Channel,Gulf, Desert. Kimberly Country in a Defender/Tvan, Day 51, Simpson Desert

Sunday, Sep 21, 2014 at 20:01


Day 51 Monday 8/9/14 Simpson Desert

It wasn't cold in the desert last night which was surprising.

We head off & see an emu running, fairly hard to get a photo of it lol, should have just enjoyed the moment. It stops a fair way away & watches us. Lots of birdlife out & about.

We take the Rig Road turn off & see another car just coming from the WAA line. He says the sand is very soft & thinks we will struggle with the trailer, not the first person to say this as we all know...

Takes us 2.5hrs to travel about 50kms, were taking it easy, just feeling things out. First time we've ventured into the desert, let alone with a trailer, so were learning as we go I guess. Now it pays to be prepared, and there will no doubt be people that say we should have done more driving in similar condition before heading into the remote areas... Well that mat be the case, but, and its a big but... you can either sit around and talk about it, or do it. So I choose to do it, yes research it, prepare for it but there comes a time just to do it!

We've noticed a change in the sand already, its gone from red to more yellow now, its varying a bit, but thats probably just the light, more red in morning and afternoon, but yellow now suns really up. Still very fine, soft sand.

We've met several patrols & land cruisers all decked out & they say we have our work cut our for us (they have done some of the French line, and now WAA), but interestingly enough we come across the first Defender, a 110 tray back heading west from Poolowanna along the Rig Road & he thinks we have done all he hard stuff already, we would make it easy. It always amazes me how people are so quick to rubbish anything thats not the brand they drive. Now I'm not going to get into the debate, I know my Defender is not as comfortable, powerful or modern as these wonders from Nissan and Toyota... but lets not forget the Nissan 3.0l engine issues or the Toyota 70 series having different wheel teach front and back, lol, like I said not going there!

The Defender guys were very once, stopping for a chat for about 1/2hr, the Defender and Ford Ranger (??) were fairly standard, no lift, standard tyres etc, but fairly heavily loaded, and not having too many issues, a few of the eastern aproch of dunes are chopped up, so slower going but not bad.

We decide to stop for lunch, were making fairly slow progress, by our normal standards, but not bat for the conditions. So instead of stopping to make lunch and continuing on, we decide to set up properly this time, and enjoy some time in this special place. Up goes the awning and full flyscreen so the flies won't get Alanna. A nice lunch in the shade of the awning, tucked away from the wind behind some bushes.

We meet another 2 friendly nomads, we stop for a chat. Everyone that sees were traveling with two little princesses wants to meet them lol. Nice guys.

We take the turn off towards the Lone Gum. We come across some gypsum rocks? Bumpy! This is probably what we hit at the bottom of a dune earlier.

We stop at the lone gum for a quick look. Strange seeing it out here all alone. Quite beautiful.

So far we have done 167kms from Mt Dare to the Rig Road turn off.
By our current fuel consumption we think we will have enough fuel to Innaminka & not have to go to Mungerannie Hotel for fuel which will save us 210kms detour.

Looks like a full moon tonight. Hubby has this great idea of camping ontop of a dune today. Hrrm, we scout for a spot. I hope it's not windy & cold.

We set up & cook dinner, Alanna is eating granny's silverside, lilli her pasta & mum & dad lamb chops. Nice views from the top as we watch sunset.

It starts to get windier & windier. Have to pack everything ups as it's just getting covered by a thick layer of sand. The girls retire into the tvan to play & when I go inside, the floor is covered in a thin layer of sand. It blew through the mesh screens. So what a task it was to sweep it up & desand Lillis sleeping bag. As much as I wipe & vacuum the floor it still feels sandy. Such fine sand.
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