Jim let us know the road north of Mt Augustus had been opened, so that was the way we headed. But first Jim needed some more help figuring out stuff with his computer which I managed to achieve to his satisfaction. A quick live blog update and on the road at 10:30 am. I had no way of transferring these notes, written on the iPad, onto Jim’s laptop to allow uploading onto the blog site. That will have to wait until I can get wifi Internet access.
So it was back on the road again, VeggieCruza humming along, the road in good condition with only a few corrugations from time to time. The new tyres and Bilstein shock absorbers do a great job on an old truck.
Mt Augustus came and went. I’m sure it is an interesting place to explore, and it’s the largest monolith in the world. But frankly it looks no different to the other mountains around the area, bigger maybe, but nothing spectacular, not like that one in the Northern Territory anyway..
There was no one in the office at the grandly named Mt Augustus ‘resort’. Their green grassed campsites looked nice, and I’m sure the motel dongas were nice inside. We assumed the road north was opened, and slowly drove through the station yards looking for any sign of someone trying to stop us. The road was wider than I recall from nine years when I bought Christopher and Cassidy through the region in a memorable but not enjoyable journey. It was October, 42*C, and the first offroad trip for all of us. We’d camped in the oppressive heat at Kennedy ranges with little overnight respite, and I drove the kids 600km the next day to get to Tom Price and air conditioned accommodation.
This trip is better. The flies are around, but not intrusive, the days warm out of the wind, and the night temps around 13*C I’d guess, maybe a bit cooler. Towing the trailer slows us down apparently as we were caught by a couple from SA, bird watchers. Caring for Kerry’s tender back requires care on the numerous dips and floodways, there would have 100 of them today. We had lunch with the bird watchers along the track, then pulled over alone into a creek crossing at 3:30pm, giving us two hours to setup, cook and eat dinner in the daylight and dusk, before settling in for chocolate, blog updates and Kindle after 6pm. The SA couple pushed on, needing to get to Paraburdoo before the shops shut tomorrow.
The scenery through this Pingandy road is neat. Not spectacular, but interesting driving around through he foothills of the Hamersley Ranges. Big vistas, big landscapes, river gums marking the creeks. Very few animals around.
Tonight we have Water from the creek heated on the campfire, minimalist LED lighting, this is free camping at its best. The glorious big white river gums protect us from the wind and provide firewood. Braised steak and onion appeared from the Engel in a vacuum sealed bag and slow cooked on the fire. A little drinking water from our containers, the rest for washing from the creek. Last night we saw a shooting star and at least one satellite passing overhead, wonder what we’ll see tonight…
About 200 km today.
We saw one car on the road, the bird watchers