Baaack...for now

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 20:41
ThreadID: 24815 Views:2217 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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Just returned from the Red Centre. 2 punctures, 2 shock absorbers. Got as far as a bit west of Papunya before the rains came, turning the tracks into rivers. As a solo traveller it wouldn't of been prudent to continue any further west. I had enough problems getting back to the Tanami.

So much for a track that is supposed to be an easy alternative to the long way round. As I've said many times, an easy track this week can bite someone else next week.

For all the travellers who passed the old guy with the big aerial in a white 80 series between Alice and Brisbane, the lack of suspension was the reason for my slow travel.

"Hey isn't that the old guy we've passed about 10 times ?"
"Maybe there's 10 of em !"
Luckily for you young whippersnappers, there's only one. However the UHF did provide this solo traveller with a huge amount of entertainment. I'm afraid there's no such thing as a private channel, and if you must argue with your other half (and whats she doing in your mates vehicle anyway ?) please don't do it over the spoils my driving.

I have one gripe, many people don't drive with their lights on. If its a matter of either having a head on collision or a flat battery which one do you choose ? Headlights also help the oncoming driver determine how far away you are for getting off a single lane road, and enable them to see you in the dust behind or if you're tucked in behind a roadtrain etc.

The black top was chokkers with 4wds and vans etc. Every parking spot was overflowing (not my scene,dude) and even getting fuel was often a cut throat affair. Having said that, most people were friendly and courteous.

Willem, many thanks for the phone message, it was very much appreciated. The Plenty opened the next day, but it was still hardly a picnic.

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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 20:44

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 20:44
Cheers Jim, sorry to see you back so soon. (In a nice way) keep the truck packed and soon as she dries out, go again. LOL
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AnswerID: 120832

Follow Up By: Footloose - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 20:51

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 20:51
I was actually pretty lucky, as I was only stranded for 3 nights in the rain. I'd planned on survival so I was fine.....except I couldnt get out of the car. There were a lot of people in the bush much worse off than I.
It is, as Bob said, a special drive. I'd love to go back, but I rekkon that track could be a bit rough for quite a maybe the next 100 years :))
FollowupID: 375892

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 21:07

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 21:07
Hi Jim
Sorry to hear about your trip not going to plain.
We head off in about 2.5 weeks have all the fingers crossed
80 mile beach south to Esperance

Have to agree with the lights we're always used them in the daytime, it makes it a much better drive when you can see people coming a long way down the road.

Better luck next time


AnswerID: 120842

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:28

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:28
Hope you have a great trip :))
FollowupID: 375924

Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:33

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:33
Hi Jim

Just posted about phone call in other post before seeing this one.

Them are the breaks with the weather. We undercoated the Nissan with mud several times along our journey and it has taken a week to clean it( the water is too cold!).

I usually put my lights on when i see vehicles approaching on dirt roads. Then turn them off again 'cause I tend to forget they are on when stopping somewhere.

Interesting about UHF. We went to Ch15 sometimes and got told to get off once in WA because someone was using it as a business channel. I first told them to bugger off but then dropped back to 11 There are too many idiots on Channel 10 especially if you come across a club or group of travellers.

AnswerID: 120856

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:36

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:36
Yes, thems the breaks allright. But it wasn't where I got to or didnt get to thats important, its the fact that I enjoyed seeing some new country for me.
I installed a headlight reminder box before I went to make sure I didn't forget the lights.
I never use UHF unless on a trip,and turned it off when in town.
FollowupID: 375925

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:49

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:49
Just read my followup and it sounded a bit clinical, sorry mate. I've greatly enjoyed your trip reports. And its nice to see that I'm not the only one over the age of 30 wandering the backblocks :)) At one stage I heard a Willem on the 737 network but didn't know if it was you and they were busy so I didn't enquire.
FollowupID: 375927

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 11:11

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 11:11
Hi Willem,

Did any one tell you to bugger off from channel 11, as its the call channel? :-)))

FollowupID: 375964

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 16:44

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 16:44
Hi Phil

I have never heard anyone call on Ch 11 Call who? Range 5km in Simpson.. Maybe further on top of dune.

"When I'm calling youooo ooo ooo oooooo oo oo ooooooo" :o)
FollowupID: 376011

Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:57

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:57
Welcome back Jim. Sounds like you had some fun with the weather and being stuck for 3 days, at least you had the radio to keep you company. Remember half the fun is in the planning so start planning your next adventure. Thanks for the illumination on lights. I don't fancy an earfull from you over the radio so I'll keep them on.
AnswerID: 120861

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:44

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 07:44
Thanks Ray. Yes the radio was great company. When not playing skeds etc I was able to catch up on the news...dreadful business in London...and the football and cricket. Unfortunately I'm not a sports fan but trying to work out what it was all about was fun.

As for lights I always internalize my comments on the road.

One one occasion I was zonked out from driving, came over a hill and there was someone on the road up ahead a ways. "Put your &*^&*() lights on ! " I said to nobody in particular.

Quite difficult as it wasn't a car but a large bull.
FollowupID: 375926

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:07

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:07
I'm sorry the trip was curtailed. I tried your selcall a few times but I suspect conditions haven't been favourable.
I am taking a small group of mates out that way late in August (Haasts Bluff, Kintore, Kiwirrkurra) The road was fairly corrugated in May, but it sounds a lot worse now.
How far west of Papunya did you get?
AnswerID: 120878

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:52

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:52
Hi Bob, the trip was still a blast, and of course I'll be back. Got around 50K beyond Papunya before turning back and sitting at the turnoff for a few days. Went into town a couple of times until it was cut off. Got fuel and bits from the shop, met the local police (one of them is a very young girl :) and got the council to open up and give me a hand with a tyre I was struggling with.
The council is being investigated by a parliamentry commission and I suspect that they thought I might of been the advance party :))
In return I wasable to give a couple of the locals a hand on the track.
The water will have disappeared by the time you get there and some track maintainance carried out I guess. Biggest problems will be the corros and wheel ruts. Coming off the Tanami, worst section was just before Kintore, around the Glen Helen turnoff.
You should be ok if not overloaded and keep a bit of time up your sleeve. I'd guess the main thing would be to go slowly. Forget your last trip on that track, it's no longer a piece of cake :))
FollowupID: 375936

Reply By: Wisey (NSW) - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 18:26

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 18:26
Hi Jim

Glad you enjoyed the trip, even with the hiccups.
I second the lights on any time idea. Like yourself I put a "headlight left on" reminder thingy in my lux and no more forgetting. I got stranded a couple of times until I ead a thread on here about doing it. $10 from Dicky S.

AnswerID: 120972

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