Page 3 of BecandChris Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » South Australia December 2nd 2018

First a couple of housekeeping items. Last night I discovered where the comments section in travel blog is. Most importantly I’d like to apologise to the UK couple who asked me in 2015 how long it would take to tow a caravan to Halligan Bay. I wouldn’t tow a caravan as you will note by the little memorial about half way to the Bay dedicated to the German lady who died of dehydration after getting bogged. I apologise for any inconvenience. Secondly I should explain the trip. I am joined by Brooksie, a great explorer and organiser who has walked from the Dig Tree to Christmas Creek, Mike Henwood, a stellar mechanic and organisation man known for his attempted circumnavigation of Australia with his wife and a toddler (no joke), Wilko, a champion snorer who knows ... read more
Dunlop welcomes you to SA
Wilkos fuel gauge

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Mildura December 1st 2018

Here we are about to set out on our 3rd Murray navigation. From Mildura to Murray Mouth. As you all know we spend a lot of time planning these trips. First we have the spreadsheet that details the itinerary, fuel stops, overnight stops, locks and all the shopping items. We called every tourist office to check on fuel availability. I was a little disappointed when Sally at Renmark (the last one I called) said “let me just check my fuel stops on the Murray sheet”. Now we’ve done this 3 times and no one has ever mentioned the fuel stops on the Murray sheet. I said can you send me a copy of it and she did. This sheet has completely de-risked the whole trip! Another area that Brooksie, Mike and I discussed at length was ... read more
That tyre was only 12 years old!
Duct tape! A mans best friend.

After our 457 visa recipient cooks an enormous breakfast spread and makes us a couple of cappuccinos we head down the Oodnadatta Track. We have a big day of driving so we don’t stop a lot just for fuel and the 3rdworst coffees so far at Marla. I may have to add Irish backpackers to the Asian barista rule. I have to show the guys Leigh Creek which is like one of those towns they build to test nuclear bombs. I think it was actually built to service the coal mine which the Government subsequently closed down. The SA Government tried to sell the town but couldn’t. We have a great run down to the turn off to the Flinders Ranges National Park. Luckily all the vanners seem to be headed South. In the late afternoon ... read more
Flinders Ranges
Me in my black rights

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » William Creek June 3rd 2018

Chris is reluctant to leave dogs but we manage to leave our dusty campsite after Chris has a cold shower. A pleasant drive to Coober Pedy where Catherine and I join The Ghan over 75 group to do the Amoonano Opal Museum tour – and avoid buying any opals! We then have a big win! You have to pay for water in Coober Pedy but when we turn up at the self-service tank we find some credit left in the meter! This is especially lucky as I half it over the next morning by spilling the water container. We were feeling a little nervous as we approached Coward Springs as everyone we had talked to on the road had stayed there. On arrival there was only 4 other campers – but the night before there had ... read more
William Creek
4 tyres and a pile of rocks

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Dalhousie June 3rd 2018

It is the third day of my compulsory rural component of my 457 visa requirement. We are required to work hard and help Chris Whittle esq with his overland adventure. After rising early and enjoying a morning swim in the steaming warm springs we make breakfast and packed up camp including the tent and Mr Whittle’s bedding, he has organised the expedition to the finest detail and is meticulous in the packing of the transport. Before departing tent pegs are licked clean, tent poles polished, wheel nuts are tightened with in an inch of their lives due to a previous unfortunate event which was of course no fault of the meticulous Mr Whittle. We make sure Mr Whittle is comfortable in the passenger seat and I drive the onerous and precarious drive to the town of ... read more
Making coffee for Mr Whittle
Me in my black tights

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Dalhousie June 3rd 2018

We headed from Chambers Pillar to Finke. There were still a number of motorcyclists testing out the route of the Finke Desert Race and a number of teams had set up with containers with all their gear. Wilko made a revelation which has had a dramatic effect on our trip. Apparently he actually doesn’t like driving and in fact it stresses him. He only says “Do you want me to drive?” as a favour. I have completely misunderstood this thinking he wanted to drive. Why else would anyone ask if you wanted them to drive first thing in the morning. Anyway we arrived at Finke which is a very nice and tidy aboriginal community. We stopped at the store and the guy outside said the shop was re-opening in a second and he was just waiting ... read more
Dalhousie Springs
Where the wild dingoes roam

Oceania » Australia June 2nd 2018

A day of mixed emotions – we are losing a dear friend but finding a wife. Another efficient pack up – but never as quick as Rebecca! We dropped in at Ormiston Gorge and I did not swim! We timed our run to Alice Springs airport to the second after fuelling, Coles shop,Tourist bureau and Toyota dealership. Thank goodness Catherine brought two bottles of red wine as the bottle shops in Alice are not allowed to open before 2pm. I was a little nervous as I had picked our next destination all by myself. It worked out perfectly as we arrived around 4.30. A few campers but we found a perfect isolated campsite in the designated caravan area! We could not work why any of the other campers were at the sunset walk around the pillar ... read more

Oceania June 2nd 2018

Brooksie, Wilko and I enjoyed the sumptuous buffet at the Glen Helen Resort. Well to be fair the continental breakfast comprised toast, canned peaches and wheatbix which I think we could have done at the tent, but the hot breakfast was huge, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hashbrowns, tomato, pork sausages and baked beans. Brooksie, already looking on the verge of a coronary, swapped part of his bacon for beans with Wilko. Wilko and I had done our laundry and for some reason mine seemed to take 3 times longer. We got underway and headed out to Stanley Chasm, then Serpentine Gorge and Redbank. There were surprisingly few people at the various sights, although Wilko likes to storm ahead so that you never get to take a photo of a pristine gorge without Wilko in it. He also ... read more
Note Wilko in bottom right

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Uluru June 1st 2018

Given Brooksie's hopeless performance navigating yesterday he has been relegated to the back seat whilst Wilko's driving. We headed out to Lake Bennett which actually has water, checked out a great desert skink habitat but we still aren't sure which word the great refers to (skink, desert or habitat) in any event we didn't see any. Brooksie correctly identified camel poo, but personally I would have just looked at it. We were lucky enough to spot a Black Titted Plover and we were kind enough to post our observations on the black board at Newhaven complete with Lat and Long coordinates. On the way to the Namtjira Highway we passed through the aboriginal settlement of Papunya, which had many similarities of other settlements, wrecked cars, stray dogs, litter and aboriginals but surprisingly no mobile coverage. Once ... read more
Helicopter Pad

We survived! I don’t think it necessary to cast blame about last night’s paranoia! We slept in till 7.30 and packed efficiently and left 9.15. 3 hours to Yuendumu on the Tanami Road. This was part of our longest stretch without fuel stops. We made it easily with a quarter of tank left. It was an interesting town where the young locals were speaking their local languages. The boys got a coffee whilst I got the $195 diesel fill up! We found the turn-off to Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary ( yes I owe the Brooksie and Chris a lottery ticket!) Whilst we had a good driver – Brooksie we did end up lost. We thought we got lucky when we found a ranger – Chris! (on his day off!) – suggested if we were trying to get ... read more
Secret UFO facility just outside Newhaven
Mike and Mal

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