Nissans in the North West

Submitted: Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 19:12
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We have made it as far as Kalgoorlie and we are enjoying the hospitality of Member Coops.

Our journey so far has been from Peterborough to Alice Springs (where we met up with our travelling companions in a GU 4.2 diesel) and then on to Papunya, Sandy Blight Junction, Kintore, Gary Junction, Veevers Meteorite Crater, Gary Hwy, Kunawarritji, CSR Well 33 to 23, Talawana Track, Cotton Creek (Parngurr), backtrack into Rudall River NP from Cotton Creek with the permission of a tribal elder, eventually back to Talawana Track, Newman, Karijini NP, Tom Price……….

The roads and tracks are in a fair condition but sections of the Gary Junction Road are heavily corrugated. The Canning track was firm over the dunes but with quite a bit of fallen vegetation on track. We were the 4th group along that section for the year. The Talawana Track has the worst corrugations I have driven over for a very long time. Rudall River tracks are slow, washed out and over grown in places. From Cotton Creek to Balfour Downs the Talawana Track has been graded and in very good condition. Karijini tracks are harsh and corrugated.

The country side is extremely dry and the flies are in their trillions and very annoying. Rudall River is poorly signposted and a GPS is of good value out there. There are only a few scattered water holes in the river and we had to search hard for a suitable campsite. There are thousands of camels all across the Gibson Desert and in Rudall and they have polluted most of the waterholes with their dung. We found a beaut hole which was untouched and good for washing water and a swim. We explored all the tracks in Rudall. The scenery is quite stunning.

We made our way to Newman, Tom Price and Paraburdoo and then headed for Mt Augustus. Just 15km from the Mount the heavens opened up and stopped us in our tracks. Water everywhere. The end result was to backtrack and make for Meekatharra. We just made it before a 24hour rain set in and all dirt roads were closed. Have to visit Mt Augustus next time!

My GQ 4.2 diesel non turbo has returned fuel figures of 10.6/100 without a head wind on the bitumen and 11.4/100 with a head wind. I managed 14.7/100 up to Kunawarritji (where diesel was $2.20 litre….our little group spent $600 there). From Kunawarritji we were in 4x4 of some mode for 800km and I got 16.7/100 while my mate in the GU got 17/100(he is carrying more stuff!!!) Both vehicles have roof racks. No oil usage by both vehicles. GQ has 287000 on clock and GU has 47,000 on clock.

Both vehicles have had a severe bush massage and plenty of scratches and will need counselling when back at base (and a good buff)….hahahahahaha

Breakages GQ: Front side light lens, RH side step bent, both rear mud flaps buggered and removed, Rotronics Battery Isolator stuffed( now running both batteries in parallel), lost one wheel nut, broken rear light globe bracket. GU: LH shockie rubber (neoprene) buggered, both front wheel arch flares torn off by bush massage.

Tyres…No punctures so far. GQ Coopers STT doing well apart from scuff marks on tread. Ran 35psi on bitumen, 28psi on gravel roads and 25psi on CSR(tracks were rough to firm) and bush tracks. GU Goodyear MTR 750x16 doing well apart from scuff marks on tread.

We bought an Oztent Ranger RV 4 for $400 second hand…only used once for the trip and it works really well.

We saw no other travellers for 6 days at one stage apart from a road gang near Jupiter. Well. We met a mob of seniors in Toyotas (Prados and 100’s) between Well 26 and 25. They were having trouble getting over the dunes with 30psi in tyres. I told them in no uncertain terms to drop their pressures to 18psi but they took scant regard and churned out the dune on a rush up. Did hear them speak on the radio when they were safely out of sight that they though that the will heed my advice. One of their parties was driving an 80 series petrol and had miscalculated his fuel usage and was barely going to make Well 26. They would then have to take one vehicle to Kunawarritji to get more fuel (where unleaded is scarce). A return trip of about 500km. Good fun ,eh? Silly buggers.

We came across the Landrover which was driven by those blokes who died out in the desert at the beginning of April. The sad part about this is that the site had not been cleaned up at all. Everything including sleeping bags and personal belongings where just left on the side of the Talawana Track. Those that came to remove the bodies left all their surgical gloves and other paraphernalia out there as well. Disgusting behaviour I would venture. Yes, those blokes where only 9km from Georgia Bore with good fresh drinking water.

There was also a Hired Camper Trailer on the Talawana Track which had expired.

Found the grille of Toyota on the Gary Highway and we use it as a shower mat. It is pretty good too!!!!

And so, on with the next bit of our 12 week WA/NT/QLD/SA odyssey

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Reply By: Bros - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 20:38

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 20:38
Good to see you are having a ball. Thanks for the reports. Keep up the good work.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 21:38

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 21:38
Great story Willem, As usual the master story teller keeps us entertained to the last word. LOL.

Stay safe mate, look forward to reading about the rest of the trip.
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 21:40

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 21:40
Brother Willie, am so glad you are enjoying your tripping and standing all over Yota bits too. Disturbed to hear of the tragic scene not cleaned up though. I hope no one was there to take a pic of you in your red jocks swimming where the camels need to get their fresh water.
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