Kings Canyon camp
The night the rains came down, we had luckily put up our new side tent, great as in morning we were snug and dry, a good choice that side tent that day.., but once out of the tent, realized the awning was full of water, lowered one side and prob solved , must remember for the future, couple of niggling problems resolved, the Landy water system is weeping and needs a cupful top up every day, we'd renewed the gasket before we came plus hve a spare, anyway renewed the jubilee clip on the hose, fingers crossed its not the gasket, the other is the exhaust seems to be blowing at the front, tighten nuts,neither is affecting our progress as we head for Alice.
Went to the camp show in the evening..good fun, a husband and wife team entertained us with their singing all the old numbers in a singalong and had the children up on stage playing numerous diff instruments and singing, which they loved , splashed out on a steak and some beer.
Just as we were packing up Batch turned up he just arrive from Uluru, it hadn't rained there at all. and some roads on the Alice route were closed, a quick check and find the loop we intend use is closed, but wont be there till later today, hopefully, should have dried out by then…Batch also told us there were camel races at Alice. Maybe bump into him again along the way.
Sunny day, again saw new arrival pulling a trailer arriving, a muddy mess, Think it's Friday tdy, anyway off we went , at first not to bad, but the fine dust and water mix like cream on a muddy road, also a few intrepid folks had been through b4 us , so before long its lock the diff and four wheel drive, slipping and sliding all over the road in places, oddly you travel along and find creek beds dry with no sign of any rain and mud where you think it likely to dry. slow down for water on road as it will splash up a wall of red water over yr window screen, you need keep window washers topped up, otherwise you can't see a thing.
Seen more small herds of camels today, but otherwise very little wild life around. We have travelled along the Luritija Rd onto the Larapinta Rd, turn Left (North) onto Namatjira Rd which loops around and leads into Alice Springs from the West. Virtually all dirt track, but very muddy by the time we got to Alice and set up camp, on Saturday we tidy up, washing cars and clothes then visit nature reserve, only kangaroos I've seen are in captivity, followed that with a visit to a Truck Museum, very enjoyable
Sunday, off again heading for Finke and Mount Dare along the old Ghan Railway track which ran from Adelaide to Alice, begin to notice a few small flies around, roads are getting hardy , very corrugated, got to an old railway stop called Rodinga , slower progress, hardly seen anyone all day.. Bundooma/Engordina/Mnt Squire/Rumbalara/Finke all the old railway stops, the track is littered with old line bolts used to hold rail to sleepers, no problems, but you want one stuck in your tyres. Not much left broken down buildings,stockyards and water towers, it must hve been steam originally. Tdy I think the Ghan train runs through to Darwin, and is a diesel. Weather's dry now, but ground very rutted from recent rains..it wud be a real mess and diff to drive thru in the wet.
Finke is the back of beyond, I think its an aboriginal town, not a sole in sight, it has a railway crossing and the old signs are still there,
We make Mount Dare, sounds good, but no mountains in sight, in fact just the opposite it's low lying and they have built a ramp of earth all around it, which didn't do much good as it usually floods when there's rain, it's dry now so no problems, tho the rutted mess of the past can still be seen around the place, the photos of the past show the water level at the height of the bar. We are now in South Oz and tmrrw will head for Dalhousie Springs. which is a hot spring in the middle of nowhere, u can swim there in hot water.
Very arid, mainly spinifex and a small shrubby wattle, soil very red, only done abt 55km this am, probly only do same this afternoon, track is bit messed up with little deviations to get around the worst of it, but now sand dunes are slowing us as well. Will camp in the open, along the way, we stop abt 16.30 to set up camp near a place called Freeth Junction on the French Line, which runs East below the South Oz State Border, meeting the border at Poeppel Corner, who apparently had a length of chain, equiv to 1 chain (22yrds long.. old measurements) which he used to measure the distance from Adelaide to Poeppel corner, only to find the chain he used was incorrect, so he did it again, there's perseverance for you.
Now crossing the Alinga Plain, Geoff had bought some steaks so barbecue'd those under the stars, there hve been some marvelous skies at night, so beautiful, unbelievable how many stars there are. Will be spending another night on this track before reaching Birdsville, there seems to be nothing here but us.
17th. Another day of driving over sandy dunes, u come over the top, drop down and back up to the crest of the next dune, to yet another even higher dune, or on to the horizon over yet more dunes the Landy is doing very well, all Geoff's preparation is paying off, everything in the vehicle is shaken up, the sardine tins hve been crushed flat. Will sort it all out in Bville. Tnnght's gastronomic delight is two packets of fish fingers and bakebeans and potatoes, seen no one all day. Stopped near a place called Approbinna on top of a sand dune, still quiet night, got to pick your spot carefully ensure u hve firewood around.
18th. Now reached Poeppel Corner and visited his marker and memorial to his achievements, this spot is in three states, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Aust. Already had another day of dunes, stuff in the back taking a real battering, bit nervous of opening the rear door as it may all fall out on us. The last bit of today was a nice run around the edge of a large dried up salt flat to the corner. Dunes are more yellow sand than red and seem to be a bit further apart, fuel gauge looking good but then we not able do the miles, it's all 4 wheel drive and low gear work. doesn't seem be any wild life. Next stop the Big Red (a large,long and high sand dune,36k before Birdsville, arriving there abt 15.00, come over the preceding dune, and Big Red doesn't look that big, until u are at the bottom of it looking up, drop tyre pressure to 18psi infront and 22 at back, up and we are over the top no problem. The other side is a complete surprise, a salt water lake with birds all around pelicans and wading birds, I wouldn't hve thought there were any fish there, nice spot for us but not so good in summer. Another surprise is after going around the lake it's a good dirt road all the way to Bville. Should be there abt 16.30 set up camp, shower and a meal at the pub. sort out the car tmrrw