nastiest looking goolies, until we came upon a very steep little climb. It was obvious that the only way we would successfully negotiate this would be with the advantage of momentum.

In other words, we'd have to take a run at it.

The worry was somebody coming the other way, so I sent the boys to stand at the top of the climb to keep an eye out for the very slight off chance of approaching traffic, and set off.

The old girl did it, but we left the last half of the exhaust system behind. I strapped it to the roof rack, and we proceeded very noisily to the campsite. the boys thought the noise was great.

The best part was the occasions when I was approached by other campers in their very expensive and over equipped 4WDs, asking "how did you get that thing in here?".

I would smile and say "It's a Peugeot. They're pretty good  off road", which was true. The 404 had a great record as a rally car including wins in the East Africa Safari. What i didn't tell them was that it had cost me the princely sum of $500 and was the result of cannibalizing my first 404 (which had broken a camshaft) for the best bits.

My first 404 which was cannibalized when it broke a camshaft.

We had a great time, got lost, caught a few fish, and I refitted the exhaust system using new clamps when we got home.

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