On the way to Bank Banka (see below) we overnight at a free camp at a place called 41 Mile Bore. This is literally in the middle of the outback but we weren’t alone as several other travelers also stopped here for the night.
All was going swimmingly until Bob got back into the caravan after Siobhan and closed the door. Now … the caravan door has always been a little sticky so a slightly more forceful tug is required to ensure the door closes properly. However, the sound of the door closing was followed immediately by the sound of the internal door handle disintegrating in Bob’s hand. Followed in a millisecond by the expected expletives as the realisation dawned that the only way the door can be opened from the inside is by using the (now defunct) door handle.
Bob’s dormant claustrophobia suddenly raised its ugly head. Just before the absolute panic stage, we realised that there was still a small piece of the handle still in place which we managed to manipulate to get the door open. So the overnight fix involved two elastic bungy cords tied together.
The next morning we were trying to work out how to get this problem fixed in the middle of nowhere. Once outside the caravan we could close the door but the bungy cords were required if we were inside.
To cut an already long story short, once we got into telephone reception we called a caravan park in Tennant Creek to see if they knew of any caravan repairers only to be told that a mobile repairer was stayed there the previous night but they had left that day. I called his number to see where he was only to be told he was pulling in to the roadhouse we had stopped in to call him, 5 minutes behind us !! He looked at the problem, we waited with baited breath as he dug into the back of his van and ….. found the very same handle that we broke the night before. Same size, same colour, same orientation … How lucky were we.