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Published: September 14th 2016
This blog is going to feature 2 topics , MUD and MOSQUITOS.
We left Alice Springs after refilling our ice chest with new ice. We also wanted to call in at the Britz camper van depot as we are thinking about renting one in New Zealand and need to see what they are like. The camper vans were surprisingly good and had enough head height for Brian which was important.
So we hammered down the highway for a hew hours then pulled off to find a spot to bush camp for the night. We found a reasonable spot and set up camp while ambushed by flies. As the sun went down the flies pushed off and the late shift of mozzies arrived. They were so bad we had to eat dinner in the car and I had to put my pyjama trousers on to cover my legs.
We gave up trying to sit in our chairs and look at the stars as the assault was relentless and zipped ourselves into our swags after cavorting and swishing to reduce the number that got in with us. 10 minutes of banging and smashing before settling down and Brian still seemed to be thwacking
and swearing after I had finished. In the early morning Brian called out that our mates were here. I peered through my mesh and could see the head end of his swag was literally black with mozzies on the outside. He assured me that I had my fair share. Eventually Brian beat a way out and ran to get the fly spray and did a lot of spraying while I had my mouth and nose covered.
This gave us a little bit of time before the reinforcements arrived.
We packed fast and got out of there but both of us were bitten including through our clothes.
We drove on to Coober Pedy and then had a clean up and coffee. From there we took the newly reopened dirt road to William Creek. This road had about 5 spots where the mud and water were too bad for us to get through without action. Biggest problem was deep mud ruts that had dried and were too high for our clearance so some shovel work was needed. Brian wielded the shovel and I kicked the mud tops off. We had a few of these and once again a cloud of mozzies found
One deep section of standing brown water with mud ruts required measurement and this meant me getting barefoot with rolled up jeans and wading through to see how deep and how squelchy it was. We got through but it took a lot of time and Brian was bitten badly.
By the time we arrived at William Creek we were filthy and in no mood for any more insect filled camping. We had a room for the night at the pub, had dinner and got drinking with the staff. It got a bit rowdy and a bottle of port came out. Brian was suffering from misery with his bites in spite of antihistamine and a proper count found a total of 126 bites. The ones on his lower legs were huge! I am blessed with the task of rubbing the cream in while checking the small print on the Marriage contract.
So next day we drove on another dirt road to Marree. The road was open and although we didn't have to dig ourselves out there were long sections where we were skidding all over the place and Brian's skill was needed. He kept us moving and we didn't spin
although it was close a few times. We also noticed the temperature had halved overnight from 28 to a chilly 14, which was a shock.
We stopped to look at Lake Eyre south which we think has water in it. We walked until we reached a strange pink line but never got near enough to see water and we' we're sinking in yet more mud.
We eventually made it to the bitumen and arrived at Leigh Creek where another pub had accommodation and we dropped huge clods of mud in the car park.
Next morning we were hoping to get into the Flinders Ranges at Brachina Gorge but the entrance road in was more very deep mud and after some hairy moments we decided to quit and push on. We found a creek flowing across the highway and Brian proceeded to drive through it at speed about 20 times and parked in it for a long time while washing off the widows and the worst of the wheel arch horror. Another guy spotted us and did the same - he had obviously driven down the same road and we had an outback car wash going.
We got to Hawker and
had a coffee and a rethink. We set off on the paced road to Wilpena Pound and thought we would try to get into Brachina gorge from the other end. This worked and although the gravel road was a flowing creek in a lot of places we made it and were rewarded with amazing views and the sight of the very rare yellow footed rock wallabies. All thoughts of camping were quickly scratched when the temperature went down to 9 degrees. We can and do camp in the cold but all your stuff gets wet which makes it really hard to move on.
We returned to Hawker and found a motel room in the pub. From here we are rent wring Victoria at Mildura and probably not much camping going to happen until Lake Eildon.
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