Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 23 frozen camel

Day 23 CSR
A VERY cold night last night. At 6am it was -3 degrees, yes that is minus! Many layers of clothes, including gloves and beanies were donned before exiting the tent. Bob stoked the fire to boil some water for breakfast and to fill the thermos for today's drive and morning tea.  After breakfast we packed up the gear and were ready to go at 8.30. We caught up on some reading while we waited for Jon and Kerrin before we departed well 15 at 9am. Only five minutes down the track we came across another wrecked camper trailer. A quick inspection before continuing on towards well 14.  At well 14 we met a tag along tour heading north. There we 8 vehicles in total including three tour vehicles. Two of the cars were towing camper trailers. The is  memorial at well 14 to a man named Kevin Weckert who passed away at the well in 2003 after feeling unwell at well 16, turning around and heading back to Wiluna. He died from a heart attack before making Wiluna. His family have erected a visitor book and memorial to him at the well.  We had a quick cuppa  and a gasbag with the tour here before hitting the track and heading on to well 13. Not far along the track, we spotted a camel standing in the middle of the track! He immediately shot off, running along the track, as that is the easiest route through the prickles. We followed along, trying not to chase him, getting a couple of photos. He stayed on the track about 1 km, and then headed bush. They are very strange animals and look really odd when they run. They kind of lope along, each leg doing something completely out of synch with every other leg, but still managing to maintain forward velocity. Very amusing! Well 13 was a little difficult to locate as it was hidden amongst long grass and is very overgrown. We did manage to find it though, took some photos, then decided to find another spot for lunch as the area around the well is a bit of a dust bowl. Back on the main track, there is an old Landie that has burned. It was a series 2 with a 186 conversion, with almost everything of value mechanically has been stripped off it. That makes a total of 9 burned vehicles. Considering that on our last trip here, there were no burned out vehicles at all it is amazing to consider that every two years or so, someone's holiday is ruined in this way. Certainly makes you stop and think. On the way to well 12 we found a nice shady camping area where pulled off the track for lunch. Cuppa soup and crackers, if you were wondering. Just before well 12 we came across some more travelers, these guys in a landcruiser and a VW Toureg. They were doing radio calls before crossing the dunes so that was very helpful. They pulled off the track and waited for us so we could go around them. Onto well 12, a quick detour of 2 kms out and back. Well 12 had been restored by Ken Maidment in 2003. He and his group also restored Well 15 and well 49. There is a coppers log fence around the well, with steel doors and a windlass. We didn't try the water though as we are all stocked up from last night at well 15. We thought we would head on to well 11 and find somewhere to camp before we got there. We followed the track along Lake Aerodrome, no water, just lots of salt. We stopped for some photos there and then crossed some more sand dunes. We are almost out of sand dune country now which is a shame as less sand dunes means LOTS of corrugations. We have had quite a bit of corrugated track today. It is so rough to drive over and not doing the vehicle or its occupants much good. So tonight we stopped to camp at about 3.30 around 15 kms north of well 11. A lovely spot under some desert oaks., next to the track. Only one other vehicle through this afternoon, he was on a mission, barely had time to wave... We are expecting another cold night so Jon and Kerrin have dug a fire pit into which we will feed the firewood which is already here piled up ready to go for us!

Well 16


colder outside the fridge than inside!

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