Down to the corner store

Sun – 1/4/12

Ah love the smell of stinky water in the morning, the smell was quite strong, but you get used to it.

Bit of a slower start this morning, we were on the road by 9.15am. We have lost count of how many lizards we have seen sunny themselves on the road.

We filled up at Thargomindah, fuel was a bit dearer $1.78. On the road out to Noccundra there is a park on the cnr with toilets and free showers, plenty of parking for big rigs. Temp was 31 with a max of 34 degrees.

Towns like Thargomindah, Cunnamulla have been made famous by songs. Eulo is known in QLD by floods that caused the evacuation of the town. So you kind of expect them to be bigger than they are. A pub, a shop if you are lucky often not much more.

The road was pretty bumpy in places there were several sections of road work, each time we had a ute with flashing lights escort us through. We stopped at the pub at Noccundra to ask if the road to Cameron Corner was open as the sign said it wasn’t. It was, the sign just hadn’t been changed. The lady warned us of wash outs and to pull over if we saw any road trains. Out the front were two guys with a can of areoguard and doing the Aussie salute. I have found areoguard doesn’t work very well with flies. We passed a motorhome coming the other way, would of been one rough trip in that.

The rear vision camera is providing a very good view of the trailer and road behind.

Mmm ARB strikes again, as they say if you want a job done properly do it yourself. Yesterday it was a hard plastic inner guard that they cut off had not been secured and was rubbing on the tyres and since the bullbar was slightly off centre it is rubbing slightly on the cnr of the ute, touch up paint will be needed. Today there was another rattle coming from the front, air dam had come loose, we had lost 2 bolts and 2 were loose. Chris will be giving them a ring when we get back. Update – ARB were very quick to fix the issue with the bull bar.

The turnoff to Cameron Corner off the Noccundra/Tibooburra road is not well market, so we had to check the GPS coordinates to confirm we were on the right road. This road is pretty rough in places with lots of deep ruts from water. We drove a bit further into the arvo than we normally would but it was cool inside and no flies. We found a spot to pull off about 80kms from Cameron Corner, about 430kms travelled today 158kms on dirt.

We have collected some small pebbles and lots or red dust. A rock has put a small hole in the stone guard, I guess it’s doing it job.

Mon – 2/4/12

Ahh attack of the killer ants. Little tiny ants, they would climb over your feet as soon as you stopped moving and the suckers would bite you, even through areoguard. It was a very warm night last night, we had the fan going, windows were open and the doona got kicked off, until it slowly cooled down.

Flies are getting worse, we have pulled the fly hats out. Warm start to the day, on the road by 8.30 am.

The road has deteriorate or as the iPad spelling correction said after I spelt it wrong, detonated. Some very very deep ruts that are hard to see, there are less trees but still plenty of vegetation. We assume it’s greener than normal after all the rain this season. Wow they are some serious ruts would not want to hit them as speed.

Yeah we just hit Cameron Corner where 3 states meet. Chris stood in each state and said in QLD it’s 10am, 11am in NSW and 9.30 in SA.

The dog fence is very well kept in this area.

We did another top up of fuel at the cnr store, expect fuel to be a bit dearer here it was $2.20 on our visit. The store/pub is a typical pub in these outback areas. Hats and other memorabilia adorn the walls and ceiling. As does $5 notes stuck to the ceiling. They don’t keep the $5 charge for camping they give it to the Royal Flying Doctors. You wrap a $5 note in a coin and thumb tact and throw it upwards. If you hit the light bulb you shout the bar. The guy at the store said he had done the road we had travelled on at night a few times and it was pretty hairy.

The road to Merty Merty is 4wd only and was closed a week ago due to rain in the area. Water still covers some parts. It has just been graded and is much smoother than the road we were just on. Lots of sand dunes to drive over, like big dippers. Chris thinks they are fun, some make your tummy go. Lots of vegetation here at present.

We stopped at the old wreck of the yellow double decker bus. Camps Australia says you can camp there but there was signs up saying no camping. We met a couple of other travelers there who said the land owner can change his mind. Was an interesting place, not sure how the bus came to be there. We exchanged road information with the other people and went on our way.

The Old Strezelecki Track is a bit of a mixed bag. Some parts are really good, wide in areas. Other areas had wash outs with deep ruts with flags marking the areas, so at least we had warning. This is the more maintained section of the track the gas trucks must use. After that is got rough, narrow, very soft at times, grass growing on the track, lots of water and more ruts.

Struth, there was a lots of water covering a large section of the track so we took the by pass track. Crikey talk about driving in scrub, maybe we should have got those scrub bars.

Oh what an eventful track this one has been. There was another section with water on it. We stopped to checkout our options, it happened to be very soft where we stopped and the rear left wheel of the ute sunk. First time the max tracks were used, out no worries. The by pass track was no picnic either with the entry back onto the track involving a steep descent on an angle so the ute was tipped sideways, bit freaky.

The track didn’t get any better, makes the main Strezelecki Track look like a high way. A high way with corrugations that is.

At Innamincka we headed to the campsites next to Cooper Creek. There are several to choose from Policeman, Ski Beach, Kings Site, Minke Waterhole, and the Town Common. All but the Town Common have camping fees of $16. Ours was covered by the Desert Parks Pass. We drove into Policeman, which only had a couple of sites and not level. Ski Beach had a few more but other campers where there. Kings Site has several coming off different sections of track. We had a high spot over looking the creek. Loads of bugs. The lady at the Trading Post said everyone was complaining how bad the bugs were at the moment. 325 Km’s travelled on dirt roads.