Perth to Coober Pedy Day 7 - Vokes Hill Corner to 20km east of Emu

Sunday, Jun 09, 2002 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 7 - Sunday 9/6/02
Start - Vokes Hill Corner
Stop - 20km east of Emu
Trip Odometer - 224.4km
Stopped time - 2:16 hr
Moving average - 44.1km/hr
Moving time - 5:05 hr
Max speed - 82.7 km/hr

Just after leaving Vokes Hill Corner we passed through the eastern border of the Unnamed CP and then immediately entered the Maralinga CP and later the Woomera Protected Area.

17km before the junction of the Mt Davies track (Anne's Corner) we found a major track running north that was not only unmarked but was not plotted on the Hema Great Desert Tracks map nor the Auslig CDs. We travelled along for about 5km and guessed it must join up with the Mt Davies track but with the Anne Beadell being a trip that is tight on fuel range we opted to turn back and leave this track for exploring on another trip when we've researched it some more.

Further on we stopped at Anne's Corner for lunch, which is the southern junction of the Mt Davies track.

Leah gobbled up her yoghurt and pears and a few kilometres later was carsick. Resolve never to offer more than dry biscuits to travelling toddlers.

Later in this trip we will be passing the northern tip of the Mt Davies track but I don't know if we'll ever get the chance to actually travel along the Mt Davies track in its entirety as we hear it is approaching "impassable" status.

We were fast approaching Emu and the atomic test sites and it looked like we'd be tight for time. The sun is now setting quite early and we don't want to camp too close to the radiation affected area.

Emu has very few remaining remnants of the community it once was but you can drive along the airstrip (enormous!) and get a feel for what it may have been like. The airstrip is a little back off the main track and you backtrack a little to pick up the corrugated gravel track towards the test sites.

It's a strange feeling standing on the exact spot where you know the most toxic weapon known to man has been exploded.

We visited both totems and was fascinated mostly by the "ripples" in the ground. We both remember footage of this during the actual explosion and having seen the ground ripple on film and actually standing on the same place 49 years later almost feels nostalgic.

It was difficult to find a good camp so we keep driving until dusk when we finally chose a spot about 20km east of the test sites. Other than being overun by rabbits it wasn't too bad.

Dinner: (cooked on camp fire).
Beef sweet 'n sour stir-fry with fresh snow peas, broccoli, carrot and capsicum served on rice.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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