We had a bit of a leisurely start today as we have decided that we need to do the Tanami Road in 3 nights and will just camp somewhere along the way.
We decided to have a quick look at the Handover campsite on Lake Gregory as the vanners last night said it was worth a look. The Lake itself is quite desolate but there are brolgas and black swans in residence. The road to Balgo is pretty good. We stop at Balgo for fuel and it has a pretty good store. There is a large group of dogs outside the entrance some looking a bit worse for wear and buy them a bag of Schmackos which go down a treat. There are a couple of observations about these aboriginal communities. I'm not quite sure how the custodians of the land bit fits with the rubbish strewn everywhere and burnt out wrecked cars all over town, one actually on the road. The wrecked cars are good for spare parts and I was able to pick up a slightly used 200 series wheel stud.
There is nothing much to the trip. Wilko always wants to drive (which is a bit
like me wanting to run on for the Wests Tigers except I'm no good at playing RL) so Brooksie and I indulge him. As we pass the burnt out wrecks by the side of the Tanami Road we say a silent prayer of thanks that we have survived so far. We cross the border into the NT. I have bought a bag of those champagne bottle party crackers for the occasion. Once we have got half way we start looking for a campsite and find something promising. After a 40 minute discussion about whether we should camp in the road train turning circle (Brooksie) or on the nicely cleared and soft area about 50 feet into the Savannah (me and Wilko). We set up camp and settle in for a couple of Emu export lagers. The bonus was I also had phone reception from the nearby mine.
Becs had spoken to a couple at Emma Gorge who said it was wise to camp off the road as there were marauding gangs of drunk aboriginal youths driving aimlessly up and down the Tanami Road, presumably looking for tourists. So it was no surprise when Brooksie observed that group of cars had congregated on the road just past out campsite. We could hear them talking in an aboriginal dialect (or possibly German) and it became apparent that we were done for. After 2 hours of silent observation during which time Wilko had formulated a strategy for dealing with the imminent attack and Brooksie and I had dug a trench around the campsite which we'd filled with fuel and erected a barricade of sharpened stakes we decided that they were possibly German campers so we went to bed. About 15 minutes later headlights shone into our tent and Brooksie (stating the bleeding f@#ken obvious) said "somethings up!" and jumped up to put his shoes on, shave and comb his hair.
We all jumped out of the tent (Wilko had his wallet so he could immediately give them all the money he had) just in time to see a campervan turn back onto the road. Pretty cunning really pretending to be tourists.
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