Sunday, July 1, 2012
Day 22 meet and greet
Day 22 CSR Not a huge day kilometre wise, but still a good day, with lots of different scenery. The worst part of the day was the start, we had to leave Durba springs. Such a lovely oasis, it is really nice to see that it hasn't been thrashed in the years since we were here last, and people are looking after it. White man has been camping there for over 100 years, and aboriginal people for thousands before that, it is a special place. Our first stop this morning was Canning's cairn, about 15 km from the turn off to Durba. Someone has made a new track that takes you much closer to the base of the hill, making the walk a little shorter. The climb and view are just as spectacular as ever. Views back to Deibel hills, the escarpment of Durba swinging away to the north. The rocks are very crumbly, but such a beautiful colour. Back at the cars, it was too late for smoko, so we kept on until well 16 for lunch. Here we were joined by a group of 3 campers from Grafton. The men of the group came over for a gas bag and information exchange. They told us who to expect coming up the track. We had pumped the tyres up again, as the country has been very rocky. Much more rocky than sandy anyway. We came across another two vehicles that we pulled off the track for. They were from Port Macquarie. They passed us, then they made a point of walking up the track to thank us specifically for moving aside, very nice. We had a good old chat with them as well, giving them info on camping places up ahead. Our next stop was Murray Rankins trolley. Here there was another chap on his own who took off as we pulled up, and a camper trailer. The couple with the trailer and their dog are taking 12 months off to travel. The ladies 2nd cousin actually drove cattle along the stock route in 1949! His name is Len Hill. He is still alive and lives in Charters towers, is in the stockmans hall of fame and has recently written a book on his CSR experiences. We must track it down when we get back. They are having a really good time, taking it easy and seem to be doing everything right, unlike some of the other camper trailers we have seen. Even though it was sunny all day, it never warmed up and tonight it is getting really chilly. We are camped at well 15, a lovely spot with excellent water from the well that was restored in 1998. The water is only a few meters below the surface, is very warm and lovely and clear. Most importantly, it has no floaty things in it! Well 15 is where Joe Wilkins was speared by natives in September 1936 for apparantly stealing a native mans wife. The well is surrounded by white gums and mulga trees, between two sand ridges. Once again, we have the place to ourselves. Apparently, there is a tag along tour group heading our way, with 8 vehicles. We thought they might have made it to here, but no. Much nicer for us!