Monday, July 21, 2014

Strzelecki Desert Trip - Part 5. Montecollina Bore to Innamincka.

Not as early on the road today as I had spent a bit of time looking around the bore and it was to only to be a  short drive to my next camp-site. In my notes I had the next stop as 'Cooper' Creek and as I'm merrily driving along I notice by the distance on the speedo that I should have seen at the camp-site well and truly by now. So getting out my 'tracker' and notes I noticed the last creek I had crossed was the Strzelecki Creek and that was the one where I was to camp. You will notice in a little while that I was videoing as I crossed that creek, that would have been a bit of a distraction. In retrospect, I now know that where I should have camped was still about 1 km south of the creek crossing, oh well, next time.
 Moomba was a very busy place, lots of trucks and 4x4's, connected to the gas and oil fields, on the road, they added interest though.
Visiting the site where Wills died and where they found King make you realize the hardships that these men had to endure. It also shows the knowledge and resilience the indigenous people, who once roamed this area, had , not only to just survive but to live their lives here.

Day 8, Sunday 6th July.  Montecollina Bore to Strzelecki Creek.

(over-ran the campsite by a couple of k's)

First part of the second day on the 'Track'.

Most of the side-road are private, being used by petroleum and gas companies.

There was some colour out here to catch my attention.

Flowers of the Strzelecki.

And fruits, probably a saltbush.

A colourful start to life.

Looks like 'Baza' beat me here.

Regal Birdflower   (Crotalaria cunninghamii).
I was quite excited to see this plant, not because it's rare or anything, but it was one I had seen in books but had never seen  in the wild. A first is always good.

Just in time for lunch.

Driving up and down 'Big Fred' and the view from the top.

'Big Fred' was the name I gave the sand-hill that was behind the rest area. I walked to the top just to get a view of where I was and got a surprise to find this monument on its flattened top.

A small pea-flower on the sand-hill.

Another plant that was just starting to flower.

Another one that tried but failed.

Driving over Strzelecki Creek.

Not a regular camp spot next to Strzelecki Creek but it was OK for me.

One of the locals. I got this Emu to come closer by standing behind a tree and waving my arm around.

Emus at Strzelecki Creek campsite.

My, what beautiful eyes you have.

Black-faced Woodswallow.

Really going overboard tonight.

Home away from home.

Oh well, at least it kept me alive.

Light Fingers.

I would've missed this if I was home.

Day 9, Monday 7th July.  Strzelecki Creek to Innamincka.

Galahs, lit up by a rising sun.

Still in my night-wear having breakfast.

I finally get to over-take a truck.

Stretching my legs by looking for birds on a sandhill.

Where your gas come from.

Moomba gas and oil refinery. This was also my lunch spot, sardines, rice-cream and chocolate milk.

Although there wasn't a red arrow saying 'you are here' I knew I was at Moomba.

I wonder if in 200 years people will be out here photographing the 'old' Moomba ruins.

You turn right at Moomba.

A British Aerospace 146 jet comes in to land at Moomba. There were a lot of Red-necked Avocets and other water-birds on the lake.

There seemed to be more trucks north of Moomba.

Memorial on Della road just outside Moomba  for Matthew D'arcy Dodworth.

Innamincka.   Low fuel light on in the Forester, petrol $2.05 litre = $107.41. There were 10 people in a queue in front
of me in the shop waiting to pay, it was like Coles Supermarket on a Saturday.

 $10 Regional Park Fee plus $5 per car per night at the Innamincka Common.

Cooper Creek, Innamincka.

Cooper Creek, Innamincka.

Nobody looking.......good, now I can.............

............. practice my 'crane kick' ......... from the Karate Kid movie.


How good is this..... I had my own toilet.

Day 10, Tuesday 8th.  Drive to Wills and King's Monuments

Roads to Wills and King's sites.

We can come here in comfort.

King's Camp.

It's hard to imagine the conditions they had to suffer.

Scenery around King's camp.

'I was very lonely and at night usually slept in deserted wurleys (shelters) belonging to the natives.....' John King.
King was the only survivor of the exploration party that reached the Gulf of Carpentaria.
King stayed with local Aboriginal people from mid July until 15th September 1861. He was found here by Edwin Welch who was on a reconnaissance mission: Welch noticed a scarecrow-like figure standing in a clearing wearing the remains of a hat.    'I am King, sir ..... the last man of the Exploring Expedition....'  King then broke down and wept.

Unlike Burke and Wills, King respected local Aboriginal people's knowledge of the land and its resources. This attitude
saved his life.             Local aboriginal people treated the explorers with compassion and dignity. By providing food, local Aboriginal people exhibited a spirit of humanity that was not reciprocated by either Burke or Wills.                In 1862 ....... local Aboriginal people were presented with three breastplates in recognition of contributions to the fateful expedition.   

On the 15th Sept 1861, John King was found near here by  Edwin Welch. The rescue party,
 led by Alfred Howitt, was sent from Melbourne to search for the 'lost explorers'  Burke and Wills.
The blaze, King, was cut around 1947 to mark this historic site.

The monument to King.

Coopers Creek is only about 75 metres away.

River gums.

Mussel and snail shells next to the creek.

A nice dark-coloured Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Where Wills Died.

'We are at the point starvation, not so much from .... want of food but from the want of nutriment ... Nothing now but
the greatest good luck can save any of us ...'
William John Wills, 27 June 1861.
Burke was the expedition leader. William John Wills was a dedicated scientist ...  who kept detailed records of all that he saw. By night he made astronomical  observations and also navigated the party across the continent.          Wills failed
to establish a relationship with local Aboriginal peoples as Burke's orders were 'not to become too friendly'. It was a fatal error of judgment.

Second in command of the
Burke & Wills expedition
Totnes, Devon, England, 1834
near here about June 29, 1861.

The waterhole next to where Wills died.

Flowers of one of the mistletoes.

A make-shift sandhill flag. I was a little worried going back over some of the sandhills as you could not see if anyone was coming over the other way.

A reminder that it tough surviving out here.

End of Part 5

Scroll to bottom of page, Click on 'Older Posts' to go to Part 6.

Camera:  Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

No comments:

Post a Comment