Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Outback - Home Stretch - Day 8

Traffic all day long. The previous five days we had spotted probably 30 vehicles including those in towns and the parked at the various roadhouses.
As we descended on Sydney we merged with traffic and become just another city 4x4!

Whilst stopping for a quick coffee in Bourke, we spotted the Bermach truck of Atte and Marijke.  Unfortunately we did not get to say hello as they were departing town shortly after we arrived.
Atte & Marijke - Bermach Truck

The Outback - 1000km - Day 7

The Outback 2014 trip was coming to an end, which meant that we had two days to travel 2000km from Birdsville to Sydney. A 1000km of empty roads were ahead....

Sunrise on the road to Windorah

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Outback - Poeppel Corner to Birdsville - Day 6

My tent leaked last night!  Dark clouds started rolling in around 7pm and by 11pm, lightening and thunder boomed across the dark desert sky.
Rain pelted down, soaking the red sand and giving the two 4x4s a very good clean.  Our restless minds were buzzing with anxious thoughts on the track condition and especially crossing Lake Poeppel.

Breakfast was rushed as we packed our gear and discussed the option for the day as Doug and Ruth were continuing West across the Simpson Desert whilst Neil and I were doing a u-Turn and heading back to Birdsville.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Outback - Birdsville to Poeppel Corner - Day 5

Map names were becoming real places and waking up in Birdsville was one of those moments overland travel is all about.
Simpson Desert - on top of sand dune known as 'Big Red'
An outback town with a population of 100 people (+/- 7000, as the sign says) is a town used to an influx of city 4wd owners and tourists yet the local town folk do not have this 'harassed by tourists' mentality. I loved the fact that everyone we spoke to had a smile and a willingness to talk and share information on the road conditions and the Simpson Desert.

A special shoutout to Kelly Theobald, author and journalist. In 2012 Kelly and her partner completed a crossing of the Simpson Desest in a VW Beetle.  I managed to spend time with Kelly and hear her story on how she arrived in Birdsville and what life is like in the Australian Outback. Kelly bubbles with enthusiasm causing all around her to smile and dream big. Kelly recently published a childrens book titled "Onslo" named after her Beetle.  
Kelly Theobald & Onslo

The Outback - Haddon Corner - Day 4

Corella birds provided the most natural alarm clock needed. The sun was peeking over the horizon as the gas cooker burst into flame and the kettle started heating the water.
Sunrise at the Burke & Wills Dig Tree

There are four people in our group, split evenly between the Land Cruiser Prado and the Land Cruiser 80-Series. Neil and I, driving the Prado, are using the nimble popup dome tents, which are perfect for good weather camping taking all of 30 seconds to open and peg down. 
Doug and Ruth are using a Howling Moon rooftop tent. It might takes longer to setup than the 3-second dome tents but provides a comfy setup for daily use.

Doug & Ruth - LC 80-Series Camp Setup

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Outback 2014 - Innimincka - Day 3

Sunrises don't get much better than in a desert and waking up in Cameron Corner was no exception.  Beautiful morning rays highlighted low hanging clouds.
Sunrise at Cameron Corner

The Outback 2014 - Cameron Corner - Day 2

Never a dull moment in the Australian Outback...

The Outback 2014 - Back O'Bourke (or not) - Day 1

0530am... my mind was buzzing.  Day 1 of the Australian Outback 2014 trip was starting.
Land Cruiser 80-Series & Land Cruiser Prado

My first stop of the day was to collect a friend and his gear and then we turned North and slowly headed out of Sydney towards the Blue Mountains and Dubbo.