Departing pretty early we head out along the Karunjie track which according to the map leads to the Gibb River Road. We figure that we leave the other truck to Big Al we will go directly to Kununurra and see if we can expedite a repair.
After an hour or so on the track we work out that we are going the wrong way and are pretty much at the point of no return. The track is good and the views of the Cockburn Range are beyond spectacular so we decide to press on until suddenly the vehicle bogs. I'm telling Mary to keep it moving but the wheels may be spinning but there is no progress. The truck has sunk into a patch of thick glutinous and utterly unyielding black mud, probably as a result of the rain on Saturday night.
We've seen one car all morning and the landscape is completely uninhabited. On the plus side we have plenty of water and food so we can wait but in the meantime we gather some rocks and spread them under the tyres to try to unglue it but it's very firmly stuck.
Thankfully a good Samaritan, Roger, stops by. Clearly very knowledgeable in the ways of 4wd, he coaches us in using grass under the wheels, attaching the D shackles and 'snatch strap' (which is not at all what I thought) and out we pop. Roger walks off to find another way across what is clearly a swamp and we head back the way we came.
It has to be said that the Karunjie track going south is even less obviously a road than the way we went to start with. Single track, rough as all Hell and really tough going. What we do see is a huge monitor lizard and more of the Cockburn Ranges. Average speed? 20 kph tops. We see one other car only in the whole 50km
Back on the main road the 'missing' that was evident before has become much worse. There's obviously no way we can proceed on the Gibb River Road so we have to go back to Kununurra to get our engine fixed.
We finally make it back to Kununurra just gone 1pm and Mary and I refresh ourselves with a slap up lunch at the Pumphouse, just don't go by this place it's first rate.
After lunch we talk to Peter from the RAC who is quite compelling about getting the truck fixed before we go into the Gibb River “you'd be mad not to”. So we find the local Nissan dealer, Argyle Motors, who have lost their opening time from the sign at the front and retire back to the Discovery Motor Camp for a swim and a beer.
Curiously the other truck arrives as we are checking in. Big Al was able to wire up the sump guard but it's only a temporary fix and needs to be properly dealt with. They took the same route south as we did and must have been just behind us.