Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 12 sand and rocks

CSR Day 12 
The wind really kicked in during the night, Jon got fed up about 3 am and we could hear muffled cursing as he decided the fly on the tent had to go! We had camped on a high plateau so the wind whistled through camp. We awoke to a spectacular sunrise, the best of the trip so far. Beautiful high cloud streaked across the sky, even Tracey got out of bed just to see it... We packed up and read while J & K re-organised the back of the troopie.  The track today was a real mixture, as it has been every day. Every time there is a chance to accelerate the corugations kick in, so the slow speed stuff is a real relief. The track goes from rocky to sandy, and back almost as quickly as it takes to read it. Lots of beautiful sand dunes to cross, both cars are doing it easily now the tyre pressures are around 18 psi, some don't even need 4wd. Our first stop was Wardabunni  rock hole. It is a hole on the creek bed, hidden amongst the ghost gums and red rock breakaways. Canning blasted the floor out to make it deeper, but it has since silted up again. It must have been a pretty horrible place to bring cattle, as access is difficult. We went a little berko with the cameras here, the combination of red rocks, white trees and streaking high cloud got everyone's creative juices flowing, there should be some lovely shots.  The track goes back to the dunes, and we got some excellent footage on the videos. We had smoko at Wandurba rock hole, actually a cave near the waterhole, but we didn't see the waterhole itself. It was very pleasant sitting in the cave, looking out over the spinifex valley below. There is what looks like aboriginal art on the entrance, but it looks pretty new, so not really sure if it is genuine. Would be nice if it was though! Well 37 was our next stop, the well itself isn't very scenic, but the finches weren't too worried by our presence, and kept leaping down into the well, under the tin lid. Lots of little bird bodies floating in the water relayed the message that this is a dangerous thing to do, but they flocked in their hundreds , all lining up in orderly little finch lines, waiting for their turn.  We stopped in a lovely patch of desert oak forest 2 minutes from the well for lunch, just missing the 4 vehicles heading in. the temperature difference in the shade has to be experienced to be believed, out in the sun a few minutes is all you can take, but under the desert oaks, it is jackets all round! The track was changed in 2003 to run along the sand dunes south of well 37, due to flooding in the lower parts around the salt flats. It is a roller coaster ride along the sand, we even spotted a bustard grazing in one of the lake beds. Well 36 is supposed to contain good water, but again the little floating finch bodies told a different story..Tracey spotted the body of the camel that was pulled from the well last year, and lots of toilet paper people couldn't be bothered burying. All in all, not a pleasant place to spend too much time!  A few minutes down the road, J & K's troopie slammed to a halt, both doors flew open and they both leapt from the troopie, Kerrin yelling fire! Tracey quickly grabbed our extinguisher and we rushed over. The inverter had started to smoke profusely, causing everyone to jump to action stations. After it was established there was no fire, Jon said the fire drill went well, with all of us neatly assembled in the emergency area, fire extinguishers in hand! We really don't need that sort of excitement out here!
We are camped just down the road, in a little sand gully.

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