Monday, July 21, 2014

Stzelecki Desert Trip - Part 4. Copley to Montecollina Bore.

Always stick to the plan.
The plan was that after leaving Copley our little group would split into 2 groups at Lyndhurst, with the 'younger' group, Matt & Myf, Andrew & Zane going to Marree and then onto the Simpson Desert and me going up the Strzelecki Track to Innamincka. A fellow in the caravan park told us about the camel races that were going to be on at Marree so we said that we would all go there .......wrong.
 In the morning a telephone call to Optus held me up, so I told Matt to go and I would meet them at the races. The phone call took for ever and I still had to bring in my washing, yes, washing, and pack up the camper. In my haste to pack up the camper the zipper, that holds down the vinyl cover on the camper, snapped. Luckily I had 2 ratchet tie-down straps I could use to to tie it all down, but not knowing how to unwind the straps, I knew how to do them up, I was still in trouble. After finding out how to unwind them and getting everything packed and tied down I was now running a few hours behind the others. Now,the same fellow who told us about the races also mentioned that fuel was cheaper at Lyndhurst so, to save me more time, I thought I would get fuel there instead of topping up here in Copley ......wrong.
By the time I get to Lyndhust, and with another hours drive to Marree, I'm starting to think, well, that the others would have gone on as they have a schedule to keep for their own section of the trip. Then another little hiccup, the garage at Lyndhusrst was closed/shut up shop/gone bust/broke/kapoot and was for sale, so no petrol here for me. I try and phone Matt, Andrew and Zane on a public phone but, although the phone is working the other have no mobile coverage. OK, I'll phone Lynn and she can SMS a message to them, I was hoping they might pass a tower somewhere, but Lynn is not home and has her mobile turned off. I get through to Wayne, back in Sydney, and get him to get a text away to say that I'm heading straight to Innamincka. They get the text 6 or 7 days later at Birdsville ......... it might have been quicker if i wrote a letter. Now back to the business of no fuel, do I go back 33 km's for fuel or chance it with what I have in the tank and my emergency reserve of 30 litres, it's 473 km's to Innamincka. With this dilemma on my mind, and also feeling guilty and cranky for leaving the others in a lurch, I start heading back to Copley for fuel. Knowing this turn around is going to cost me another hour plus, I start doing the sums of fuel left, distance to go and fuel usage as I drive. After a couple k's I decide to chance it and go with what I have, chuck a youy (do a u-turn) and head for the Strzelecki Track.

Day 7, Saturday 5th July.  Copley to Montecollina Bore, 275 km's (171 miles).

Looking a bit scrappy now, the 'shoebox' heads up the track

Wide but  not all that smooth, it could have been a lot worse.

First sections of the Strzelecki Track.

Seeing these signs along the way cheered me up.

This was the start of a very large 'dogs of leash' area.

Rest areas out this way aren't all that flash. 

I bet cats get a giggle when they're tip-toeing over the the grids designed to keep out dingoes.

The Dingo Fence is the worlds longest fence, stretching for a hefty 5,614 kilometres from Dalby in south eastern Queensland all the way down to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia at the Great Australian Bight.  The fence was initially begun in the early 1880's, being completed by 1888.  It was designed to keep the wild native dingoes of arid central Australia out of the richer farmlands of the eastern states, thereby helping to prevent stock losses from dingo attacks. On one station (farm) in South Australia they lost 11,000 sheep in one year to dingoes. Mind you, some of the stations in the outback can be bigger than some European countries, some measuring over 1 million acres.

In the distance the Flinders Rangers now disappear behind me.

The wide brown land for me.

130 km's (81 miles) along the Strzelecki track.

The ruins of Blanchewater Homestead.

Blanchewater Homestead.

Blanchewater Homestead ruins.

Blanchewater Homestead ruins.

The last of today's driving.

Montecollina Bore.

My camp-site at Mntecollina Bore.

He casually reads a book while his victims feet protrude from their shallow grave.

Don't you wish you were here so you could share my eggs and spam. Who said I couldn't kook.

Up early to look around and take some photos.

It was an interesting landscape.

With some interesting plants.

A few came well armed with spikes.
Plants of Motecollina Bore.

Plants of Motecollina Bore.

Plants of Motecollina Bore.

Others were more intriguing.
Plants of Motecollina Bore.

Plants of Motecollina Bore.

Plants of Motecollina Bore.

Of course there would have to be a Wattle  (Acacia sp.)
Plants of Motecollina Bore.

Some were just hanging on and running out of growing space.
Plants of Motecollina Bore.

There had been some activity in the sand at night. I did hear dingoes howling during the night.

Very busy.

They met, had a chat and then moved on.

I wonder if it was from one of the Mega Fauna.

Maybe not.

Crested Pigeons.
We feed these at home, but this is different.

Someone didn't make it.

Morning coffee.  (and a suck on a gas bottle)

After coffee I went for another walk around to do a bit of birdwatching as most of the other 8 groups of campers had left.

Chirruping Wedgebill.
We certainly don't get this one at home.

Montecollina Bore.

Steam rises off Montecollina Bore.
This is where the people hangout.

Montecollina Bore on the Strzelecki Track.

This is where the birds hangout.

Black-winged Stilt.

Australian Shelduck (left) and Grey Teal.

Zebra Finches

Brown Falcon

End of Part 4

Camera:  Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

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