Rudall River NP - Desert Queens Baths & a day exploring the Broadhurst Ranges.

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008 at 00:00


Wednesday 16th July
Desert Queens Baths

Another day of rest as called for by the group consensus.Well “rest” is a very loose term to describe a day of catch up activities. First thing after Breakfast we walked down the gorge to the second big pool and into the caves on the left hand side. Here we found some crude art in two caves that overlooked the pool identifying it as an obvious haven to the indigenous residents of millennia past. One rock painting of a Kangaroo (nee donkey according to Gaby) gave rise to us calling this pool “Kangaroo Pool”. The etchings of the three lizards at the main pool have led us to identify this pool as “Goanna Pool”.

After a few photo’s Gaby headed off into the gorge and Scott and I returned to camp to attend to the more “manly“ duties of tyre repair. We unseated the tyre from the trailer breaking the bead with the Landcruiser again. Amazing what a bit ofsoapy water will do to assist in the endeavour. Once off, we found that our patches hadn’t held due to the glue so we stripped them off and reapplied testing the tackiness of the glue. This seems to be our main issue as the vulcanizing agent doesn’t appear to be vulcanizing correctly. A bit of patience and Scott had a system in place. We prepared the tyre for the reseating using the “butane” method. Gaby was present. I gassed, Scott matched. First time was a no go. I then addressed the tyre with a judicious spray of gas to have it explode out of the tyre and singe my arm and frighten everyone. Obviously the match Scott had thrown was still burning in the tyre. Crispy arm hair for me. Warning!!!…Don’t try this at home kids!!!

Managed to reseat the tyre successfully but again the patches failed us so we broke the bead once again and inserted a tube. Job done. I also used the time to attack the four slow leaking tyres I had out of six. Identified one new puncture on the trailer and had to remove and re plug two previous plugs that had “let go”. The fourth leak was from the gashed sidewall on the rear drivers side tyre which I opted not to disturb.

Lunch was a tin of ham, some cheese and biscuits. Scott swung into removing two leaves from the trailer springs while I assembled and filtered 120 litres of drinking water. On filling Scott’s vehicle tank with 20 litres, we found it all pouring onto the ground beneath an elbow fitting having been bleep tered by a rock or similar. At least now we know why the water was disappearing so fast!! Back to filtering again!

When Gaby returned we went for a late afternoon explore on the ATV’s to the west. I finally explored the caves I’d been threatening to climb to for the past three years, the fires having provided a once in a many year opportunity to easily access the southern walls of the valley. The climb was sharp but the vistas offered ample reward for our exertions. Some magnificent photos taken before clambering down and returning to the ATV’s. Then it was further south to the next gorge and a stiff climb along the jagged, steep water course in search of rock pools. Nothing. The only moisture there was the sweat left by me as I climbed higher and higher, being lured by the many summits that were only an additional 50 metres climb…every time. Finally I reached a high point to be rewarded with no view southwards at all. I was truly stuffed by the time I clambered down the precarious rocky slopes and returned to the waiting Scott.Home to a refreshing beverage. We collected some fire wood on the way back and delivered half to the nearby camps as per last night. Then down to the Goanna Pool with a chair, beverage and bucket for a sit. I refreshed the feet in the icy waters of the pool. It was so cold as to be painful, very little direct sunlight ever hitting the water to provide warmth. A fantastic setting to spend the sunset. We Chatted with our near neigbours who had come to gather water. Returned for Hot showers and a dinner of Marinated chicken on rice with one of our last bottles of white, a packet of Tim Tams and a roaring fire.

Tomorrow we’ll head north then inland in an effort to sneak up on the three sisters and gain entrance to the Yandagooge Gap. The Big group and their 5KVA generator are still here.

''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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