Wildflowers - Tamworth - Adelaide - October 2010

Thursday, Dec 02, 2010 at 16:42

Member - John T (Tamworth NSW)

In late September 2010, we left home in Tamworth with the mighty Nissan towing the Trak Shak bound for Adelaide where my son and his partner were having a wedding. Travelled via the black top all the way over there so considered that pretty boring. In Adelaide for a few days and then the adventure started.

We were going home via the Birdsville Track and the ferry. I talked with Phil from the pub at Mungeranie seeking information about the track itself and of course the ferry. All good says Phil. A quick trip into Adelaide to grab some dark chocolate for Pam and I think we are ready.
Left Adelaide and travelled up towards Port Augusta turning off and getting to Quorn the first day out. Just a brief overnight there then on again. Next night was at Claytons on the track. Flies before dark and as soon as the sun went down the mossies in their millions descended - thankfully the Trak Shak has midge proof screens. Off again up the track - apart from a bit of ponded water it was a very enjoyable drive but as we got closer to Mungeranie the clouds were building and looking seriously like more rain.

By the time we drove in at the pub it was raining and very windy. Not putting the camper up in this I says to self - better book a room for the night. Seems everyone coming in that day had the same idea. Everyone had dinner at the pub and after a few refreshments and a quick shower it was sleep time. And you may well ask "did it rain again?". Well yes it did - no heavy rain but lots of wind.

Morning revealed a damp landscape with clouds still about. Quick bite to eat and then wait until Phil had the latest from Transport SA regarding the Track conditions. While we waited we walked up to the top of the sandhill behind the pub and took a few photos of the clouds and of course the wildflowers.

At about 9am Phil had the printout from Transport SA advising that the track was open "with caution" to 4WD. So, in convoy with Tony and his family (met them yesterday when they drove up at the pub) we left and, in hindsight, we should not have moved. We left the pub with about 160 litres of fuel on board - more than enough to cover the 280 k's to Birdsville. Well to cut a long story short, both vehicle had the low fuel lights on about 40 k's short of Birdsville. Talk about hard going - 18psi in all tyres and even then 1st and 2nd gear 4x4 all the way. Spent a night roughing it on the track and at daylight after a couple more photos, boiled the billy and served coffee all round. Had a Cessna 172 fly over and circle - put the UHF on thinking the pilot might want to know if we were OK and was soundly abused for cutting the track up. Pilot did not care that the track was officially open when we left the pub. Rang Qld Police at about 9ish and Neil then rang Peter at the roadhouse and arranged for fuel to be brought out for the 2 vehicles - geez it was good to see his Toyota coming towards us. Cost a few $$ for delivery but - we weren't going anywhere without it.

Finally got into Birdsville and after filling fuel tanks and booking in at the caravan park - don't you just love it when the park computer system remembers you and your vehicle - went with 4x4's and trailers to the truck wash and spent about 2 hours getting the worst of the mud etc off.
Then it was time to relax for a day or two, get some washing done and wait for the Birdsville - Windorah road to open.

The tip from there on was very uneventful, roads in good conditions and soooooooooo many more flowers to photograph. Had heavy rain at St George and then again at Moree.

Thanks to my partner Kate for her patience, Stephen L (Clare) for the ferry information, Phil and Pam at the pub (hope you enjoyed the chocolates Pam), Neil from Qld Police and Peter from the roadhouse. You folk all helped to make this a trip to remember.

Next big travels will be the gathering at Silverton next year but I'm sure we will be away for a few days here at there between now and then.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all. Drive safe.

PS I'll post lots of photo's as and when I get the chance - wildflowers mainly but a few others as well
John T (Lifetime Member)
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"Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours" - Richard Bach in "Illusions"
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