Simpson Desert trek 1987

Submitted: Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1635 Views:1576 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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In response to Bob's question. I wrote an article published in 4x4 Australia in 1988 called The Spinifex Trail. We plotted our own course to what we assumed was the Geographical Centre of the Simpson Desert as set out in a book written by Bonython (who walked the Simpson in the 1970's) and also an article by Dennis Bartell. On 4th July 1987 we planted a plaque at that spot. Some years later a fellow traveller advised me that we were 6 kilometres off course. Ahhh for the luxury of GPS!! As the Suzukis were not powerful enough to cross the dunes directly we used to drive zig-zag up the dune. Driving over endless spinifex polished the front diff housing so that you could see your face in it. As we were overloaded with fuel and water my Suzuki 1300 JX broke 4 rear spring leaves and my mate Dave broke a main leaf. We carried spares and dug a pit in the sand to to do our repairs. We got bogged few times atop spinifex clumps and had to winch off. Nearly got bogged after cutting a corner on a salt pan but otherwise had trouble free motoring. Fuel consumption 33l/100km or 8.53mpg. Low range for 5 full days. Drove sideways up Big Red zig zag and back along the top to cross over. Arrived in Birdsville with 5 litres left in tank. What an adventure!!! Cheers, Willie
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Reply By: Trev - Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00
Willie - Thanx for your story. This type of article makes the forum even better. Trev
AnswerID: 5374

Reply By: Bob - Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Willie. It makes our current trips sound like an air-conditioned doddle.
AnswerID: 5381

Reply By: simon - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00
Willie,
I am interested in reading the article. What month of 1988 was it published in 4x4 Australia. I have checked with my local library and they have copies going that far back, but I might be able to pick one up somewhere. Better still, if you have a copy there, you wouldn't be able to scan it and email it to me, would you. Simon
AnswerID: 5679

Follow Up By: Willie - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002 at 00:00
Simon, Let me have your email address and I will send a scanned copy through. The print is not the best but it is readable. You can email me at wjkempen@ozemail.com.au Cheers, Willie
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