Communication with external participants leads to far greater experiences.
I've always taken the approach that everyone can teach me something, and on this trip, where there were a great deal of unknowns, this philosophy was reinforced. Just a casual chat with a passer by can lead to a gem of information. We met a fellow traveller at Portland who was just returning from his own top end adventure. He had taken note of all the fuel prices throughout, which allowed me to plan our fuel stops to take advantage of the best prices! He was quite eager to share his knowledge with us, and as this was early in our trip it really made me consider the wisdom of Dale Carnegies teaching on letting others talk about what they know.
Another great example occurred through a chance conversation at a fuel stop at Erldunda......