The Gibb River Road – August 7th to August 21st 2014

Cockburn Ranges across the Pentecost

It was with no little trepidation that we set off from Kununurra to the turnoff to the Gibb River Road

First stop was at the eastern end for a group shot.

Then off down the road towards the Cockburn Ranges.

The bitumen didn’t last long and we stopped just past the El Questro turnoff to lower our tyre pressures to something more suitable for running on the rough stuff.  We dropped ours to 24PSI for the cruiser and 28PSI for the van.  Had no tyre problems at all.

The Cockburn Ranges are spectacular.

And the road was not too bad.

We arrived at the Pentacost River crossing.

I was the first across.

We all crossed safely and headed further south.

 

We stopped at a Photo-Op location just past Home Valley Station.  We were doing one of our routine checks on our hub temperatures when I found one of my van hubs was running hot.

The Management sorted it. We got the hub off after letting it cool down.  Turned out the brake shoes were on a little too tight.  We adjusted the brakes, bunged a little more grease in the bearings put it all back together and set off again.

We found a great camp not far further down the road that had a view over the Cockburn Ranges, the Pentecost River and the confluence of the rivers at Wyndham.  It also had decent Telstra connection, the last on the Gibb River Road.

It was my birthday so we applied our skills with the camp ovens and cooked up a dinner of lamb shanks and a chocolate cake, with candles, for desert.

I thought it was an appropriate occasion to have another cigar.  A Cohiba Behike, courtesy of a Qatari Prince.  Very nice.

The Gibb wasn’t too bad, but some of the roads leading off it were pretty rugged.  This was the road to Ellenbrae Station and we’d pulled up to help a couple of guys in a Prado.  They said they’d heard a bang and then some thumping noises.  I had a look and found a blown shocker on the front driver’s side wheel.  The rest of the management agreed with the prognosis.  We told them to lower their tyre pressures and slow down a little.

Ellenbrae Station was a pleasant green spot and we stayed their for lunch.

We circled the wagons at Russ Creek that night.  A good camp spot well back from the road and nice and flat.

 

We turned right at the Kalumburu Road and headed on up to Drysdale Station.  The road was pretty rough so we kept the speed right down.

We came across an 80 Series Landcruiser abandoned and being stripped on the side of the road.  Apparently a local bloke died in it and it was left there to rot (the car not the local)

We arrived at Drysdale Station and settled in for a few days.

We arranged the vans in our “Circle the Wagons” configuration.  No power, no water, $15 per person per night.

The place was quite busy with a large number of motorcycle riders camping there.  Beer was around $8 a stubby.

The Kimberley Burger was pretty tasty, and should have been for $18 for lunch or $26 for dinner (with chips).

We cooled off in Miner’s Pool just up the road from the station.

We cooked up a side of beef in the camp oven.

For Terry and Rosemary’s Wedding Anniversary.

We thought the road out to Mitchell Falls was just a little too rough for comfort so we booked a flight.

 

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ACC SOUTHERN NOMADS at Lake Bolac

There's a mob of vans down here at Lake Bolac.

We had a great talk by Peter May, the chairman of CIA VIC, and after that we got ready for the port bottling.

 

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A Month In Europe

We've set off for Europe to catch up with our son and his family in London before touring rural France.  We stopped over at Hong Kong for a couple of days to break the long, long flight.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a marvellous place and with the high Aussie dollar it is amazingly cheap.

This was the view from our hotel room in Kowloon looking across the harbour.

It's an extremely dense place with high rise buildings built right up to the jungle's edge on the slopes.

The very busy streets are lined with a vast variety of goods.  Just along this street were open fronted shops selling live prawns and live fish and cuts of meat hanging out in the open.

We took a bus ride around the island to Stanley and had a great time wandering around the market there.  Lots of bargains to be found.  We bought an evening gown for Judy and a Chinese satin jacket for Coco.

There are lots of insanely expensive ($13M AUD) hi-rise apartments nestled into the mountains along the coast-line.  Their construction techniques are interesting.  All the scaffolding is bamboo tied together with a sort of raffia string.

Here is a closeup of the workers on the scaffolding. Apparently it's safe and sturdy and I didn't notice any OH&S around but I don't think I'd be climbing it.

We finished the tour with a sampan ride on Aberdeen Harbour, above is a large Chinese restaurant floating in the harbour and surrounded by fishing junks.  The fishermen live on board these craft.

We had a terrific, all you can eat seafood buffet at the hotel for a very reasonable price and got an early nights sleep. We had to get up at 4 the next morning for the trip to the airport to catch our flight to London.  The flight was delayed two hours, while all aboard fumed, because of a mechanical fault.

Thoroughly recommend Hong Kong for a visit.  We could have spent a couple of weeks there.

London

It was a long flight from Hong Kong to London across China and Russia.  For much of the way the land was covered in snow and ice.

We spent a few days in Wandsworth catching up with our son's family.  The weather was marvellous, a week of 20C temperatures and blue skies, managed to maintain our tans.

Didn't do much touristy stuff just played with our grand-daughters, Lyla and Kaia with the odd bit of shopping in Chelsea.

The herds of deer in Richmond Park looked very tasty.

 

There were a vast number of renovations going on in the streets around my son's house.  This truck was dropping off sand (it comes in bags) and concrete for a cellar being dug (by hand) just down the road.  The traffic had to wait for the unloading to complete, but the those caught just sat and waited with no road rage.  Amazing.

Clapham Common was just a couple of hundred metres away and we spent a few enjoyable times up there with the kids.

The Aussie Dollar makes for a few bargains over here so we got the bus to Sloane Square for bit of shopping. The above is Clapham Junction, where we caught the bus, a very busy intersection.

Next stop Normandy in France.

Normandy

We packed up early and headed off for Portsmouth and the ferry to Cherbourg.

The crossing was fairly smooth and relatively quick.  About 4 hours.

We drove up the coast a short way and checked into a small hotel on Omaha Beach. One of the sites of the D-Day landings in WWll.  Weather was somewhat chilly.

We spent a couple of day in the area, visiting the old german defenses.

Including the cliff top gun emplacement ats Pointe Du Hoc.  The allied forces had to climb rope ladders under heavy fire to reach the top of the cliffs.

The broad fields of crosses at the war cemeteries gave some indication of the carnage.

We also visited Bayeux.  The home of the marvellous tapestries and the wonderful cathedral.

Next stop Bordeaux.

Bordeaux

Long drive down to Juillaguet just south of Angouleme to our son's in-law's holiday house.

It's an ancient farmhouse which they have spent a couple of years restoring.

The place is surrounded by farms growing wheat, canola, walnuts and raising cattle. (Farmhouse is in gap between woods at top of hill.)  Surrounding woods are great for walks and mushrooms in the autumn.

Lots of old villages in the surrounding area with magnificent markets.

Saucissons and other cured meats were delicious.

The array of fresh vegetables and fruit was amazing.

The foie gras was definitely heart attack material.

And the oysters were superb.

All washed down with copious quantities of delicious local wine. Not from the above vineyard unfortunately.  This is Chateau Petrus, probably the source of the most expensive wine in the world.

We visited Pomerol and lunched at St Emilion were I pigged out on a Chateaubriand with a big slab of Foie Gras.  Yumm.

We visited a few of the picturesque villages and towns in the region including Aubeterre, home of a huge church carved into the rock face of a cliff.

And Cognac home of that brilliant french tipple.  The "eau de vie" in these wicker encased glass containers is over 200 years old and is blended with upto 100 other vintages to make Hennessy's really top of the range Cognac (7800Euros per bottle).

We were at the farm-house for Easter and our grand-daughters had a wonderful time hunting for Easter eggs.

After all the feasting and merriment we headed back for the UK via Saint Malo

and Mont St Michel.

 

 

 

 

 

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Long Way Round to the National Muster - Katherine to Adels Grove

After leaving Katherine (check out our Kakadu to Katherine Blog) we headed down to Mataranka and checked into the Territory Manor CP just off the highway.  A nice park with  some good shade and peacocks and an orphaned roo wandering around.

We visited the Bitter Springs pools down the road and had a dip.  They were quite hot and you wouldn’t be able to swim to far in them before you overheated.

Next morning we set off for Roper Bar, the first part of the trip was relatively uneventful with an excellent sealed road.

Things got a little rougher when we left the black-top for the somewhat corrugated gravel.

We filled up with fuel at the Roper Bar store, a real effort as the bowsers are behind a wire fence and it took some manoeuvring to get the truck in position, then we had to reverse out.

We called into the Roper Bar Campground to have lunch at let the tyre pressures down for the next part of the trip, to Borroloola, and met another couple who were planning the same  route.  So we decided to travel together.

We set off from Roper Bar and found the track was relatively good as the grader was on the job.

The countryside was grass and gumtrees as we followed the Roper River off to our left.

There were the odd lagoons/billabongs along the way teeming with bird life.

We passed quite a few fishing camps along way but with restricted access to the shore and the abundance of crocs you would need a boat to ensure you didn't get eaten.

Our first overnight stop was at the  St. Vidgeon Lagoon behind the St Vidgeon Ruins

We set up camp just a few feet from the lagoon and barbequed an excellent steak.

Next morning we set off again along the long gravel road

And stopped for lunch at Buttefly Springs.  This is a lovely camp spot with a number of bays and firepits and true to its name, a large number of butterflys.

There were a few creek crossings along the way, most were quite shallow and relatively smooth bottoms.

We called in for a tour through “The Lost City”.  A marvellous formation with towering red sandstone pillars crowded together.

We passed through a few stations along the way one of them had a great mailbox.

We continued on the stony and mildly corrugated road then turned off for the 30k sidetrip to Lorella Springs Station.

 The road to Lorella had been graded a couple of weeks previously but the mining trucks had cut it up pretty badly.  Lots of deepish sand and corrugations and rough (dry) creek crossings.  But it’s well worth the diversion.

Water, showers and toilets, fuel available ($2.50 / litre), a great bar with campfire meals and terrific hot springs.  No power but you can use your generator during the day.

The station is huge and continues for about 90k to the coast.  They have driven a road through to the coast and you can take your rig out there.

There are lots of activities available, fishing for barra in the billabongs (watch out for crocs)

And plenty of spring fed pools for swimming

A couple of days later we left the Lorella and continued along an increasingly stony road down to Borroloola.

Picked up some fuel and a new Deep Cycle battery at Borroola and then drove a few k  on a heavily corrugated road out to the King Ash Bay fishing camp.

We set up camp a few yards from the open air “pub” and had a nice steak dinner there that night

It would be great place to spend a few weeks, but only if you have a boat.

Continued back on the Savannah Way heading towards Burketown.  This section of the road was a little more corrugated but not too bad

The water crossings were a little wider

We overnighted next to the Robinson River

Next morning we headed off  further through the gulf country  and a couple of deeper creek crossings.  Had to be a little careful steering around the boulders.

It was only a little over half a metre but we did take on a little water in the bilge.

It’s all cattle country so you have to keep a eye out for the occasional steer

We finally arrived in Burketown and checked into the local CP for a cleanup.  It was full of fishing tragics, guys in tents with their boats parked next door and everyone of them with a domestic chest freezer.

We parted company with our Perth travelling companions, Steven and Felicity, they went on to Karumba and we headed down to Lawn Hill.

The road from Gregory Downs to Adels Grove was in fairly good condition with a substantial length of it blacktop.

We encountered a few mining trucks along the way.  This is apparently unusual as the ore from the century mine goes via a pipeline to Kurumba.  A failure of the pipeline allowed a large quantity of the ore slurry to escape.  The trucks were being used to bring the  ore and the surrounding contaminated ground back to the mine.

We checked into Adels  Grove and had a great spot up in the generators area (there is no power), the place was virtually empty.  The generator did a sterling job of running the air-conditioner in high 30s heat.

The facilities are great, a terrific bar

Great swimming

and brilliant clear night skies

We went up to the Lawn Hill Gorge the next day and hired a canoe.  It was a very pleasant paddle up to the falls, I did the rowing and Jude navigated.

The swimming at the falls was very refreshing.

The gorge is spectacular.

The next day was a little more difficult.  A walk up to the top of the gorge and round to the falls.

The climb was pretty hot and steep

The views from the top were worth the climb.

 

We left the following day and headed for the coast and smooth roads.

It was a great trip and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.  There are some great sights to see along the Savannah Way from Mataranka via Roper Bar to Burketown.  Our van is not an “off roader” but it is pretty tough. We just lowered the tyre pressures and took things slowly and we had no problems.

 

 

 

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Graham & Ann : v00008
Well done Rob & Jude, thanks for the tips and pic's. Probably lucky you went thru late in the dry this year, as some of the cross... Read More
Monday, 27 September 2010 15:56
Alby & Geraldine : s00037
That sounded like a magic trip along the Savannah Way. Great photos as well. Lucky buggers!! ;-0 Alby&Geraldine
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 10:25
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Long Way Round to The National Muster - Kakadu to Katherine

We left Tumbling Waters CP and headed off towards Kakadu.  Our first stop was Mary River Park.  We stayed there for a few nights, a very pleasant spot, with good shady sites, a bar and the Mary River next door.

Did a walk along the river and spotted a bit of bird-life, sea-eagles, crimson finches, plus kangaroos and of course crocodiles both salties and freshies.

We made Mary River our base for a couple of tours around the area including the Windows on The Wetlands Centre, a worthwile visit,

Fogg Dam, and

Corroborree Billabong, this is a similar experience to the Kakadu -Yellow Waters Tours but a little less crowded.  The Corroborree Billabong is alive with a wonderful array of waterbirds including Jacanas,

lots of sea eagles

lots of ducks

and the occasional Jabiru

Of course there were the ever-present crocs we saw one medium saltie chase a little freshie.  An amazing turn of speed, but the freshie got away.

The salties were pretty big

and one tried to hide under some weed

 but I managed to spot him.

We moved up into Kakadu and booked into the Kakdu Lodge CP at Jabiru.  We had a good spot under a shady tree and

a few feet from the excellent pool and bar.

Cahill’s Crossing, the causeway to Arnhem Land, across the East Alligator River, is a great place for croc watching

We visited the area on a couple of occasions when the tide was in various states high

low

and in-between when the crocs went backwards and forwards across the causeway

There was a bit of barra fishing going on, but the crocs were keeping their eye on this bloke, he’d been there before

and this bloke got a nice one

But the biggest was caught by a big saltie.

A tour of the rock art site at Ubirr is a must.  There are some fabulous and exceedingly ancient examples along a walk though the area

 and up to the top of a rock dome with a magnificent view out over the wetlands.

The walk to the top of Twin Falls is great if you want to really test your condition, it’s a Category 6 Walk (Moderate to Difficult) and I had to keep prodding Jude with a stick to keep her going.

We did the walk in the morning to beat the heat but it was bloody hot any way.  The views from the top are spectacular

but the pools about half a k back form the falls make it worthwile, beautiful palm lined,

they make a great spot for a swim.

We trekked back down the escarpment and took the boat ride through the gorge

 up to the base of the falls.

It’s a fabulous place to visit but take plenty of water if you are going to walk to the top of the falls and you’ll need a high clearance 4WD to get in there.

We acquired a permit to the Wunyu Beach fishing camp in Arnhem Land and after a non-eventful traversal of Cahill’s Crossing (we had checked the tide-tables) and a side visit to the Oenpelli Art shop we headed up some reasonable tracks to the camp to have a look to see if we’d like to stay there for a few days.

It’s on a nice stretch of beach and quite isolated,

 we pulled the car up and walked round the front of it to have a look.  Jude screamed run and we shot back round and jumped into the car.  I asked her what the trouble was and she said she saw something slither off the rocks a few feet in front of us.  I carefully made a reconnaissance of the area and spotted a smallish saltie wash into shore on the waves

We figured you really need a boat to enjoy fishing around here or a very, very long fishing rod. So we had a picnic lunch and headed off back to the caravan park.

The Nourlangie Rock walks are handy to Jabiru and have some excellent views d

and rock art.

I did the Ranger Uranium Mine tour, very interesting spot with a great big pit

and lots of big Tonka Toys.

 We  left Kakadu and headed off down to Katherine to wait the birth of our new grand-daughter

She was a few days late so we did a few tours of the area including the excellent Cutta Caves

Kaia May Meisen Tudor finally arrived on the 1st September, a gorgeous little girl

So we toasted her arrival

and we packed up and headed for the next stage of our trip, The Savannah Way from Mataranka to Burketown on the rough route.

 

 

 

 

 

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JanB : q00029
Great pics, Rob. Specially liked the one above Twin Falls. We only saw that area from the air, which really gave no idea what it... Read More
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 05:28
Webmaster
Great Pics Rob, I like the comment about the one legged fisherman. We flew over the mine when we were up there, should have driven... Read More
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 11:56
Graham & Ann : v00008
Well done, great pics as usual, wetting our appetite for our return trip to the Kakadu etc area one day. Was there on quick car 2 ... Read More
Saturday, 18 September 2010 13:53
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Long Way Round to the National Muster - Alice to Darwin

 

Continued from 

http://www.australiancaravanclub.com.au/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=long-way-round-to-the-national-muster-home-to-alice-springs.html&Itemid=77

After overnighting at Marla and doing some minor repairs to the plumbing from the rigours of the Oodnadatta Track we parted ways with Ray and Kath, they headed south and we headed north to Alice Springs.

We stayed in Alice only a few days, top temperature was 14C and was forecast to be that way for some time, there was even water in the Todd.

So after cleaning the tug and the van at the local car wash and replacing the sullage hose lost along the Track we headed north again overnighting at the Devil’s Marbles.

 

It’s starting to warm up.  We arrived at Daly Waters and got a spot In the crowded and dusty caravan park next to the pub. 

Finished up the day with a fairly pricey dinner at the pub and a show by the ‘Chookman”.

Next stop was Katherine and we checked into the “Shady Lane Caravan Park” out on the road to the Gorge.  Nice site surrounded by palm trees.

Some shopping today in Katherine and then out to the Gorge for a bracing walk from the Visitors Centre up to the lookout at the top of the cliff.  Good walk, got the heart rate up substantially and a great view from the top.

.

Next day we took the “3 Gorges Trip” up the Katherine Gorge.  Very imposing scenery 

and interesting rock art.

The rangers had closed the river off to smimmers and canoeists because a saltie had been spotted in the 2nd gorge.  Those canonists still up the gorge had to be ferried back by the tour boats.  All we saw was a little freshie.

We tried to get a site at the Tumbling Waters CP but they were full so we moved on to the Free Spirit CP at Darwin for a few days.

Lazed around Darwin for while and even tried out the Wave Pool down on the water front.  A wave machine generates large waves in a pool for 15 or 20 minutes and you float around on inflated rings or surf on boogie boards.  The wave machine is then turned off for a while and the process repeats all day.  A great experience though I imagine it would be packed on the weekends.

Packed up and moved out to the Tumbling Waters CP, nice spot with our site surrounded by palms.

Tumbling Waters is just north of Litchfield so we headed down via the backroad, about 40 odd K of reasonable gravel that is progressively being black-topped.

Spent the afternoon at Wangi Falls swimming  and taking the walk through the rainforest around the top of the falls.

And observing the wild-life

Had a great fryup on the Biji Barbi that night.  Those Bijis are marvellous, over a gas ring or a campfire, they do a tremendous job.  (We have them in the club shop at a good price.)

We’re just down the road from the Territory Wildlife Park and that’s well worth a visit with a great predator bird show and other interesting exhibits.

Took a trip out to Dundee Beach and Crab Claw Island, if you are a fishing “tragic” this area would be a great.

Berry Springs is close by and we spent a hot afternoon enjoying the cool spring waters.

They have a croc lagoon in the middle of the caravan park (freshies only) and the weekly feeding gets them active.

Another trip to Litchfield Park, this time the long way via Batchelor, we visited Florence Falls and did a great walk there,

 then onto the Lost City via a long rough track

 and finally ended up at Wangi Falls again.  It was closed this time because of crocs but every cloud has a silver lining, got some good shots of the falls with no swimmers crowding the view.

Drove up to Mandurah just across the harbour from Darwin and had a great Barra and Chips at the Mandurah pub.

We used the 2 for 1 ticket we had won at a Bingo game at the Free Spirit CP for a fishing trip on Darwin Harbour.   Lots of bites and reeling in of small fish but nothing of any size and most were thrown back. Still it was a fun day.

The markets in Darwin are great.  We went to the Parap Market and had some excellent food and a chine massage.

On the way back home we called in at the Sticky Beak shop a very strange place.

The Beercan Regatta is a great Darwin attraction.   It takes place on Mindil Beach and is an all day event with tug-of-war competitions, 

thong throwing,

And of course the boat races with the boats constructed from beer cans glued and gaffer taped together.  There was a large flotilla

 including an entry from the US Hospital Ship the “Mercy”.

The racing concluded as usual with the various crews bombarding each other with flour bombs and water jets.

The Mindil Markets ran all day with a huge variety of food and souvenirs available.

We head out for Kakadu tomorrow.

 

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Webmaster
Great blog Rob, brings back fond memories of our trip to the Territory, love it up there.
Sunday, 29 August 2010 10:14
Alby & Geraldine : s00037
Love the Blog and photos. Great stuff Rob. We should have gone that way ourselves. Alby & Geraldine.
Sunday, 29 August 2010 15:49
JanB : q00029
Have been waiting for your travel blog - some great photos, and your tales bring back heaps of memories. Looking forward to hear ... Read More
Sunday, 29 August 2010 18:29
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Long way round to the National Muster - Home to Alice Springs

We set off today on our journey to the 2010 National Muster at Maryborough.  We're going up the Oodnadatta Track to the centre then up to Darwin to enjoy the warmth then across the Savannah Way to the east coast and down to Maryborough.

We're overnighting at a camp spot about 3ks north of Hattah on the Calder Highway.  We've stayed here before in fact I think I put an entry for it in the Camping Resource.  It's a large area between the highway and the railway track.  You can get a fair way back from the road so noise isn't a problem, Telstra and Optus reception is excellent.  We're the only ones here tonight. 

The head-wind and the rain on the drive up from Melbourne was diabolical, as Ray said it was like you are dragging a parachute.    4th gear all the way.  When we pulled into the camp spot at Hattah, the wind dropped and the sky cleared leaving us to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

It's pretty chilly but the diesel heater is doing a great job of keeping us toasty in the van.

The next day we set off, against headwinds, though Mildura then on to Renmark to resupply with fruit and vegetables.  They are pretty strict at the SA border and will confiscate most fruit and vegetables.  We had taken none with us.

We then travelled on to a campsite on the Murray at Hogwash Bend  a few k west of Waikerie.

There we caught up with Ray and Kath Barton and set up camp and a campfire.  Dinner was cooked by Ray in his cam oven and was excellent.

Day three saw more headwinds as we set off towards the Flinders Ranges.

First stop was Burra.

Then on through Peterborough to a camp spot about 18k north of Hawker.

Dinner was a fryup on the Biji-Barbi under a great sunset.

The weather forecast didn't look good and the next morning we woke to heavy rain.

Broke camp and headed up the road to Leigh Creek, we had to cross  the flooded Emu Creek along the way.

We stopped for a look at the Leigh Creek mine then travelled on to Lyndhurst were we stopped for the night in the caravan park attached to the pub.  The floods on the road ahead to Maree were a little deep for us and the van. (Around .8m apparently).

The afternoon and evening were clear and windy and we were hoping the road ahead would be passable.  We cooked up a nice camp-oven roast for dinner.

Late next morning, we filled our tanks at the tap at the front of the Lyndhurst Pub (reasonable water) and set off through the mud and slush for Maree where we met a group of ACC Goldcoast Gadabouts.

We had an excellent pie for lunch at the Maree store and then noticed that the Oodnadatta Track had been reopened (4WD only)  so the tire pressures were dropped and off we went.

 

The track was in good condition but pretty wet along the way, the advantage was that there was no dust, great.

A little down the track Ray got bogged in a creek crossing (his centre diff didn't lock).  So I unhitched my van in the middle of the track, backed up to him applied the snatch straps and dragged him back a little until his diff reengaged then he was off.

Interestingly,  while the tow was being organised, Judy was holding one end of the straps and a chap yelled out, "Don't step back, there is a snake behind you!!!"  Jude's response was quite restrained, along the lines of "Golly-gosh, goodness me" and I thought it was a joke until I got out and saw an Inland Taipan crawling across the track. I checked later in my photos and sure enough, there it was, with Judy oblivious in front of it.

Ray was not at all impressed, he yelled out "Bugger the snake, just put on the strap".

The next stop up the track saw Ray bogged about 10 yards short of the end  a half kilometre stretch of mud.  I backed up a k to tow him out but an obliging grader driver did the job much more efficiently.

The next stop were the desert sculptures constructed from various odds and ends lying round the countryside along the track.

We pushed on to our overnight stop at Lake Eyre South.

The lake is filling, a marvellous sight and a great sunset.

Up early next morning and back on the track.  Lots to see along the way. Ruins of old Ghan track stations are in reasonable condition, road in good condition if not a little muddy in places.

The mound springs at Coward Springs are well worth a visit.  The springs have built up substantial mounds over many years.

We arrived for an overnighter at the William Creek Pub.

Beer was good at $8 stubbie.

Petrol was a not so good $1.89/litre

We booked flights over Lake Eyre then settled in to our sites (powered $30 night).

Next morning we walked down to the airport for our flight, there were a large number of planes in operation and there was quite a bit of activity.  We were in an 8 seater.  We took off and headed for the lake.  It was vast, a true inland sea. Pity it is so ephemeral.

A change of direction and we set off for a flight over the Painted Desert, brilliant colours and rugged terrain.  Definitely a visual feast to be seen from the air.

After 2 hours of a wonderful flight we landed back at William Creek.

Left the vans locked up in the parking area and set off by road to Halligan's Bay on Lake Eyre.  The water was a very short way off shore and Ray and I went for a paddle.  A lot of small dead fish on the shore and very squelchy mud between our toes.

Back to William Creek and on up the Oodnadatta Track

to an overnight stop at Edward's Creek.  Great camp spot, plenty of wood, just wear your shoes to protect from the burrs.

Off again the next morning, track still good.

Even 1928 Chev Roadsters could traverse it!!!

 Lots of ruins, including the great Algebuckina railway bridge were we stopped for a tea break.

After that we continued to Oodnadatta and that centre of architectural elegance, the "Pink Roadhouse".

I had that epitome of gastronomic delight the "Oodnaburger" at $14.80.  A snip at the price and quite filling

After Oodnadatta the track got dry and stony, I'm glad I let the tyre pressures down, 27 PSI down from 38 in the cruiser and 30PSI down from 48 in the van tyres, plus we kept the speed to around 60 and 70 kmh.  We did have one hold up, a herd of beef appeared just over a rise, lucky we weren't hammering.

We arrived at Marla on the Stuart Highway later that day and checked into the caravan park behind the roadhouse.  Not much damage from the run, just a few busted pipes underneath from the stones in the last 30k, easy to fix.

Next morning we parted ways with Kath and Ray, they were heading south, we were heading north.

 

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Caron and Peter : v00216
great to hear from you, wow what a lovely sunset. ZEnjoy and keep safe. Caron & Pete
Sunday, 11 July 2010 17:27
JanB : q00029
Enjoy the warmth - guess we won't be running across you this trip - well at least not until you get to Maryborough. Jan & Ron... Read More
Monday, 12 July 2010 13:23
neilkay : v00113
Well done Rob All that and still time to do my contributions to the forum Thanks Neil & Kay v00113... Read More
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 15:30
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Avoca - ANZAC Day Races

Spent Sunday enjoying the ANZAC Day races at Avoca in Central West Victoria.

Big crowd turned up and the weather was kind. A number of local wineries set up booths on the course and there is an ample supply of excellent food.

At the end of the day the bookies got only a small dividend from us.

It's a big day so we took our van and parked in the camping area about 100 metres from the action.

 

The camping area was good, $10 night, toilets next door and showers available in the jockeys room about 50 metres away.  No power, no water but plenty of firewood provided for camp fires.

I reckon it would be a great place for a muster. Only downside is no dogs permitted.  The next race day is the weekend of the 16th October which unfortunately clashes with our National Muster the previous week.

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International Space Station Flyover

The clouds broke just enough for me to see the superbright International Space Station with the Space Shuttle parked next to it as they rocketed out of the southwest and disappeared overhead.

The blob above is the shot I got as it sailed over at 7:09 today (20th April)

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Another Great Sunset

It's been a long day but generally everything went well on the new website.  Still a couple of things to sort out but fairly minor stuff.

A great sunset capped off the day and I thought I'd share it with all.

Greensborough Sunset

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Ken and Kristine : n00007
Hi Rob, New site is ticking over very nicely thanks to your efforts and many hours of hard work. The sunset looks very red and d... Read More
Saturday, 27 March 2010 16:53
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