On The QT

Aussie Adventure Day 12

Blogger: Pat Lynch

Day 12 – Heading to the Canning Stock Route – July 13th


Very windy during the night. If it was Ireland we would expect rain within 30 minutes. Rob informed me that it only rained once in 33 years that he has been coming out here to the bush. We quickly gets organized and we are on the road for 7.45am. Our first stop is to find water at a known location within 2kl of our camp site. After a walk of 150m up a breakaway cliff we find it is dry. Water is running low. We only have 150 litres left between 6 of us for another 8 days or so. We start to cut back by doing the dishes from last night with the breakfast dishes from the morning. Further cut backs may happen in the days ahead. Showers are now also curtailed. We should have topped up with water at the Aboriginal site on day 3 but silly us we forgot to. I guess it was thought we would have found some water at this stage. Any water found would be used for showering and doing the dishes. By 8.45am we are now leaving the breakaway. One of the party stops for a bog (toilet). Everyone is very environmentally friendly. A man made toilet seat on legs is used as a toilet. Each person using a shovel digs a hole and places the toilet seat on legs over the area dug. Using the shovel all matter is covered over it the shovel. Campsites are left in such a manner that you would never think we had been there. We are heading East to the Stockrouth and we are to take 2 days distance wise off out trip due to the fact we lost a lot of time this week bush wacking (making the road). We find a new track in Diebil Springs made by someone and we decide to take it and  see where it will lead us to. It is a lovely valley with bird life and magnificent hills on each side of the gorge. We did not have a lot of time to explore and we head to the Canning Stock Route which is used by up to 10k of people per year. Vehicles have to use a flag on top of the vehicle on this route  to be seen as they go over sand dunes. We meet the first group of people in 4 days. They are from Sydney and doing a six week tour. We stop for a quick cup of coffee and we set off North on the Canning Stock Route. We will be on this for a short length of time and we will be heading west to Lake Disappointment which is a great dry salt lake. We have a slow puncture and we pump it from the on board compressor.

 We come across 3 to 4 sand dunes to cross and it is great fun. As we progress we see a sign for Well 18 which is an old  well for cattle for drinking. It is about 1kl off the road and we go to explore. Low and behold we discover the well. We open the well which has two closed doors on top and we fill all our containers. Afterwards we have a wash. It is absolutely beautiful. On we go and back on to the Canning Stock Route. As we get on to the Route we get a call  from the Sydney folk we met earlier to ask if we had lost a satellite Ariel. Nicks Nissan had as he had removed it after he made his once every two day call to Perth. It is a real fluke that they found it and they came to where we were having lunch.

 We continue North on the Canning Stock Route and negotiate a couple of more sand dunes. We see our turn off from the CSD to Lake Disappointment. Our lead vehicle Graham removes his high flag on his vehicle, This is a necessary flag on the CSR as you will see the flag before you see the vehicle. It is important to have this flag for negotiating the sand dunes as a vehicle going north or south could hit at high speed on top of a dune. Remember you see nothing of the other side until you reach the top of the sand dune. The lead car also has to announce they are going north or south over a sand dune via walkie talkie. Rob and I take over as lead car as we go off the Canning Stock Route. We are within 1kl of a great white salt lake which is now dry. We are stopped waiting for the last vehicle in out group to get over the last sand dune. They make it on the 3rd attempt. They must now pump their tyres to the regular pressure. We now all head to the Lake. It is 70k wide and 70k long. You can see white for as far as you can see. It is incredible. Speed tests have been conducted on lakes like this to break the land speed record. A nice even surface and it goes on for miles. We drive around the lake where there is a trail. One does not drive across the lake as if you break the crust you can sink and lose your vehicle. We drive around the lake and we pick up Robs prints on the ground that he made in 1993, amazing. It looks like no one was here since then. We could be in another world. I must be the only Irish man ever here.

 It is now 2.45 and we drive on. Rather than keep on the lake we go overland to cut out a pensula. A GPS setting is created and we cross several dunes  and rough country for about 3 kl. A group of 5 camels are seen in the distance and I get some photographs of them. At 4.30 we see some nice wooded area and we decide to camp early. Wood is gathered and we get the fire going. And as many chores done while we have daylight. Dinner is steak, oninons potatoes and mushrooms followed by a fruit baked by ourselves. It was a lovely dinner in lovely surroundings. It is not cold tonight and it does not get down to freezing. I wake during the night with the heat in the awag. Fell back to sleep again quickly.


More exciting travels tomorrow,


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