Blog Review: True remote Simpson Desert Travel - Simpson Geo Expedition ‘06

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We did the run from Old Andado to Birdsville June 1st to 8th.
4 vehicles, my Ranger, Bob Y in his 79, Joe in his cruiser, and Trev in his Prado.
No major issues, I recall about 4 stakings only.
Route Mac Clarke - behind Marshall Bluff via station tracks to try and go through passage between the 2 Aboriginal lands, then Colson down a short way to the turnoff west of Geo Base A.
No way through there apart from very hard virgin dunes, we lost a good 5 or 6 hours trying.
Day 2 we drove north again to pick up Madigan Line, and up to camp 5 junction on Colson, then down from there.
Turned off and drove towards Base A to camp.
Day 3 we camped about half way to Geosurveys Hill.
Day 4 we made Geosurveys Hill by lunch time, and camped just south east of it.
Day 5 was a run to Willem Kempens marker, and then ENE to old fuel drum about 5km east, and camped in that corridor south towards the Geo Centre turnoff. Camped about 12km short of the centre.
Day 6 we bagged the centre, then back ~ 5km east to the approach corridor, and down to camp in one of the many beaut Gidgee patches, a bit over halfway to French Line.
Day 7 made French Line and camped just east of Mirranponga Pongunna Lake turnoff.
Day 8 into Birdsville about 1800.
Our original plan to drive as direct route as possible from the centre to Beachcomber (on Hay R Tk) was abandoned due to fuel use, much like we abandoned the Hill coming the other way back in 2015 and bailed out down to French Line to exit to the west that trip.
I have loads of stats on fuel use, and an immense number of "Good Gidgee camps" marked along with the gpx route files, should anyone have a desire to head really remote in perhaps some of the most isolated country you will find.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 14:36

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 14:36
Hi Les

Sounds like you had a great trip and one that makes all normal Simpson Desert crossings look like a walk in the park.

Did you actually get to Geosurveys Camp A?

Yes those pure virgin dunes out there are hard and again make Big Red easy. We came across a couple of dune far taller than Big Red and you can see why it would be near impossible to tackle these dunes from the east.

I hope you are going to do a blog.


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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 18:39

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 18:39
Cheers Stephen, your reports and the Explore Oz maps / routes found were good o refer to.

Yes, we got to the 2 sites in there Geo Base A and the nearby other lot of drums.

Didn't see any other recent tracks at all, but very spasmodically we caught glimpses of old tracks here and there, try and follow them a while to reduce risk of stakes, then lose them again to carry on our own route.

Not a member here so no blog.
I have loads of drone footage so hope to edit that soon and get something up on youtube to link to.
I'm in the middle of a bathroom reno, and actually need to learn the editing etc for the vids . . . this was the first 4WD trip I had taken the new drone on, as a first time owner, so it's all a learning curve.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 19:53

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 19:53
Hi Les

Yes those side wall stakes were a constant problem and I ruined 3 new tyres.


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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 20:27

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 20:27
Had 2 (brand new !!) front tyre sidewalls staked myself, very minor, plugged fine, but tyre place won't repair.
Might try a truck tyre place, apparently they are more open to repair, but the problems is apparently even well patched punctures will degrade with time, so eventually they will let go.
Might repair if I can find a place to do it, and put them on for another desert trip sometime, at least get some more use from them and take the heat of other new tyres.
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