The Gary Junction Road - Westward-ho (The 2013 expeditions begin)

Thursday, Jul 04, 2013 at 04:00

Mick O


Wednesday 3rd July, 2013 - Derwent Creek, NT




A very noisy night at the caravan park prompted an early rise to deal with some last minute housekeeping:- making room in the cabin for Alan K. I cleared the caravan park at 09:30 and went up to Dick and Marg’s. Parking the trailer, I got under and repaired the seal on the outlet valve of the water tank. I spent a bit of time milling around the town sorting out some satphone issues before heading out to the airport and picking up Al at 1:20 p.m. John and Suze had headed off to locate and set up camp, and await our later arrival out on the Gary Junction Road (GJR) or Papunya Road.




Leaving The Alice, we were soon on the Tanami Road. After 136 kilometres, we reached Gary Junction Road intersection and farewelled the black top airing down our tyres we knew it would be several weeks before we saw a made road surface again.Road conditions on the GJR were atrocious, the worst I had experienced in many years. Chopped out, corrugated, sand and rock, it was a baptism of fire to start our 2014 expedition. The section west of Bunghara was particularly bad.




It was a ninety kilometre run west to the Derwent Creek where Suzette’s dulcet tones drifting across the airwaves alerted us to their presence along the creek. They had set up camp in a nice little spot about a kilometres in along the creek to the south. It was in the midst of many small claypans giving ‘The Dingo’ plenty of options for erecting his tent. Haasts Bluff made an impressive backdrop as the sun sank in the west. A BBQ dinner and quiet time by the fire before retiring.

''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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