Simpson Day 8 (updated)

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 10:10

Dusty Hat

"She's buggered, mate.", says the mechanic, so it's Total Care to the rescue. The vehicle is to be left here at the RACQ centre waiting trucking back to Melbourne.
The plan is that Martin and Bev will transfer personal effects and food to other vehicles and continue with us, occupying some of the spare seats. This has not been confirmed as Martin is trying to contact Dot (his wife) first, to discuss the situation with her. We anticipate being on the move by midday.

And then we were six. Jessica has to leave us and head back early. The time line was always going to be tight for her (she has to be back at work a week earlier than the rest of us) and this delay has pushed the boundary too far.

This will probably be my last report for a week as I will not have phone coverage when we leave Birdsville and head west. Wish us better luck.

Update:
After a group photo in front of the Birdsville pub (including Jessica, but minus Martin's car) we headed west together, with Jessica peeling off south just a km or two later. First stop – Big Red. We paused at its base, reduced tyre pressures, and changed to channel 10. All Simpson travellers are requested to use this channel – for easy inter-party communication – necessary to avoid head-on accidents on dune crests. We breezed up it – not the slightest bit of trouble this time. It was easer than a number of later dunes we crossed. Travel was slow but we progressed steadily and made camp at about 4:30. As reported by recent travellers, the east to west direction is currently the easier as the west face is terribly chopped up. Often our down-hill decent was slower than up-hill.

There are still clouds around from the recent inclement weather, producing a spectacular sunset this evening which we viewed from a dune top.
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