Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 19 Salt and savoury

Day 19 CSR Another beautiful sunrise greeted us, our spectacular camping site showing the beauty of the lake contrasting with the majestic desert oak trees we are camped under perfectly. Packed up and under way by 8.30am. the track between the camping site and the turn off to well 20 is through a lovely stand of more desert oaks. Not too much Sand dune action today, mostly it was just lumps and bumps with no speed being the right one to eliminate the bumps. A touch too fast and all the gear is bouncing in the tray, too slow and the motor is labouring to keep up. Our first stop was a detour of a few km, out to a point on Lake Disappointment. Clearly visible is a boggy section where some brainiac has driven out onto the lake and bogged it. Literally a few meters from the edge! A few seconds of driving, hours of digging! The lake edge is very soft, and walking leaves big foot prints, with mud below the salt surface. We found lots more animals, including a legless lizard, or what used to be a legless  lizard.  Where the track meets Savoury creek, it is about 30 meters wide and looks pretty deep. Still not quite used to the idea of open water in the desert! We walked down to the waters edge and there are even fish! They were all dead, but they are proper fish, not tadpoles. The track comes in from the east, and follows the creek for a couple of k's to the crossing. The crossing looked really dodgy, but I took my shoes off and walked out. It was muddy on top, but firm underneath, and the crossing was easy. There is a surprising amount of water in the creek, with flocks of birds feeding and hunting.  We had smoko under another desert oak, not far from the crossing,  just can't get enough of these trees. A little way on, there was a Pajero bonnet leaning up against a tree, with a message written on it saying the rest of the car was near well 18. We did find the wreckage, burnt and upside down, bringing the total of burnt out vehicles to 8, all of them petrol motors. Well 19 is on the edge of a clay pan, not particularly photogenic, and we stopped soon after for lunch. Left over potato patties yum! More yumping and bumping along the track. The next highlight was crossing the tropic of Capricorn. Someone has gone to the trouble of marking the point where the track crosses from the tropics to temperate. We kept bouncing along, eventually arriving at the turnoff to Onegunyah rock hole. A 5 km bump along to a car park area and a short walk into the rockhole.  The water level is very low, a few inches at the most. Even the finches seem to have given up. We hunted around and discovered several petroglyphs above the water hole,  circles, and bird footprints, looking very old as well as a faded picture of a fish and what the guide book describes as a spaceman! We headed for Well 18 and met the first people we had seen or heard all day. Four vehicles from The Nissan club from Victoria were setting up camp. We checked the water out, and it looked really good, so we all topped up. We are now camped about 1 km north of the turnoff, under a lovely grove of desert oaks.

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