Canning Stock Route - Well 21 to Georgia Bore and on to Rudall River

Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 00:00


Thursday 7th June 2007
Bottom Bore & pump,
Rudall River.

Well here I am once again in Rudall River. We’ve camped at the bottom pump just 9 km north of the Talawana Track. It’s been a magnificent day and the weather is mild. The sun is setting west of me. We managed to catch up to Scott and Gaby in the white land whale but more on that later.

It was a reasonably mild night and I gained a reasonable night’s sleep. We were up fairly early and had the fire going with the last of the wood. We were packed up in good time and on the road north by 8.00 a.m. As fate would have it there was a much nicer campsite only 1km down the road. The track continued to wind thru fantastic dune country. The track was a lot more closed in but opened on regular occasion onto clay and salt flats. The magnificent desert oak once again dominated the scenery. On reaching the aptly named Lake Disappointment we startled a large bustard. Photo’s were taken across the vast salty expanses and then we were off again on our way to Well 21. We opted in favour of the lower route through to Well 22 which ended up being a huge mistake. This route is allegedly the most popular with fellow travellers and as a result is extremely corrugated. After Well 22 we finally broke out of the closed in dune country into more open landscape where we could make better time. Along the way we discovered a note left for us by our Canadian buddies. Sounds like my constant extolation (I made that word up) of the virtues of Rudall River had payed off and they were heading for the Park. We decided not to go further in to well 22 and headed on out to Georgia Bore.

The track headed into low rocky ranges with broad gum lined creek beds before hitting the bore. We passed the burnt out skeleton of a late model Toyota Prado on the track. I recall seeing photos of this unit burning in one of the recent 4x4 mags. The fire had certainly been both quick and intense. The alloy mags had been eaten away by the flames. Certainly another landmark for the Hema maps in later years. It wasn’t long before we reached Georgia Bore, a cased bore with hand pump sunk by CRA for the benefit of Canning travellers back in 1991 (That’s what the plaque said!). It was sheltered by a lone gum. There was a small grove of similar eucalypts nearby. For us, Georgia signified the end of our Northward trip on the Canning as it is situated on the intersection of the CSR and Talawana Track. Here we turned left and headed west to Parnngurr (Cotton Creek) and Rudall River National Park.

It’s only a shade over 60 kilometres to the Parnngurr turnoff on the Talawana but it takes you through the worn rocky hills of the Harbutt range and allows you to run virtually parallel with the last of the Gibson Desert dunes. It was whilst we were picking our way slowly around a rocky range we sighted the great white land whale once again. Yep a vehicle god created to be driven solely by German and Swiss tourists from Alice to the rock via Kings Canyon (hence the monicka “Fritz in Britz”) was sighted stationary by the side of the Talawana. Fearing the worst, we crept in slowly only to find Gaby earnestly photographing the remains of a long dead camel. We should have known. Her fascination with the ubiquitous dromedary knows no bounds.

In convoy we headed in to Parrngurr for fuel. Reporting to the admin office, we soon had the bowser opened by one of the staff who we rudely interrupted from his card game. Fuel was a mighty $3.00 per litre for diesel unless we were prepared to pay cash in which case it would be $2.00 per litre. It appears that the previous administrator had departed in disgust some 6 weeks previously so a temporary administration team had been put in place. No doubt determine to line their own pockets while there.

After filling up we headed further west on the Talawana discovering a new use for the cruiser, that of transportation device for firewood. Yep, when opportunity presented itself in the form of several choice deceased eucalypts, the cruiser was crammed full of fallen timber for tonights campfire. Jeez those Canadians come in handy. The main Rudall Road was indeed sandy and corrugated but we only had nine kilometres of it before we reached the bottom bore and hand pump. The grassy eucalypt grove was as I remembered it from the previous year although the locals had left a lot of rubbish around from their transit stop-overs. Scott and Gaby disturbed a dispute between a couple of bull camels in the dunes near the pump. Exciting stuff. I was very disappointed to find the quality of the water had deteriorated from last year. It was in fact quite rancid and off. Even a shower left you feeling clean but smelling worse than before the wash. A pleasant evening by the fire watching the sun set over the sand hills to our west.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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