On The QT

Aussie Adventure Day 8

Blogger: Pat Lynch

Day 8 – Little Sandy Desert – July 9th

Woke at about 6am to a crow close by. The sun is not up but you can see the red glow to the East. Breakfast is prepared and by 8am we are on the road. We are heading 51 degrees North. Jiggelo is 67km away as the crow flies which will be our first stop today. Roads get very rough. We pass two dried up river beds. We came to a new graded road heading to our first stop today and we pick up speed again. It is like a red sand on the road and we can travel at 60 – 70 km per hour. We need a special permit to visit this Aboriginal encampment, we get it ready as we approach. I am not allowed to take photos in the encampment as the Aboriginals find it distasteful. We will be able to pick up some provisions here. As I am white and most of the people in the encampment are coloured, I could cause quiet a stir. 5km out from camp, we stopped for a coffee break. The first car we see today, we see in the distance. It is a local Aboriginal, who is driving a pick up. He stops to see if we are ok. His dog is sitting in the front seat. He says he is going to the Bore track to check water. We bid farewell and off he goes.

We approach the camp. We purchase our last $50 of diesel and picked up some supplies we forgot(for example salt). It is like going back in time and you wonder how all these people live here. Houses are about 20 foot apart, perhaps 30-40 houses in the camp, a shop and a petrol filling station. Children and adults sit and just go about their daily chores. Very few people work here and they are supported by the Australian government. White Australian people supervise them and they hold key positions in the village(For example, the shop). I got a chance to call home, it is 3AM at home but it is my last chance to call for the next 8 days. I am very surprised that there is a public phone here. It was great to  talk to them at home and put them at ease(despite the frosty reception for ringing them in the middle of the night!!).  Aboriginals do not like photos to be taken of them and it is suggested to me not to take photos. It is a pity.

Off we go South to the Robertson Hills and then through some sand dunes which run for miles. No animals in site but we see camel droppings. Possibly five cars a year run on this road. We stopped for lunch at 1pm, a quick sandwich and a banana and tea. We find our discovery has a leak in one of our 20 litre fuel tanks. Rob reseals one of the lids. We now have maximum fuel onboard and we do not want to loose any. We came across an abandoned Aboriginal camp site and we collected some Aboriginal stones used to make spears by local Aboriginals. Lots of rubbish left on the site. Every time we leave a camp site ourselves, you would never think we were event there. On we go past sand dunes for miles on both sides of us and we traveling in the hollow of the dunes. At the end of a dune, we switch to another. Just came across an old wind mill that appears to be still working as the wheel on top is spinning. On inspection, it is not working but there is water about 8 meters down the shaft. We come across a camel skull and of course I stopped to take pictures. Still in the little sandy desert and on a nice sandy surface. Reached a dry river bed and we had to do 45 degrees to enter and the same on the way out. Saw my first camel, a male bull. He runs away eventually after I get a few photos.

 At 4.20, we reach an old abandoned Aboriginal mining site. It was planned to drill for some minerals that went into the manufacture of mobile phones but the mineral was not there after all. About 6 complete new houses here, many outhouses, a once new JCB, waterwell…several million dollars of a village. Two to three families would live in each house. Nobody ever lived here, what a waste. We decided to camp here. Tonight is shower night, where you are expected to shower using only 2 litres of water, not easy but you feel great after it(shaving is not allowed). We got our camp fire going, got dinner prepared, had a great chat around the fire and great nights sleep.

Fill in for more adventures tomorrow


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