Tuesday, September 4, 2012


24 July 2012

STAGE 3 CSR Day 22

well 51 - Weriaddo, Guda Soak, bloodwood bore (110km)

A leasurely start as we headed towards the gorge and to search for the soak. We never found the soak but the gorge was spectacular.

We seem to be dragging our feet a bit today as if trying to prolong the trip.

We travelled to Well 51. The original well has been abandoned.

A group shot was called for here and we put our Oka numbers on the drum for posterity.

We detoured a little to visit a bore that was not part of the original track. The track today was corrugated. No sand dunes of note.

As soon as we pulled up for the night at Bloodwood Bore a lone motorcyclist pulled in. 

 We heard about his trip and compared notes as we enjoyed the last campfire on the Canning.

As we travelled today I thought about this experience we had had of travelling the Canning.

1,838 Kilometres of track through a very remote part of Australia. 1,838km of spinifex country, desert, sand dunes (they claim 900 we didn’t bother counting), woodlands, corrugations (everywhere it was flat, except for 7km across one claypan) and so far from anywhere. An incredible trip.

The highlights of the trip were many. We had the best company you could imagine. There was great team work, great companionship and friendships forged. When we met at Curtin Springs we were strangers. Now we were the best team – a most amazing group to travel with - friends. It was an incredible journey with this team of wonderful people - Garry and Chris from Oka 306 and Harry and Jenny from Oka 45. Jenny and I even share the same birthday. What a coincidence. We are six very different personalities but whilst travelling we came together as a great team and really bonded well. Whenever maintenanca or repairs were under way everyone pitched in. Thank you to you all for this wonderful experience we’ve had.

Other highlights included Pierre Springs, Durba Spring, Georgia Bore the constantly changing landscape, the amazing colours of the vegetation, the birds, the abundance of flowers and of course our campfires at the end of every day but one. I enjoyed crossing the hundreds of dunes but definitely did not enjoy the corrugations. The night sky was just glorious and the stars were just so bright. A beautiful canopy above us. During the day the bright blue sky with wispy clouds or corrugated like effect was just beautiful and provided such a strong contrast to the red, sandy or rich brown soil, the multitude of greens, and the reds, pinks, violet, yellows of the flowers.

I was disappointed to see as much traffic on the track as we did and expected the dunes to be more challenging. What annoyed me most on the trip – the negatives – wind, wind, wind and corrugations. It also seemed as if I was constantly getting dirty on this trip and I couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t touch anything to do with the mechanical side of things but I ended up with not oly reds on my clothes but black smuges as well. „Go figure“ as my grandchildren would say.

Particularly as we travelled through the burnt out sections you could feel a sense of desolation. Walking in that scrub felt very hot and you realised how quickly you could feel parched. Even though there was traffic on the track there was a feeling of isolation. Many we met were on a schedule and zooming down or up the track, not having much time to chat as they had to do their 120km or so that day. We took three weeks to cover the length of the track in a very leasurely manner.

The history of the track also brought home the resilience, determination and perserverence of the those surveying the track, building the wells and the drovers bringing the cattle down the track. Not an easy life they led.

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