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June 5th 2013
Published: June 6th 2013
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The cross country roadThe cross country roadThe cross country road

We had to cover 100k's off road, and said we may have to accept if the road gets to bad, we mayhave to turn back
Day Number 1667/6

It is moving on day again today, so as soon as I am out of bed I head off to the shower. When I get back there is a lovely hot cup of tea waiting for me, as we have power I pull the toaster out and do toast and Marmite for breakfast (yes the English stuff, not the Australian stuff (yuck, yuck, yuck)).

Packing up was easy so we head off to pick up a chai latte from Macca's and then some diesel at a good price of $1.43 per litre, one of the best prices we have seen in a while.

Then we head out toward Wentworth and Broken Hill. Whilst navigating Andy, I am also checking the road conditions, some of the roads closed previously are now open, so we are confident that we will eventually get out to Lake Menindee. I see a possible road, that has not come up on the road closure list, so I am hopeful.

Not only do we have our album of the day which today is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Anthology, we also have
Jack & GypsyJack & GypsyJack & Gypsy

Stopped for a lunch time sandwich
the animal of the day which today is goats, the other day it was all about emu's, today there is barely an emu in sight but constantly we are seeing herds of goats on the roadsides! They don't seem too perturbed by the traffic and stay in the same place grazing, in other words they don't run around looking deranged and run in front of the vehicle like other animals do.

Finally we managed to get off the bitumen, I have checked all my sources for an update on the road closures, some were still listed as closed and others had no mention, I was fairly confident of the one track on my map to take us directly to Menindee. However I did not want us to get caught out if it should start raining.

Not only would you have the potential to get stuck, possibly for 5 days or more until it dries out, you may also risk being fined if you are on a dry weather only road when it is wet.

We saw a grader in the distance, we pulled up and asked if he knew the road
Our truck "JackOur truck "JackOur truck "Jack

"This is Jack, fully kitted out
conditions, sadly he had not come far. He did ask if I saw any closed signs and then grinned. I said not but he suggested that we may be alright as far as the boundary for the Kinchega National Park, we have no way of knowing if that section is open. Although I did check the National Park website earlier and it only referred to specific camp areas being closed because previous floods had washed away many of the amenities.

I am typing while Andy is driving so I am not paying attention to the scenery. Andy shouted "oh look!" Of course I did and there was this lovely echidna slowly coming down the graded bank onto the dirt road. We both grabbed a camera and with some stealth we ventured toward this beautiful little creature, when I say little I actually mean that it was a nice big healthy looking Echidna, they are not necessarily that small. Just as a reminder to those interested, an Echidna is an egg laying mammal.

Noticing a vehicle heading in the same direction as us, we made our way back to the truck, he slowed up and
The road aheadThe road aheadThe road ahead

It was quite a tough track, but we made it, "Just
stuck his thumb up to check if we were ok, we both stuck our thumb back up in the air and waved to say "thanks, all good"!

We ventured on our way and so far so good, the road seemed to be in good condition, with the occasional puddle. We stopped at the boundary for the national park to check out the signage, it was a dry weather road only. It has been a dry day so we venture on.

Pulling up at the edge of lake Cawndilla, it looks quite low on water, there is a lot of birdlife here and we see lots of pelicans basking on the edge of the shore, we have a walk around, but it is time to get move on, we need to get our camp for the night.

There are now visible signs of water across the track in places, you can see where others have negotiated these and the ruts are starting to show. Andy picks a route through, but the surface is just slippery and sticky, so it is a job to get through, both the truck and the trailer are sliding well and doing a bit of fishtailing.

We breath a sigh of relief that we are through but then we are faced with a few more areas like this, then there is the big one that is almost at the edge of the National Park, it would be awful to have to turn back now that we are so close. Andy selects the right gear, keeping the revs and speed up we drive through. Phew! It would not be nice to be stuck in this, there are no anchor points in the terrain that we could use to winch from, and we have seen very little traffic here.

Deliberating where we are going to camp, the National Park would be $17.00 per night to camp, that is $5 per adult plus a $7 day use fee. So we drive up to Menindee to see what the town is like (very small) and then on to Lake Pamameroo where we know there is some free camping on the edge of the lake.

I direct Andy back onto the dirt, it is slippery but not too bad, my mobile phone starts ringing,

"Canidna" as we call them
I am surprised to get Telstra access here! As soon as I put the phone down we spy a camp area, we thought we should drive on to scope the other camp areas, but as we do so we see a familiar looking rig tucked in, incredible with all this terrain, all the different tracks and locations that we could be, we find ourselves tripping over Graham and Wendy again!

We stop for a chat, this seems to be a really suitable spot and there are no other campers here, so we find a little site further up so that we are not camped on top of each other and soon we are sitting by Graham and Wendy's camp fire drinking tea and passing the time discussing respective journeys and the world at large.

It has been a long drive for us today so we are quite tired and bed calls us early. We did our hot water bottles earlier in the evening when we cooked dinner, so our beds are nice and warm for us, but oddly enough, for the first time in a while the night air seems to be warm, so

Lake Cawndilla
there would be little need for a hot water bottle.

I lie in bed listening to the sound of the waves lapping the shore, eerily it sounds as if the lake is lapping around the wheels of the trailer, but I know that it is not as we are camped 12 feet from the waters edge, Andy is already snoring, I am determined to finish my book despite being so tired, I will have to read the last pages again in the morning so that I remember how the story finished.

Mileage - 325.5k's

Trip Total - 1364k's

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


That Black spotThat Black spot
That Black spot

Was our first Achidna for quite a while

7th June 2013

From one of your old readers
Hi! I'm amazed you're still posting blogs after all these years but it's good to see you're still on the road... you won't remember me but 2-3 years ago I used to read your blogs all the time and dream about Australia....Well I finally went in august 2011, on a WHV, didn't stay the full year as my money ran out but it was great! I met my partner there and he came back to the UK with me, now we're starting to save so I can move there permanently with him. I've got a lot of catching up to do with regards to your travels!
7th June 2013

Hi Stacey
Of Course we remember you, and its great that you are reading the blog again, thank you. We are so glad that you came and "Had a go" in Australia, it is truly a beautiful country. I hope all goes well with you and your partner. Stay safe and keep reading, Our best regards. Kangaroojack
7th June 2013

We never saw water in Cawndilla - Kinchega roads closed. Try to see Mutawintji N.P. Also Sturt N.P. at Tibooburra - Fort Grey camp excellent, lake adjacent. You will enjoy them. Have seen Menindee Lake bone dry and in flood - awesome. We have experienced similar mud - isn't it great?! How will you count all those feral goats??? Love Keith & Jan
7th June 2013

Sylvia and I took a train to Broken Hill over Easter last year. The outward journey was really good (we took the Indian Pacific) but the return journey was a horrible 18-hour bus trip. The train which was supposed to return us to Sydney ran into a flock of goats near Menindee and the drive car was wrecked. Fortunately no-one was hurt.

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