Little Sandy Desert - Puntawarri Track - Savory Creek, 78 km west of the Canning.

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2008 at 00:00


Wednesday 9th July
Savory Creek, 78 km west of the Canning.
23 32 28.67 S, 121 46 5.12 E

The local dingoes greeted the dawn just as they had heralded the setting of the sun the previous evening, with loud howling. It was great to hear, especially the young ones trying to join in. I was up early to beat the rush out of the gorge. Yep, it’s a strange feeling to have to strap a sand flag to your dunny-seat just to let others know where you’re sitting in the scrub. With 45 people over-nighting in the gorge, I gathered the mouth of the gorge was going to get busy at some stage. Best to go early! I wasn't disappointed as it was busier than Bourke Street Mall on the Boxing Day Sales. One was constantly warning people whpo had spotted your bush, that the said bush was well and truly occupied!! We had a cook up of bacon, toast, braised steak and onion and some revolting Coles brand stuff called “Breakfast in a can”. Very much like the old mans “Coronation stew”, revolting! Scott has been banned from producing that one again - EVER!

We packed up the gear and hit the road a little after ten heading back south to Canning’s Cairn where we climbed onto the windswept plateau of the Durba Hills and took in the surprisingly verdant surrounds. The green of spinifex can be deceiving. I managed to locate the track we were taking heading west into the barren hills. The Puntawarri sand hills again follow no set linear pattern, instead forming a hodge-podge of basins, bowls, retreats and defiles. Interesting drive. Scotty got taken in by the first big hill of the day so had to back down and adjust tyre pressure before making it over easily.

Disaster struck with my tenth puncture, a slash in the sidewall of the rear driver’s side tyre that took four plugs to fill. Obviously a sharp rock. Still not convinced as to the miraculous merits of the tyre plugs, Scotty was hesitant to believe that the plugs would be successful. I should’ve put a few bucks on it. The countryside was a mixture of sand, punctuated by rocky sections and outcrops with often tough gorse like natives encroaching on the track. There were mulga plains and woodlands and on two occasions, water filled claypans. We met a group of 4 vehicles headed east intending to do the exact reverse of our trip to the Eagle so passed on our info. Disaster two, ripped the rear side wall of the left hand trailer tyre and this time not even 5 plugs could stem the tide or rushing air. On went one of the two new Micky Thomson FC2s. It was getting late in the day but we decided to push on to the Savory Creek to camp.

There were some interesting spots surrounding the second set of claypans but we opted to push on into the setting sun finally reaching the first branch of the savory at about 430p.m. I managed to frighten the bejesus out of a bustard who was doing his “Ï am at one with the sticks” routine but saw that flight was the better part of valour and flew out from under the front of the vehicle just in tine, He’d have been dinner tonight if he’d failed to make it! Scott and Gaby scored the photos of him though in my wake. We set up camp by the banks of one of the Savory’s peripheral creeks surrounded by large white gums and a sand hill to our back. That there is water near by is obvious by the animal trails and the few mossies that came for a nibble at sunset.

Dinner was Micks famous rissoles with veg and a hearty scotch. Cheers. For a change, I actually got better phone reception than Scott and his iridium satphone.

''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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