On The QT

Aussie Adventure Day 19

Blogger: Pat Lynch

Day 19 – July 20th

 Up at 5.55. I am up first as I cannot sleep. It is warmer during the night and the temperatures are rising as we get a little further South. It is raining in Perth and we hope it will be dry when we want to sleep tonight. Boxes are burned and we have very little on our vehicle now. We have eaten a lot over the last 2 weeks. We have 560km to get to Yulleuma but we do not expect to make it today. We leave at 7.15 . After some  time we come across an abandoned water mill which is not in use. This was put there at some stage for the Aboriginals but is not used now. Further on we come across an abandoned Aboriginal community site. It is in bad shape with people taking things from it over the years. Lots of rubbish can be seen visible all over the place. The site is about 1 acre in size. Two sheds still seem to be in use by the Aboriginals with some beds and some old clothing scattered around. They seem to use it as a base while they gather wood to make Aboriginal timber carvings. By 8ish we are on our way.

Two Ruo cross our path and one stands in the middle of the road. We stop and by the time I get out for a photo he just hops away. They travel in pairs. Mom and Dad are often in family groups. If one crosses the road in front of you as you drive, you need to watch for the next one to cross. The next stop is 17km to Mungerli Clay Pan. We arrive at 9.10 after seeing two Emo’s on the way. As we stop we have our first puncture of the day. We quickly change it and we get on our way. The road only gets graded here once every 10 years or so and we are lucky to be on a section that has been graded recently. We can travel at 80km p/h without any difficulty. At 9.35, Rob noticed the rev counter on the vehicle is very high and the temperature is high. We stop and Kevin stops to look at it. We are not sure what he did but he fixed it. We drive on. We stop at 10am for early coffee and we remove the spinifix grill we put on the front of the vehicle on the second day of the trip. It is a sure reminder we are getting closer to civilisation. At Carnegie there is a station from where we expect we can go and have a shower for $5 each. I cannot wait for it but it is still 2 hours away.

We arrive at Carnegie station at 1pm. The graded road was great. Rob’s vehicle is acting up on the way again and he phones Perth from the station. He does not get a solution. We now scrap spinifix and dust out of his radiator with the compressor and we hope this will fix it. The station is unique. The owner is a young Dutch lady and her husband farms 1.2 million achres of land. They also have  a little campsite with a communal eating area, with a cooker and a tiny shop for basics. There is a satellite phone here but it is too early to call Ireland because it is the middle of the night at home. The only people staying here now are a couple from Melbourne who are in their mid 50s who are doing a trip for 6 weeks or so. The big disappointment is that the showers are not on and we would have to start the boiler ourselves and basically help ourselves. As we expect to be in Perth after lunch tomorrow, we decide to decline the showers. The lady from Melbourne tells me that many Europeans come out here in mid summer totally unprepared for these conditions with rental cars and with one spare wheel. In the summer here it gets up to 45 degrees.

We leave the station at 1.30 and drive a little ways to stop for lunch. It is 1320km to Perth. Our next destination is Willauna, 306km away. It will be tomorrow before we get there. The gravel road has been graded and we make great progress. We are doing about 95km p/h. All three vehicles move on. We have to leave 1km between each vehicle as the dust is heavy once a vehicle moves over the ground. As the second vehicle we can see the cloud of dust from Nick’s vehicle and we leave enough of space so that we have a clear view of the road. At 3.40, our vehicle acts up again. We have to stop and let the engine cool. There is a fine dust all over the inside of the jeep and I have to clean my glasses on a regular basis. Kevin inspects our engine and the compressor is taken out to clear the dust from the radiator. We take off the protector from the bottom of the radiator to allow more air to get through. As we park here, I see a jet liner pass over head on its way to Perth. It would be nice to be on it as it would only take 1 hour to be there. We have traveled the length of Ireland today, not seeing a single car expect for the people living at the station. We pass two other stations(farms) not open to the public. I wonder how people live so remotely. We head on again and I drive our vehicle. I keep it at 70km p/h on the gravel road. It is a different sensation driving on gravel as you accelerate around corners instead of applying the break. Luckily there are not many corners. Cattle can be seen at water wells on occasions.  They are in great condition. The occasional dip in the road is often around a creek and one can see water is the creeks. It must have rained here over the last few weeks as on one occasion we come across a lake which attracts lots of bird life.

We set up camp at 5pm and set about our chores. We have the last cooked meal tonight, prepared and frozen by Rob’s wife Jill. Dessert is a bar of chocolate between us. We sit around the fire and put on lots of timber as it is plentiful. We talk about the trip and the highs and lows for each person in the group. It is not as cold tonight as previous nights and we head off to bed. I look at the stars for the last time and drift off to sleep. I wake sometime during the night with the heat. Cloud cover comes in and I hope it will not rain. I go back to sleep in just the sleeping and do not wake until the first sign of light.

Back to civilistaion tomorrow,


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