Perth to Coober Pedy Day 6 - Bush Camp to Vokes Hill Corner

Saturday, Jun 08, 2002 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 6 - Saturday 8/6/02
Start - Bush Camp
Stop - Vokes Hill Corner
Trip Odometer - 207.5km
Stopped time - 01:59:56 hrs
Moving average - 40.5 km/hr
Moving time - 5:07 hrs
Max speed - 69.8km/hr

Travelling through central WA there is no central time zone like when you travel across the Nullarbor to assist with the 2hr time change at the WA/SA border. Rather than have to change 2hrs in the same day, we decided to adjust our watches by 1 hour today and then adjust them again when we reached the Simpson Desert.

We came across the party of travellers who made contact with us last night via the Network but heard them chatting constantly on the UHF anyway. We are always scanning all channels so we would have heard them coming anyway. They had camped at the 4th of the new camps. 92m further on is a junction marked on the RHS with a stick in the ground.

This track leads to the Rockhole and many other camping options, which in my opinion are in a nicer area than the camp out on the main road, but then some people value facilities above location when choosing a campsite. The track continues quite a few kilometres past the rockhole, past some more rocky outcrops and then over some softer dunes to a good vantage point over a salt lake. The track continues downhill to the lake level and there is no trouble turning around to get back up again if you want a closer look.

After backtracking back out to the main Anne Beadell track again and continuing east towards the border we continued to find many other decent bush camp options, all much the same as one another.

We reached the border, marked by one of Len Beadell's markers. It's quite remarkable when you find just how close he was able to find the position using just astronomical observations back in 1962. Len's marker is only out by about 268m using the GPS datum, with the actual border being further west. Our accuracy at the time on the GPS was 4m.

At the border we entered the Unnamed Conservation Park, which was seemed no different to the rest of the region, except for the signage. Then for the first time in over a day's travel we came to a clearing and crossed over the Serpentine Lake (salt lake). The crossing is a solid, defined track about 2km long across the width of the lake. There were some good looking camp sites at the top of the ridge after crossing the lake and then a few metres on there is another suitable camp area.

We met another convoy of club travellers heading towards us and stopped with them for a lunch break.

Just after this we enter the "No Camp" zone that is a stretch of 50km through the Unnamed CP. There is fast travelling in this section and by 2.30pm we had reached the other side so could start thinking about where we would stop. From here on the track becomes much narrower, the trees start to crowd the track again and it becomes very slow going with twisty turny diversions around sections of track that are totally washed out before finally reaching Vokes Hill Corner. This is a great camping location but it is surrounded by dingos. Leah quickly learnt to say "Di-go", which we found rather funny. Only problem was she thought it was a "woof", which is a dog, not a wolf. It's hard to try to tell your toddler that a dingo isn't friendly without instilling some kind of fear, but I think we got the message across. Needless to say I didn't let her out of my sight.

It was a tiring day's drive for both driver and passengers so we ate a deserving meal of Chicken Balti curry topped with yoghurt and fresh coriander served on jasmine rice. Leah had a little left over tuna mornay with fresh broccoli and left over roast potato. Having left-overs to simply reheat in a stainless steal pannikin over some coals works really well for feeding Leah.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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