Rudall River - A day of highs and lows (and some fantastic discoveries) at Darlsen Base Camp

Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 at 00:00


Thursday 24th June, 2010
Darlsen Pinnacle Camp
Rudall River National Park

A day of highs and lows today which began with a restless night. It was a bit cooler so sleep was easy to come by. I awoke many times, often to the mournful howl of the local dingos echoing along the valley.

I was up early and prepared Jude’s famous tomatoes on toast recipe for the four of us. Then it was a bit of fluffing underneath the vehicle and checking that the airbags were seating correctly. I found that one of the bottom brackets had loosened and rotated fractionally. I was itching to get going on the quads but by 10:45 a.m., everyone was still faffing and I was getting a bit frustrated so I decided to climb the pinnacle talus slope and get some photos of the camp and surrounding countryside. To this end, I rode the quad up as far as I dared. Walking the remaining distance up I somehow overextended and damaged my left calf muscle causing extreme pain, especially when my toes are forward. It was a slow, careful and painful hobble down the slope and then gingerly extracting the quad I rode the short distance back to camp. That put paid to my intended days activities which involved exploring the local gorges for water. Suzette applied some unguents and massaged my calf for which I will be eternally grateful.

Being only able to hobble painfully, I let Al take Big Red out on the exploratory mission with MJ on the back and I retired to the RTT for a rest. While the temp gauge showed 28C, it was damn hot in the sun and the aluminum roof of the RTT, being devoid of insulation, became to hot to touch. I rested for an hour or more and then sat about in the shade of the awning awaiting the return of the quad teams.

They had a great discovery during the mornings excursion. One of the gorges contained a waterhole which still containing a good quantity of water. There was a largish cave nearby with signs of habitation in the distant past and some rudimentary art. A real find all duly recorded. We also had some great news in that Kevin Rudd had been sacked by his own party. The great pretender was betrayed just as he did to Latham. Gillard has been sworn in as PM. While that’s no bonus, the “un-deliverer” is gone. I spent an hour listening to the distant and faint waves of the ABC drifting across the AM band to get the lowdown.

In the late afternoon, the full moon rose spectacularly above the rocky ramparts behind us. The colours of the surrounding rocks become so deep and vivid at this time, contrasted against the pristine blue of the sky, the silver orb of the moon was a spectacular sight. Later, we saw the space station again cruising stately overhead.
Can night called as the cook is incapacitated. The judicious use of natures anti-inflammatory was called for to relieve the swelling.

''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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