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June 16, 2013

After doing groceries, fuel, water & emptying toilet we left Yulara & headed west towards the Olgas. We had to pass through the entry & show out permit to pass through to the WA border.

Driving on we passed The Rock but to enter there you have to purchase a three day pass & our permits were for travelling through.

As we left Ayres Rock the next tourist icon was the Olgas, which I think are more impressive than the Rock. As we drove into the actual lookout in 2006 we did not stop this time but just too photos driving past.

Depending on the position of the sun, the colors change dramatically. Once reaching here we left the sealed road & had 1,186 k of gravel to travel over. The men let the tyre pressure down before
we went any further. We put covers over the fridge & door vents as well.

We had heard varying reports about the road conditions so we were about to find out for ourselves. We had decided to stop for the evening about 2.30-3pm, depending on where we could find a suitable spot to pull off the road. Did not have to travel far & came across a large area for the three of our vans.

We had a wander around taking various photos of anything & everything before Bruce got the fire going before drink o’clock.

We ate around the fire but once it started to get vey cold with the breeze that was blowing so it was time for bed. We had a game of cards as 7.30 was too early to retire.Read for an hour after that .
This morning it was down to 8 degrees in the van at 5.30am. Made a cuppa & crawled back into bed to read until 7am when the inevitable happened & had to get ready to move on. Was about 4 outside. Could hear the diesel heaters going in the 2 other vans while we put up with the cold- makes for getting dressed very quickly! Decided to have a wander outside after dressing- brrrrr.
I slept with my balaclava on instead of the beanie & it was so much warmer. Cannot convince Bruce to get into flanny PJs, wear socks & put his beanie on his head!

This ant trail appeared beside the van overnight & caught Val outside having a wander as well. I went into talk to Chris in their van just before we left & it was 20 degrees- I had to start stripping clothes off as I got too hot! A diesel heater is the next item to go into van when there are a few spare $.
So far the roads have been good with varying degrees of corrugation but they are very wide so any oncoming traffic is not a problem. This GCR is very busy considering the remoteness.

The Petermann Ranges on either side of the road are varying colors, once again depending on the position of the sun as we drive past.

Our first stop was Lasseter’s Cave. Apart from having a look, there is a Geocache there (google that) which the other 4 folk are very “into”. The rubbish around this rest stop was disgusting- probably a combination of wind & crows pulling it out of the rubbish bins. The wind was very cold this morning.

Lesley & Erich as well as Chris & Val were looking for the Geocache & Val eventually found it by following the co-ordinates up this hill.

At the rest area.

Continuing on from here it was about 40ks to the Docker River Community where we were top up the fuel tanks. Well, as it was an aboriginal community there was a big sign saying not to take photographs please!. Had taken one before I saw the sign as had Chris.

We drove just out of the community for lunch & to find another Geocache. Flush toilets but no water to use them! We had lunch there then stopped at the WA/NT border for photo.
Apparently one of the water puddles we drove past is 3 feet deep & the council will not repair. Docker had a lot of rain about 10 days ago & everything is looking nothing like a desert.

We were passing through some beautiful ranges.
I was given the co-ordinates to go into a beautiful rest area with waterfalls etc, called Gills Pinnacle, which is 3.6ks from the main road. We turned off about 1.30 because we were all going to cook dinner in our camp ovens. However, just after we had turned off, someone who was passing by called us in the UHF asking of we were going into the the Pinnacle. Answering “Yes” he advised us to unhook the first van & drive into have a look before going any further. After about 30 mins Val & Bruce came back shaking their heads. Seems the track became narrower with over hanging trees & sharp bends etc. I was so embarrassed because the couple who gave me the directions at Rainbow valley assured me that 3 big vans would be “fine”! Hope I never see them again.
We were at the back near a spot where was OK to turn- only running over spinifex.
Erich then reversed to where he could also turn comfortably with Val being the last to make the turn around. We were going to go back out to the road & keep going but there was a spot big enough beside this track for the 3 of us as well as room for a fire.

Bruce soon had the fire going, with water boiling for washing up & a cuppa. Gas in van went on for showers before the cold set in for the night. I had my shower, washed up the days dishes then got the lamb shanks ready for the fire.

Our cooked shanks, Lesley’s roast & Chris’ chicken at the “Red track Restaurant”

As with a couple of other camp sites there was a very cheeky visitor, sniffing around where we had emptied the wash water from the camp ovens.

Bruce took this of our dying fire- the red soil was really glowing.

This morning, 15.6.13 opened the door to a lovely sunrise.

We have seen very few wild life of any description on this trip & I am amazed at how good the roads are, especially since getting into WA., and how the green desert is continuing.

Our first stop was at the Giles Weather station & the roadhouse for fuel & water. Fuel was $2.35. The water is bore but tested regularly so we were told. We all topped vans up with water. The weather report on the wall was “cloudy until 18th , possible rain to-night. We did have 101 spots of water on windscreen earlier to-day!
Also filled washing bucket to soak some clothes which is a bonus. Shall let soak in Napisan then get rinse water in the morning at Warburton road house when we get fuel. Starting to get confused with timers as when we get to Warburton we are in WA time but the Navman has already changed. As of to-morrow we will be 2 hours behind our Queensland time. To-morrow is going to be a long day, time wise.

Had a couple of more stops at “Geocache” locations.
Decided to have another early afternoon at # 533 Camps 7. This is a very tidy camp site with windy loo also clean. Wondering what the weather is going to do? Put the awnings out in case of rain. As soon as water was hot had my shower as well as haircut & wash then a blow dry as the Genny was going- felt so good.

Some of the tiny flowers where we are to-night. They stand out with the red dirt as a back ground.
Went walking with the others looking for more Geocache locations while Bruce van sat. Sat around camp fire again eating dinner after a wine- or 2.
A few more drops of rain overnight but road dry this morning, so decided to head on to Warburton Roadhouse. Nice with no dust but you should see the vans now- rather red.
Had to stop for camels in the middle of the road, including a baby.

All for now – about halfway across this Great Central Road with no more service until the end- probably Laverton.

[tags, Uluru, Ayers Rock, The Olgas, Great Central Road, Outback Way, Giles weather station,


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  1. Firefly permalink

    Enjoying your blog very much, Keep on enjoying the good life guys.
    Linda (firefly)

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