On sunday morning we boarded a small 4x4 bus to go on a three day trip to The Bungle Bungle. After a few hours driving south we turned east on the 4x4 track into the national park. We were only 10 minutes into the track when we smelled something like burning plastic or rubber. We dismissed it at first but when it got stronger the driver pulled over to have a look. Immidiately after we stopped there was a lot of smoke coming into the cabin. The driver pulled up some panel in the bus's floor and now there was not only smoke but also flames. Exciting! Everyone got out of the vehicle as quickly as possible while the driver got the fire extinguisher and put out the fire. After a little bit of inverstigating we discovered that some insulation of the electic wires had burned. We found that all the wires and the battery were way too hot to touch. Also the starter motor was making very nasty sounds even though the keys were out of the ignition! We disconnected the battery and explored a little more in the engine bay and discovered that all the wires were completely molten and burned. So here we were at 10 in the morning: well and truly stranded with a broken down car. We carried a sattelite phone but noone knew how to get it to work (it kept saying "searching.....") until Oskar had the most brilliant idea to pull out the antenna :-). So we were able to call back to base and notify them. They said they'd come out to us as immediately. After about four hours of waiting we called once again. They should have been there by then. We were told they had only left 1.5 hours earlier because they couldn't get any 4x4 car on sunday. We were stranded in the middle of the track so everyone was really looking strange at us while we were having lunch is this really shitty spot. One driver even complained that we should have some consideration for other drivers as they now had to drive around us :-) At about 4 in the afternoon our rescue party finaly arrived. They got to work on the car while we transfered our gear to the new vehicle. Fortunately there was only 6 of us so it all fit. We left the rescue party something to eat in case they couldn't fix the car. We then drove of into the park while it was already getting dark. We made a phone call at the ranger station to tell someone that if the other car didn't report in by 2100 they should send a tow-truck in the morning.
After that there were no more surprises but we had to fit a three day trip into two days so everything was pretty rushed. We did manage to see everything, including a helicopter ride that even took us THROUGH some gorges. Fantastic!
We nearly collided with a cow at 130Km/h on the way back and picked up a stranded truckdriver who had run out of fuel :-).