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Archive for March 18th, 2010

Day 464 – 18th March, 2010

Posted by TravellingStrom on March 18, 2010

Thursday – Gibson Desert still, Western Australia

We had a great day, stayed on the bike, found some interesting sights and the sun came out

It was an early start, well in actual fact we assumed the sun came up because it was a bit lighter and that woke me up as usual. It had rained a bit during the night which meant wet tents to pack away and covered in red mud to boot! But, after a basic breakfast we were on the road again and I was hoping like heck it would be a dry road after yesterday’s bingle! The first cache of the day was not that far away and this looked to be an interesting place with some culture, both old and new and some nice information πŸ™‚

The cache was a bit of a struggle to find but Derek gave me some pointers as I was still a newbie. We then looked around the site and found the Aboriginal paintings under the cliff shelters and the water course above. The water holes were full of animal dung, but I guess it gets flushed out after each rain. Excellent views from up there and a nice place for a stop πŸ™‚

Back on the road and we saw much evidence of recent rain, this did not instil any confidence in me, but hopefully there would be a dry way through! But, I started to relax after a while as the conditions were similar or better than yesterday, I also had a slightly less heavy right wrist, so that may have helped πŸ™‚

The good thing about the day was that the clouds were breaking up, the bad part of that was the temperature started to ride dramatically!

By the time we got to the first servo it was very hot, but we checked out the place and grabbed a drink from the shop, nice and cool πŸ™‚

All the servos out here sell only OPAL fuel, which is specially refined to take the β€˜sniff able’ content out of it. The pumps are not easy to get into either!

Once we had finished our drinks we went cache hunting, pretty easy to find and while here I charged my laptop and uploaded the GPS co-ordinates for the next 30 caches along the trail, in for a penny and all that πŸ™‚ The local emu was not very happy, he was grunting like a constipated pig!

The ride to the next cache was interesting, quite soft sand, but not deep, just enough to keep you honest, and slow and straight. We did meet an oncoming road train, we spotted him miles away by the dust cloud, plenty of time to pull over and he even slowed down to pass, very considerate, goodonyam8 πŸ™‚

There was not much shade out here but enough for the bikes and we were silly after we found the cache and moved to the next available parking zone where we had lunch, there was no shade for the bikes there, but we managed to find some under a tree for ourselves!

The next cache was in a real nice place, lots of caves and a nice place for a camp, but it was too early in the day for us to stay here.

Back on the road again and we still had a long way to go, with the conditions very hot now, but visibility was better, so it made it possible to spot the sand traps in time to slow down!

That last photo was us doing a tag team effort. We had decided to ride in front for 30 minutes then change over, this worked very well πŸ™‚

We arrived at Warburton Community late afternoon, but we were not interested in staying here. We had been told to get fuel and get on out of there, so we did. Apparently, if you stay here in the compound, the locals will climb the fence and cut fuel lines looking for normal fuel during the night, we did not need the hassle, so after taking some photos which I found out I was not supposed to do and noting we were half way there, we headed off to the next cache site.

I still had not seen a wild camel, but what I did see up ahead was something that looked like rain, how bloody unusual!!

The next cache was at a windmill bore just up the road a bit, when we got there we looked at the conditions ahead and the area around here and decided to make this our camp. The cache was easy to find and then we had to get the tents up because we were sure the rain was coming! Beautiful sunset but you know what bloody rainbows mean by now, rain πŸ™‚

When the rain came we had just managed to get the tents up and then we spent the next 2 hours dripping sweat with all the covers closed while it tried to rain real hard. Dinner was postponed, but I had to duck out to my bike and grab some nuts and raisin mix, just to eat something and grab a book and a torch. It made things a little easier because the sun was going down and it was going to be hard to cook a feed! The lightning and thunder was spectacular from inside the tent though and I was fully expecting the windmill to take a hit.

After a few hours the rain stopped enough for me to think about a shower and I had been thinking about the windmill and water tank, perfect. So, it was now dark and I wandered off into the bush with only the sound of dingos howling to give me the shivers. I could not find the damm thing, so I went back, guided by Derek’s tent light and grabbed the GPS, because if I found the cache location, then the windmill was going to be just behind me πŸ™‚ That worked a treat, I found it within five minutes, what a pity the damm thing was bloody broke, no water, bummer 😦 In the end I used some precious water for a body bath and sat around for the next few hours outside looking at the stars and enjoying the cool breeze, what a great day πŸ™‚ The dingos were still around though, at one stage, one of them howled real close and when I clicked on the torch I could see his eyes gleaming, and the rest of them were howling and yipping out there as well. But, a set of earplugs fixed that and sleep was reasonably easy to come by.

Day –405 km and 252 miles
Trip –6,272 km and 3,897 miles



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