The Stars in our Bedroom

Published: August 6th 2013
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Simpson Desert Track LogSimpson Desert Track LogSimpson Desert Track Log

Colours define the days
Sunday (Part 2)

I forgot to mention in our last blog, but Mandy would be busy crocheting while Steve was driving across the desert, I am really not sure how as I could not do anything while we bobbed around, anyway there was a special presentation for Andy this morning before we left our campsite, Mandy had crocheted Andy a thong (G-string), but I am not sure that he will wear it because it might be a little bit draughty and pink is not really his colour (thanks Mandy).

We left Birdsville at around 1.40pm, we are still on South Australia time, there was no point in converting to Queensland time for the brief moment we are there and it was only half hour difference anyway.

Although we had intended on having an overnight in Birdsville to freshen up, get reorganised before we got back on the road again, the urge to knock off a couple of hundred kilometres this afternoon was too strong.

We would both have loved to turn around and go back the way we just came across the Simpson Desert, the opportunity to do it
Pete, (Mud Crab 1)Pete, (Mud Crab 1)Pete, (Mud Crab 1)

waking up after his beauty sleep, god this boy needs it
both ways in one go is a great position to be in, but the tracks are a bit punishing and after destroying 3 of our plastic storage containers (that we have had for 5 years and destroyed in 4 days) and losing some of our food in the process we felt less prepared to do the return journey.

The longest, easiest and probably quickest option is to cover the 1100 some odd k's to drive back round to Dalhousie Springs to get the trailer. I know some of you may think that's crazy, but that's what people do here.

Trailers and caravans get left all the time in places like Marree, Birdsville etc. while people drive across the Simpson Desert and then complete a round trip to pick them up again. The difference with us is, because we had not planned to do the crossing we will be covering some of the same tracks, but that's just the way it has to be.

At around 4pm, we started to look for a suitable camp spot, there was one marked in Camps 7 at Tippipila Bush Camp but it looked a bit
Our Cruiser, on our last morningOur Cruiser, on our last morningOur Cruiser, on our last morning

Just before a final run in to Birdsville
too open, so we drove on. At some point way past the Warburton Track we found a creek with plenty of trees so we headed off the main track and hid ourselves amongst the trees.

The swag was all set up for the night, although it was a warm evening we collected wood for the camp fire, neither of us were hungry as we had already eaten a big lunch at the Birdsville Hotel, so we sat and watched the stars and had a cup of tea.

Someone had told me the other day, and I really cannot remember who, but they set themselves a target before going to bed, they have to see a shooting star, a satellite and a plane.

Well the first two are generally quite easy unless the night is too cloudy, but sometimes seeing a plane is a challenge. The night did not disappoint us, we saw several shooting stars.

During the last few nights, we have slept with the canvas flaps wide open, the day had reached a scorching 30 degrees and with a warm evening we were expecting a warm night
The last campThe last campThe last camp

All the Mud Crab's busying themselves with packing away.
and through the mosquito net we can watch the stars and again have the luck to see shooting stars.

54S 278061E 6984656N


The cool night air circulates through the mosquito net to keep us cool, I do remember at some point seeing the moonrise, we watched the dawn break and slowly the stars went out as it got lighter, the moon was still fairly high.

We were up at 7am, I got the fire on the go, Andy got the kettle on and took the washing off the line, amazingly it was all dry, after breakfast we packed and by 8.30 we were back on the Birdsville Track heading toward Marree, in the hope that we can knock of plenty of those kilometres today.

The track is being graded, some of it is feeling lovely, but other areas are still pretty rough and there are patches of bull dust.

Mungerannie is in sight and our first stop of the day, time for a coffee. We wander in and find the owner behind the bar and ask for two coffees, I find it somewhat refreshing that
Eat my dustEat my dustEat my dust

Man, we ate loads of the stuff
even in Outback Australia, the coffee is pretty decent.

We find one of Tom Kruse's old trucks rusting away here, there is even an Adelaide bus stop, but I would not be sitting and waiting for a bus here, it would be a long wait.

When we were inside drinking our coffee, a small group of people walked in and ordered coffee, they seemed to have that desperation around getting the coffee, they had obviously been without decent coffee for a couple of days, but we know that feeling.

I overheard one of them mention a Geocache and their instructions said to ask a local, she asked the Lady behind the bar who was very vague and gave a small clue, I am not going to divulge the clue or indeed where it could be found, but it was lovely to see how excited they were at finding the Geocache.

I remembered the Wallaby Wanderers being involved in Goecaching when they were on their journey around Australia a few years ago, when we were in England last year we visited the Wallaby Wanderers and we found a Geocache near to where they live.

Back on track, 200k's to Marree, we are listening to one of Andy's playlists (Andy's driving tunes) which has an abundance of good tracks from the 60's and 70's and help us while away those kilometres.

Pulling in at Clayton Station for a comfort break, we find two ladies bobbing around in hot tub. This hot tub has been provided courtesy of the station for travellers/campers for their convenience, it is fed by an artesian spring which is very warm, you have to fill the pool before you get in and drain it when you have finished (health and safety thing to avoid accidents with children apparently). Apart from flushing toilets they also provide a hot shower which is always welcome when you are in the middle of nowhere.

As much as we would have loved a wallow in the artesian pool, unfortunately for us it is way too early to stop and set up camp as we are keen to get on to Marree for lunch and some internet to publish a blog (Moonlight Bubbles I think, which was the blog that tipped our word count to
Ted CoulsonTed CoulsonTed Coulson

He and his aboriginal helper peter drove 5 Camels across the Simpson Desert, in 1936, all the way to Birdsville and back
over 1 million) so we mosey on to Marree.

Shortly after Clayton Station we find Lake Harry we drive up to the high point so that we can look across the lake, it has water in it, which seems so unusual.

Arriving in Marree just after 1.30, we grab ourselves some lunch, so that we don't have to worry about cooking tonight, we can just set up camp and make things easy for ourselves.

With lunch out of the way, we grab 1 hour of internet and just after 3pm we hit the road again in the hope of getting to William Creek tonight, roughly 200k's away, before nightfall.

We pass those familiar places on the way, it would have been nice to stop and see Lake Eyre again, we notice there were some campers at the lookout, again too early for us to stop, so on we go and the late afternoon brings a change in scenery as the sun starts to go down it cast a magical glow over this country that looked so different in the bright sunshine the last time we were here.
At last, at BirdsvilleAt last, at BirdsvilleAt last, at Birdsville

Mud Crab Control (Steve and Mandy) Mud Crab 3 Kev and Stuart) Mud Crab 1 Tony-Bloke and Pete. Mud Crab 2 (Me and she)

It was about 5.40pm when we drove into William Creek, way later than we usually stop but as we do not have to worry about dinner tonight and camp set up with the swag will not take us long.

I head into the hotel and book an unpowered site for the night ($15), we drive round and before long we are all set, but one important thing was another load in the washing machine and another load in the tumble drier. Always good to seek that opportunity while we have it.

We set off to the hotel for a drink it would be more comfortable in there and we could enjoy the light atmosphere of the "locals", it seems to be a typical outback pub full of it's own character, nothing flash but Andy assures me that the beer is cold.

After that we head back to camp, it has been a long day for both of us, Andy has taken the hard task of most of the driving and goes to bed early, I stay up and sit in the laundry waiting for our clothes to finish tumble

The Birdsville recover vehicle
drying and read my book.

When I get back to the truck, I unlock it but it disturbs Andy and I think that he was thinking that someone was stealing the truck and kept asking me for a torch, I explained to him that it was just me, obviously he thought I was in bed, he remembered none of this in the morning.

It was a cool night but we were warm in the swag even with the canvas wide open.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Lake HarryLake Harry
Lake Harry

on the Birdsville Track

8th August 2013

Thongy Thing
Must have photo of Andy wearing his crocheted thong ... please! Really enjoyed all your Simpson Desert blogs and fantastic photos - felt we were there with you. Thanks for the trip. Cheers Keith & Jan xx
8th August 2013

Hey Hey....congrats on the crossing!!!
HEY guys, we are back home now, had a great holiday. Your crossing sounds awesome well done. I think you could have returned via the Rig was no where near as rough as the WAA or French line. Doesn't matter you get to soak in Dalhousie again woo hoo. look foward to following along your blog. Have fun and drive safe...cheers Hillary and Glen.
12th August 2013

Hi Guys
Hi Guys, Thanks for the message on the blog, and glad you got home safely. The Simpson crossing was awesome, we just loved it and are now languishing in Alice Springs making various repairs. It was really great to meet you at Dalhousie and hope our paths cross again. Our best wishes Andy & Caroline

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