Willem's Adventures

Submitted: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 22:33
ThreadID: 33778 Views:3688 Replies:26 FollowUps:36
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Yes, I arrived home earlier in the evening.

Trip 1. To a place to the west of Alice Springs with a permit. Four vehicles. Some bitumen, some very rough gravel roads, some very overgrown tracks, some almost non existent cleared lines and then about 100km cross country. Nissan GQ with Cooper STT's towing 7x4 offroad trailer, Landcruiser 80 with BFG 315's, PradoTD auto with 17 inch Cooper AT's and Landcruiser 100TD auto with Bridgestone cheese cutters V-something. I staked two tyres, Landcruiser 80 staked 9 tyres, Landcruiser with cheesecutters staked two and slit one(not a happy chappy) and Prado had no punctures(go figure...lol). We plugged all the tyres and used them again

We went in search of 5 places of interest and found only two. NatmapRaster 250K digital mapping is very inadequate. One needs 1:50,000 maps. Cross country driving was very rough and hard on the vehicles. I busted a fusible link but we managed to salvage the situation with a cable tie. Also busted part of snorkle and HF aerial tap wire. Ripped all madflaps and flares loose. Not much else to report except that we found some fantastic rock shelters with old rock art and petroglyphs. In one canyon we found tiny frogs.

Trip 2. Objective:To drive to the Geographical Centre of the Simpson Desert to look for plaque placed there some 19 years ago. Three vehicles. Nissan GQ with trailer, Landcruiser 80 and Landcruiser 100TD auto IFS coming in from Birdsville.
We met just a tad east of the Erabena Track intersection on the French Line. The fella in the 100TD had some Novice German Tourists in a Troopy with him. They were hell bent on crossing the Simpson with no experience and no comms and a short handled shovel. After pleasantries we took outr leave and I swung the Gq north on a GPS bearing and we were into the rought stuff. Glancing bacvk after a while we saw the Troopy stationary on a dune crest. After much deliberation we went back and found the very well bogged. A quick stachem and they were mobilre again. Then one of the group gave the fella some very quick driver training. We went back to Erabena Airstrip and camped for the night. Following day we said goddbye to the tourists and headed out to Erabena Oil Well and then beyond. It took one and a half days to reach the Geo Centre, a distance of 89km, on our trajectory route. We averaged 7.9km/h. Pretty much Low Range stuff all the way and extremely rough. At one stage there was a heavy 'clunk' under the GQ. On inspection we found that the suspension radius arm rear nut had fallen off. As luck would have it I had a spare nut to fit. I always have good luck!!!

We reached the Geo Centre at 12 noon on 5th May. EO sticker in place there now! Made camp down in the valley and then I went and drove another 20km in all directions looking for my plaque...but to no avail. Oh well, maybe next time. It is also possible that it has been covered by sand. The desert is extremely dry and sands have been blown in and out from the south in recent times. The place looks akin to the Sahara. It took another day and a half to get back to the French Line. Fuel consumpstion towing the trailer there and back was 27lts/100km or thereabouts.

From the French Line we tracked to the Knolls Track, The Rig Road, Lone Gum, Poolawanna Airstrip and then 60km south to Kallakoopah Creek. There was very little water in the creek and later we were told that the rest of the creek is bone dry. We tried to reach Kallakoopah Bend but there are no tracks and the thought of more arduous cross country driving put a damper on things and we headed back out on the Rig Road, Warburton Track and Birdsville Track. The last big dune stopped me on the second run up(the only bog for the trip). We deflated the tyres to 9psi and using sand mats cleared the rest of the dune easily. We camped at Claytons Bore last night enjoying artesian showers and a hot tub in the spa this morning.

For those going to the Simpson this year...take care as the dune crests are extremely soft. I found that either first High Range or 2nd Low range was best. Select your gear at the bottom of the dune rise and then idle up gently and then kick it in the guts at the top.....that is, if the sands have been blown up again.

We saw lots of camels, dingos, emus, skinks ,lizards, wedgies and also lots of footprints of night animals. We saw only three other vehicles in the Simpson. We had absolutely perfect weather for the 19 days we were away execpt for one day went there was a bit of a blow. The wind died down at night though.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 22:47

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 22:47
Thanks for the great report Willie and welcome back mate.
Sounds like John and Suz had more than their fare share of tyre dramas!!! Did they take their camper trailer? I'm guessing "no".

Cheers

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:02

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:02
Hi Bill

Thanks.. Now to do all the repairs and other addo-ons before the next trip.

No, I was the only one with a trailer.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 22:51

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 22:51
Great report Bro. Pleased it is all going well and minimal bogging. You didn't actually say how far you had got but to civilization anyway. Hope the rest of the trip is as enjoyable.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:06

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:06
Hi Bro

Not sure what you want to know about how far I had got where?...lol

Did around 5000km of which around 2000 was bitumen, 1500 gravel roads, 1200 bush tracks and 300 Cross country.

Took several layers of paint off the side of the GQ......:-)
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:27

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:27
I didn't read the first line that you were at home. Probably heading off to the Outback Challenge Sunday but as usual, hardly decide whether to head right or left at the gate. LOL You never know we may get to Peterborough. Heather wants to go to The Alice but in twelve days, I don't know!
Cheers,
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 08:36

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 08:36
Several Layers - how many does your.. errr. DID yours have to start with! Many more than mine!!!!!!
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Reply By: FZJ 80 - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:04

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:04
Willem,

Good effort mate. You certainly have the life.

All the best

Greg
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:51

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:51
Greg

There is only one life and one must do the things one can at any? cost.....:o)

Cheers
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:04

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:04
Sounds like fun.

cant wait for someone to have a go about the sticker LMAO!
AnswerID: 172052

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:10

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:10
Yeah
LMAO
didn't that cause a stink.

Welcome back Willem, nice report.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 08:36

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 08:36
yea love to do one of willems trips one day... maybe 2 up in the lux - share costs, etc.. :)
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Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:04

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:04
That hot tub at Clayton Bore is a winner!
AnswerID: 172053

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:55

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:55
Yes and it was plurry hot yesterday morning. Almost came out looking like a southern fried lobster...lol
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 10:46

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 10:46
"Almost came out looking like a southern fried lobster"

i can hear Jimbo salivating :)

aaah welcome back Willem, hope you've got no new aches and pains after that :)

this was the first real test of your trailer was it not? how did it hold up structurally and practically? (unless I missed it in your report)

kind regards,

Jeremy.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:11

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:11
Jeremy

Tell you what, those waters do have therapuetic values. Almost felt like a new person...lol

Trailer report is attached to post of Old Scalyback at bottom of this thread. Very happy with trailer.

Cheers
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Reply By: Exploder - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:27

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:27
Good stuff, sounds like a riper trip> Pity about the Marker thou.

Sounds like the Cooper’s faired better than originally thought then, I guess tyre pressure, careful placement and experience would of helped with that but.
AnswerID: 172059

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:17

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:17
G'day

I am happy with the Coopers. Running very low tyre pressures caused scuff marks on the sidewalls with some of the lettering being removed. Both stakes I got were in the sidewalls but I repaired them with plugs and they have not leaked again.

Careful tyre placement is a must. Being trip leader, I am making a track for the others to follow. If I make the right decision then the impact on the followers should be minimal. A day spent on very quick decision making all the time tires one out, big time!!! lol
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Reply By: Richard Kovac - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:31

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:31
Willem

Whats a BFG 315's

In DOOM a BFG stands for a BIG F___Ken Gun

LOL

Good trip ha

Richard
AnswerID: 172061

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:18

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:18
Richard

I neglected to say BF Goodrich Mud Terrain tyres size 315/75/16....lol

Always a good trip. Now for all the niggling repairs

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:35

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 23:35
Welcome back young fella.
I tried your Sat phone a couple of times, Left one voice mail but obviously could not time it right to get hold of you.
Your actually back early by my reckoning.
Will catch you soon on MSN.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 09:02

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 09:02
Hi mate

I did check for messages but nothing there from you. Will check again today although it is too late...lol Catch up tonite online.

Cheers
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 00:49

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 00:49
Welcome back, sounds like a great adventure. We got back late April as planned. Patrol & caravan still all covered in mud to show they had fun. Did Judith get my email? My brief summary of our adventures in post 33438.
Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:48

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:48
Hi Motherhen

Yes thanks, received your email. Judith was not on line while I was away. Your goodies have been sent off and should be there by now.

Glad to hear that you had a good holiday. It was also great catching up with all your adventures when you stopped over here in the Borough

Regards
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 16:04

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 16:04
That was a great trip report Willem, and got together so quickly. Parcel arrived safely today. First lamb of the season born this morning, so we will have to be content with being farmers for a while. Next trip i hope with be to the Kimberley & NT.

We had a visit from member "Noosa Fox" yesterday (another Bushtracker). Had to tell Lisa foxes were coming, but not to get out the shotgun this time.

Regards, Motherhen

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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 07:38

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 07:38
Good to see you back from the small detour :)) Sounds like the sand was similar to the last time I was in the Simpson. A foot of blown sand on every ridge.
AnswerID: 172074

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 09:01

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 09:01
The foot of blown sand was minor compared to the Centre Trek.

On the Rig Road some blows were 10 feet and the last (the bog) dune had at least 20 feet of sand on the dune rise. Lots of detours to find the best way over.
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Reply By: Redback - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 07:51

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 07:51
Glad your trip went well Willem and damage was minimal, an excellent report, a trip i would of liked to do with you, very envious i am mate.

Say hi to Judith

Baz.
AnswerID: 172075

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:58

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:58
Hi Baz

Yes it was a good trip. Maybe next time you can take some time off. There WILL be a next time, high fuel prices or not!!! lol

Have passed your message on and return greetings are there.

Cheers
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Reply By: Bros 1 - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 07:58

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 07:58
Willem,
All the w's home. Green with envy. Good on you bloke.
Cheers,
Bros.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:14

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:14
Ta Bros

Going away again in 5 weeks time.

Going to max out my debit card....lol

Cheers
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Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:09

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:09
Great read as always, glad you're back safe and sound!

Lyn
AnswerID: 172083

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:19

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:19
Thanks Lyn

Now to repair all the little things and get about 10 kilos of sand out for the GQ...lol

Cheers
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Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:54

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 08:54
Wi8llem,

Thanks for the report, sitting in my office green with envy!

Pete
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AnswerID: 172093

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:22

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:22
No worries Pete

You can do this when you exchange the office for the outback, one day :o)

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 07:37

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 07:37
Sounds like a Banjo Poem:

"... and I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go ..."

Still we do get out every long weekend and holidays.

Cheers

Pete
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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 10:02

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 10:02
You just keep making me jealous!!!!! :-)))

All I have to do is find a way to escape the kids and I 'll be with you on the next one.

Hhhhhmmmmm I wonder? Nah that'll never work.

Duncs
AnswerID: 172101

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:24

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:24
We all want to escape mate....lol Luckily I manage it from time to time

Cheers
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Reply By: Michael B - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 10:51

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 10:51
Hi Willem,

Welcome back to the cold..lol

Sounds like, as usual, you had a ball. Look forward to more detail and some photos.

At any time did you regret taking the trailer?

Regards
Michael
AnswerID: 172112

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:33

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:33
No Mike. The trailer worked so well. Even when reversing out of difficult situations

Cheers
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Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11:06

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11:06
Hi Willem,

Welcome back. Thanks for the great trip report..as usual. Glad to hear all went relatively well and repairs could be looked after on the tracks.

Cheers and hope to catch up soon.

Glenn
AnswerID: 172114

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:40

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:40
Thanks Glen. Some issues came up and am now fitting Polyairs and some othe stuff and will be carrying less gear on my next trip which is in 5 weeks time

Cheers
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Reply By: marion - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 12:08

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 12:08
Glad you all made it safe and sound. Thanks again for the great report. Always very happy to read about your adventures that are off the normal tracks. Missed your comments whilst you were not about. Cheers marion
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:51

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:51
Thanks Marion

Will be on EO for a month and then gone for another 2.5 or thereasbouts. Hope I dont annoy too masny people in the mean time...lol

Cheers
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Reply By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 12:11

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 12:11
So where and when are you going next trip? Sounds a fabulous adventure that you have had - wish I could get holidays like you!!
Andrew
AnswerID: 172121

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:45

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 17:45
Hi guys

Off in 5 weeks time along Anne Beadell and other secret places for 10 weeks or till pension runs out...lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Nullagine) - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 12:57

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 12:57
Another good read Willem. My Sister should be on the AB around the same time coming over for a visit. Bad luck that Wille is still having tyre dramas. My current work uses those bridgestone v steels. They only have an 8 ply rating from memory and i think have a 1 ply sidewall (all steel). The plugs certainly work. i havnt got arount to replacing my sliced MTR but it loses no pressure with the 4 plugs in the sidewall. i am concerned what will happen if I air down however as the slice is on the flex point of the sidewall
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 13:20

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 13:20
Thanks for that Willem, I just sitting here looking at my Patrol going nowhere!!!! Michael
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There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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AnswerID: 172136

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 18:55

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 18:55
Nice report Willem, glad all went so well.
We'll be up there next month, so looking forward to some fun too.

Cheers
Phil
AnswerID: 172170

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:07

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:07
Thanks Phil

And those water pumps worked very well.

BTW I take back what I said to you about indigenous occupation of the Simpson a while back, after gathering some more information on the subject. One learns new stuff all the time.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 22:11

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 22:11
Geeze, Willem, you've got a memory like an elephant :-))
BTW, glad the tyre plugs did the trick.
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Reply By: Old Scalyback & denny - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 20:36

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 20:36
goodday willem
glad you had a great trip
what are your thoughts on a hweavy duty trailer on the main tracks thru the simpson
we are hoping to go late july early august and friends have there camping trailer to tow across

steve
AnswerID: 172182

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:02

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 21:02
G'day Steve

Towing a trailer through the desert for the first time, I had no issues. The trailer performed well and most of the time I did not even notice it was there....except for the fuel gauge indicating more of the liquid disappearing...lol

I will state however that your friend might have to look at the following

1. Does the trailer have the same track as the towing vehicle?
2. Does the trailer have the same size tyres as the towing vehicle?
3. Does the towing vehicle have enough grunt to tackle difficult obstacles?
4. Is the trailer well built and does it have a TREG or equivalent tow hitch?
5. How heavy is the trailer?

My trailer weighs in at 800kgs fully laden with 240lts of extra fuel on board. So it is getting lighter as I travel further.

I would run the towing vehicle tyre pressures at 15psi or less cold, and the trailer tyres at 10psi or less cold.

My trailer handled the rough stuff cross country driving to the Geo Centre with ease. Some video footage shows it contorting at all angles.

Above all one must have experience in long distance sand driving. Maybe it would be a good idea to go to a beach nearby(where allowed) and do a few practice runs.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 07:12

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 07:12
Great read, Willem. Hope it all went a bit slower for you than it did for me. Seems like only last week that you were heading off.

Pleased about the weather too, has been almost glorious here lately. Bit too good to spend it all working, think I'll have to try this retirement thingy!

Interesting about the radius arm nut, always tight when you leave home, but fall off nonetheless??

In haste,
regards,
Bob.
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Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 172233

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 15:34

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 15:34
G,day Bob,

Yes Time Flies, Money Flies and Blow Flies.....lol

It was a busy 19 days. This year on our Big TRip we are going to try and stay in places for more than one night at a time so as to get some RnR.

Hope you get some rain soon.

Cheers
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 07:19

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 07:19
Willem,

Good report and great to have you back on line.

Do you think that the weight of the Prado had something to do with the lack of punctures or did it have new tyres?

I will be off early next month for a quick 5 month run around the block. I will try and see you on my way through. Will keep in touch with dates later.

Wayne
AnswerID: 172236

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 08:27

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 08:27
Hi Wayne,

As a tour leader, I thought you guys preach that all punctures are caused by the driver and the driver is the one who has to fix them.....hehe

Also, the later Prado is about the same weight as an 80series, but people don't fit the heavy steel stuff to the Prados. But like you, I would have picked the 17inch Coopers to be most likely to get staked. I'm guessing he had the lower pressures.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, May 12, 2006 at 15:31

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 15:31
Hi Wayne

The Prado was actually overloaded with stuff(like 40lts water on roofrack and Oztent etc) inside and out.

He was running the tyres between 15 and 20psi. I guess he was just lucky.

I am very careful where I place the wheels when doing cross country stuff and advised followers to stay in my tracks.

I am leaving here on 20 June for the AB and beyond. You are welcome to drop in if you are passing by before that date.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Bradley- Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 01:04

Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 01:04
welcome back stranger, sounds like you had a ball, nothing like a bit of cross country adventure is there.

ps - rumor has it that you wern't the one on the shovel digging away the sand !!

cheers mate

PS - wanna borrow a very powerful cyclonic vacuum cleaner LOL...
AnswerID: 172420

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 10:48

Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 10:48
Rumour????

Actually the sand was so soft I scooped it away by hand...lol

Cheers
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Reply By: Des Lexic - Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 21:22

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 21:22
Geez, a bloke goes away for a few days and you come back home and write up another great trip report. Just as well I did a search on Willem. LOL
Glad it all went well. I guess you know about the Neale Breakaways. Nice spot to camp for a couple of days. Email me for directions if you need them.
Cheers
Alpaca
AnswerID: 173224

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 08:52

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 08:52
G'day Uncle Donut

Where ya been?

Thanks for the tip. We had a good look at the Neale Breakaway last year on the Connie Sue. Nearly sank to the gunwhales when I got too close to the small scarp as water was oozing out from it. An interesting place. Pity about the 50 or so fuel drums left behind by others.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 429163

Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 18:05

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 18:05
G'day young fella,
I've been to Canberra to see the Queen's. Just Rubbernecking.
The drums were left there as a result of some old mine workings there we thought. Couldn't find much laying around but it was a lovely spot. Firewood was a bit scarce though.
We camped near the bit of a creek bed near the entrance to the gully.
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