Gunbarrel Hwy Day 5 - Mingkili Claypan to Camp Beadell

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 5 - Tuesday 26/6/01
Start - Mingkili Claypan
Stop - Camp Beadell
Trip Odometer - 147.6km
Stopped time - 3.09hrs
Moving average - 44.6km/hr
Moving time - 3.18hrs
Max speed - 6.28hrs

We phoned Linda this morning on the Radphone to get her to arrange a tyre for us to pick up in Alice Springs. We didn’t want to take our chances on the right tyre size/type being available on the only day we’d be there. We bought our Coopers tyres from Richard’s Tyrepower in Osborne Park, Perth so Linda only had to ring him. Coopers offer a written guarantee for 80,000km on the ST tyres we bought and we felt it must have been a faulty tyre to not have held up the last 5 days (they were only fitted a few days before we left).

We eventually lifted camp at 9.23am. Just one hour, 53km later we made Geraldton Bore – an excellent campsite. There is fresh drinking water at the bottom of the bore but you need to take your own string/twine etc to reach it. Water Depth 16m. New Bore Depth 42m cased.

At the 78.8km mark from the claypan are some more possible camps and after 85km you meet Everard Junction but there is not a tree or clearing in site suitable for camping. We sat right on the junction with our picnic rug and had cruskits and cheese for lunch.

It was here we encountered a convoy of 2 vehicles – the first we’d seen since leaving Wiluna. They told of rough conditions and great wildflowers heading east.

9km past the junction we came across great views of Mt Gordon so we stopped for photography and a walk. There are great camps at the base of the mountain and wheel tracks to the top, which is pretty lazy and unthoughtful as driving on the mountain will just cause undue erosion. There are actually 2 small mountains together so an overnight camp and a walk to both would be ideal, however we needed to keep moving.

From here on we found amass of wildflowers. It took us about an hour and a half to make the journey from Everard Junction to Mt Beadell and Monument and we set camp just 6km further on at Camp Beadell. As we stepped out of the car we heard a distinctive “hissing” coming from the front left tyre – we had staked it coming into camp by picking up a wood chip. There was little choice other than to perform a puncture repair using our kit from Tyre Pliers. It was only a small hole but just outside the tread on the sidewall. Another Coopers hit the dust! If that repair didn’t hold we’d have to use our last spare before we’d hardly begun the Gunbarrell. There was a lot of rough conditions ahead of us so we weren’t’ too pleased.

We also had to contend with an over-inquisitive dingo prowling the camp. He kept coming back, each time a little closer and the Azaria stories in our minds, whatever our beliefs, encouraged us to keep a light on the tent while Leah slept with our chairs facing it and hurled stones at the dingo every time we came back. We suspect that other campers have been feeding him as it was not only game, but very healthy looking.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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