Meet with friends around the trips and traps

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 20:56
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Birdsville Caravan park is the convergence point for all travellers across the Simpson Desert which ever way you want to go so is a hub of interchange and we have to be thankful to Ruth for her bulletins as she provides them. For travellers westwards the store in Birdsville, the pub, and the museum with its three tours a day are major beneficiaries, with The Blue Poles Gallery too as a beneficiary so real thanks Ruth.

For us, the meeting with a Cronulla couple Robyn and Charles it made the Simpson a fun trip. The focal point being the Caravan Park again. Good facilities are always a focal point. Water food and fuel at the start and showers to finish and or start the day.

We had a late start to the day and slightly seedy after dining with some locals, but got away calling our friends Rob and Charles who had camped up Big Red. It’s easy they said and reversed it to prove it. Yes, reversed Big Red! I guess the sand is hard packed after the recent rains.

So good did the trip look a fellow of advanced years went off before us in a Suzuki Vitara. No UHF, no dune flag to warn others. Just off on his own to show how to do it. We did not see him again. We do hope he caused others no ill as no one seemed to see him afterwards just saw the marks in the sand from each time the front of his car hit.

Our first day on the QAA line was relatively uneventful apart from each axle articulation brought a protest from the tyres as they hit the underside of the tray strut. That must be cut down as it has taken chunks out of the centre treads of the new tyres. The camp on the first day was a great evening with our new friends Rob and Charles the up early for the Monday morning – the 14th. The QAA line was relatively open with little sign of the water problems that had besieged others, until the lake before Poeppels Lake where we spent the good part of day two. We met other new folks too in the middle of the lake – Wangaratta folks. Is anyone left in Victoria?

Three snatch straps and a tow strap with chains too if necessary for the length got out the GU which was in to the axles and fuel tank. Had it lifted to get clear of the bog but the biggest bog was building between the toes. Great for any tinea or sore toes. Heavily salted clay!! Alcohol wipes were good to get cleaned up…….

Off onto the French line where we had a great up and down experience. I had not thought there would be so many holes in the sand and dunes to bury the truck. The sand itself was a lot more hard packed than I had imagined too. We had practiced around Robe and found it a treat in comparison. Camper trailers at the moment would be a breeze as long as the tyres were down. Easier than an overweight patrol anyway on the wet spots.

We left the French Line to see the Appodinna Knolls and then camped three kms south just off the Knolls Track. Our anniversary dinner (#33) seemed well earned with beer to start and white and red wine to enjoy too. Started with calamari rings and sweet chilli dipping sauce, followed up with roast beef and four veg, camp oven baked. Final was a lemon cheese cake all prepared onsite that evening just to show the girls appreciation for getting them there safe I guess. Tea and coffee of choice.

We travelled further south and saw quite a lot of wild flowers on route on the Knolls track. Yellow top, poached egg daisy, plenty of smelly gidgee.

We met another four vehicles on the corner of the Rig Road and The Knolls Track. Had morning tea and found some missing nuts on the bolts holding down the tray. Hmmm. There is a test for any aluminium pop rivets we found later as our fridge wanted to drop out. Bolted and tech screwed now.

We went down to the Lone Gum tree (Coolibah tree) with five children and decided to go north west up the Erabeena Track to the WAA line. A different kettle of fish indeed as we went following tracks of camels up the track. We came across three guys without a working UHF set. They had been to the Finke races, but importantly for us had seen a big group of camels earlier. We ended seeing one before dinner and camp off the WAA line.

Next morning we went on to see the grave of Jaroslav Pecanek an outback identity in the transport industry. Saw the business name in Oodnadatta a few days later. His wife and son had recently been to visit and erected a fence there around the memorial stone. Son Peter had met with our friends in the pub in Birdsville.

We moved back on to the Rig Road where the washouts seemed less than before but still had to be watched. Unlike the other tracks, the Rig Road is clay topped, but the scenery is less interesting. The French Line and QAA combination is shortest with the Rig Road at the west but the French Line gets most traffic and is the roughest in the sand. On the final sections on the French Line one guy told me he was doing the ExplorOz recommended trip so I better look it up soon. I guess he saw the EO sticker above the cab

Lunch and a wash/shower at Purni Bore before heading off to Dalhousie Springs for a swim for half an hour. On the way to Dalhousie there was more mud to escape from as the heavy Nissan sunk in a bit again in the Spring Creek Delta. Heather says I played in it ….! We decided that we would move from the Springs to nearby 3 O’clock Creek for our last dinner together with friends. The UHF said before we got there “ picnic chairs, tables, shelters, green grass, takeaway food stalls….” as Rob fantasized about not having to cook dinner. All there actually except the green grass and the food stalls. We had the site to ourselves and plenty of water too.

From our walk around the ruins of the old Dalhousie Homestead we bid farewell and Heather and I headed towards Oodnadatta and a dinner with Victorian friends Mr and Mrs Al, and the Wombats. We got there first actually and refuelled. 714 Kms to Oodnadatta from Birdsville and 125 litres for the journey for a very heavy GU with 4.2TI in sand and a lot of low ratio work too. It surprised me how much fuel we had left actually, 50 litres in the tank.

On the way to Oodnadatta we found the road had been graded for us recently in much of the journey before the Oodnadatta Track. Just by one gateway we met a fellow who was outwardly sane but was riding his bike from Adelaide to Darwin….. Well he had a pony tail and wanted to know about road conditions onwards too, especially round Dalhousie where most of our cars dirt is from. A lot of the Dalhousie roads were stony but the roads were basically 2by and ready for the family jalopy.
The Als and Wombats are travelling to plan and should be in The Alice some time this weekend. It was really nice to see them. Al of course was helping others with troubles to overcome. We have since stayed in Marree travelling down through the Flinders and tonight in a motel to lodge this report and a decent shower.

Lyn suggested we look to the Panorama Building in Hawker and we enjoyed that. It portrays the 360 degree panorama from the St Mary’s peak. Brought back memories of my feelings last time I was there. Was a good visit. Copley Bakery was another important visit so far. Wish I had bought more of their quandong pies though.

Really is great to meet with friends on the way around. More to meet tomorrow I hope.
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Reply By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:24

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:24
Nice read JohnR dont come home to soon to B*** cold in Vic.
AnswerID: 64002

Follow Up By: Troopy Travellers (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 07:58

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 07:58
Hi JohnR

I am just wondering if Rob and Charles belong to this forum? The most friendly and funloving people in Sydney come from "THE SHIRE", Its just amazing what a small world it is, now we are all internet connected. LOL.

FollowupID: 325160

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 21:52

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 21:52
Hi Troopy Travellers,

Robyn and Charles had only visited for trip info in the past. We suggested they perhaps should in the future but they spend so much time travelling already. Am pleased with the reccommendations of the Sutherland Shire. They were really nice folks and we will probably trip again.

While I am about it I see you are new here. I bid you welcome. I have found all the members I have met are lovely people, without exception. You will enjoy meeting some I am sure.

Never know may catch up somewhere ...........
FollowupID: 325400

Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:31

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:31
I have been reading this forum now for a considerable time and it appears to me that some business people are getting their fair share of FREE advertising milage.
A certain establishment in Birdsville is getting regular promotion for the local caravan park.
I have nothing against this but it would be nice to see them make a financial contribution to advertising on this forum.
I think David and Michelle are providing a great service and deserve to have paying advertisers.
This is just my personal oppinion and am prepared to to accept any critisim or stand to be corrected
AnswerID: 64005

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:45

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:45
George, I wonder what you mean. I spent more at the pub and the store than I did in the caravan park, actually heaps more. There was one guy who had a go at this issue a few weeks back but I couldn't see anything I wanted to spend money on at his shop.

Believe it or not there is a convergence at the caravan park, just as there is here. I met eight of my local community people over their breakfast there, even though they had never visited this site. There is another convergence at Dalhousie.

There are others in this forum who want to go to Birdsville because of what was posted earlier in the year in regard to the water flowing through. Indeed the priority changed because of the water flows this year for Heather and myself.

Perhaps you have not met with other forumites as I have George, but they are a welcoming community where they are prepared to show their faces rather than hide behind a pseudonym.
FollowupID: 325100

Follow Up By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:59

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 21:59
George I dont see anything pushing to the CP as such, yes we get good updates and reports some times a laugh, never been there but think it's the CP, pub or river camp not many options, so lots of folk meet at the CP, If I was after further info I would phone the CP.

FollowupID: 325102

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:12

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:12
Talking of free advertising, you should see the back of the caravan of Mr and Mrs Al, and the back of our GU. Two EO covers in each case, and we paid for them.

Have had travellers ask about EO but lets face it, we hang out at this corner. Yes, EO gets the advertising.
FollowupID: 325104

Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 23:00

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 23:00
George I think you are being a little harsh as there is only one CP in birdsville so where else would you meet. I dont think they need any advertising and Ruth puts in a fair bit of advice about the area up there for anyone who wants it, including you if you want it.

Great read John what a wonderful trip you have had, we are all jealous as you already know.
Boy are you in for a shock as you head south from Hawker about 10-12 degrees today in Clare.
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Follow Up By: Troopy Travellers (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 06:00

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 06:00
Interesting reading John(R). As a newie its nice to be recommended to places by other members, if someone gives good service why shouldnt they have the pat on the back. I am sure most would like to know when things dont live up to expectations as well.

FollowupID: 325153

Follow Up By: Dingo Jack - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 01:09

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 01:09
Your comments about ruth blow me out of the water. I wonder how many would be travellers simpson or birdsville track have valued her input. Obviously you didn't. The woman is an unselfish ambassador for the region. I will be travelling through Birdsville next week on the London To Sydney Marathon and will definitely Thank her for her input and the input she has given us.Fact is we're not even staying there. If you're reading ruth keep the billy on for my cuppacino on the way through on the28th
Keep up the good work
Dingo Jack.
FollowupID: 325295

Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 10:29

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 10:29
I have already made a comment Dave, but agree with you 100%, my Question is can we follow the London to Sydney marathon on the net or somehow?
FollowupID: 325314

Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:25

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:25
It would proberly be an issue if Ruth was doing the advertising but that is not the case, it's just people who have been to the caravan park and been welcomed so warmly that they have just said what they feel, no harm in that and if Ruth gets free advertising out of that well good luck to her she proberly deserves it. Just my observation, hey John sounds like you are having a good time must be cold in the desert hope you took a gas heater.

AnswerID: 64012

Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:28

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:28
FollowupID: 325106

Reply By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:48

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:48
Thanks for the great report John. It's a refreshing change from the usual question and answer posts.
AnswerID: 64017

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:53

Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 22:53
Too tired to read all, but whats the story with the Jackaroo in the photo??
AnswerID: 64019

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:41

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:41
Yer T-Man I wanna know about that too, well Johnno?
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FollowupID: 325184

Follow Up By: Puddin (Sydney) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 13:55

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 13:55
probably their new friends Robyn & Charles
FollowupID: 325191

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 14:55

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 14:55
Now thats deduction Bob, what I wanted to know and I reckon the T-Man also wants to know is whats the story with the sand on the roof etc looks like a rollover.....
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FollowupID: 325198

Follow Up By: Puddin (Sydney) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 15:10

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 15:10
Must be going blind or need a drink, I missed that & the snatch strap too.
FollowupID: 325204

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 18:13

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 18:13
and its a paj, not a jackarooo I think..

probably lack of offroad suspension scared it to death. LMAO!
FollowupID: 325222

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 21:48

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 21:48
Hey guys for the full story have a look at 13711 and you will see a full report on the modified Paj....

Thanks for the hosting of fine friends in South Aus............... Willem and Judith and Mr Des Lexic and Mrs Lexic.

Home soon and tell more then ;-)
FollowupID: 325262

Reply By: Puddin (Sydney) - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 13:54

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 13:54
Good read John. Glad you are enjoying the trip & good to hear the Wombats have caught up with the Al's.
AnswerID: 64062

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 21:29

Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 21:29
goodday all
i think the extra car in the picture maybe the rollover john and heather spoke of in his first report out between cameron corner and moomba when they were travelling to innamincka last week and from what is said at his pictures john is giving it a front end alignment

AnswerID: 64130

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