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ALONG THE GARY JUNCTIOIN ROAD TO WA BORDER

June 15, 2015

We had out first night with Chris & Valdis and Lesley & Erich for the beginning of our travel time together. Naturally there was a drink to celebrate.

TUESDAY 2.6.15

Good morning to Chris (tiny head in the window) after my small walk through the trees for the sun rising on the ranges.
On the road by about 8.30 for 16k of sealed road then turning west.
There were cattle in very good condition roadside, with one not least bit concerned with us driving past. As Chris was leading she warned us (UHF) of some donkeys just past this cow but could not see them until almost level so it was a very quick photo once we had spotted them- too late to stop & they would probably have ran away then anyway.

We were soon at the turnoff, so stopped for the same tyre of photo we had taken at the beginning of our 2013 trip across the Great Central Road.

OK enough reminising, back to this trip.
Tyres all let down, covers over vents, everything checked & heading for Papuna for first fuel top up.
You will be sick of the range photos but there are some unusual formed ranges along here-sorry!

The first group of ranges we approached are called the Bell ranges with Mt Edward & Mt William dominant. We had not been able to stop anywhere along the road to get a decent photo of Haast’s bluff as too many trees to see properly.

Looks as though we are going to run into the base of this range but there is a T junction to Papuna, which took us around the eastern then western side of the range. Naturally with the sun now shining on the ranges they look a totally different color the further we got around the lighter they became.

As I have said before , a dropped match would be a disaster as there is a lot of fuel to burn hundreds of hectares.
Soon at Papunya for fuel but only needed 20 lt. It is $2 /lt and we expected it to be much dearer.
But, we found a problem- one of the fridge door hinges had broken. Ah well not a problem as our “fridge whisperer” (yes that is what he trades as) had given us a spare even though he has never had to replace one. With Val’s help Bruce soon had it replaced & on our way again. Thanks Val.
This is a very clean & tidy aboriginal community.

Had a cuppa here as was past 10.30 then headed off to find a spot for the night.
Just getting into the car when Bruce commented- “have you paid?’
No I had not ,as thought he had done that before fixing the fridge. A slight delay with others waiting – all good & we were off.Not far ahead we heard on the UHF-Geocache ahead!

This windmill has certainly had its day, as has the bore & water trough.

So far we have only seen vehicles and a small bus.

On the road again with another group of ranges which I think (from book ) are the Kennedy group of ranges. Have not seen anh camels yet which is surprising as they are supposed to be becoming a problem in their large numbers.

A little further along Chris called us that the Len Beadell marker was just in front of as as she had missed stopping for a photo.
Hope you can read it! It is apparently the first of man we will see.

Not much further Chris & Val pulled into what looked like a good pot for the night- you re good at this Chris as well as it is looking very much like our 2013 stop!

Bruce & I had a cooked dinner as I do not like a big meal at night & I already had something in the freezer. Also had a read/rest but the others who were sitting outside our van said that they could not talk above my snoring, yet strange I knew what they had been talking about the hour I was on the bed.
Anyway, up for a coffee while they had “drinkies” until the sun vanished & started to get cool. A beautiful moon which kept vanishing under the clouds.

Wednesday 3rd June
Woke to another beautiful day after a warm night. We were ready to “hit the road” earlier to-day but decided to check satellite phones once again.
To-days travelling was a very uneventful day with not a lot in the scenery –only one interesting range & that was as we approached Kintore, a small Aboriginal community.
There were quite a few sort stretches of very sandy rough road. One of these stretches was on a corner plus a slight hill, very dusty & we met 2 vehicles!

This road train had probably just dropped supplies in here from Alice Springs. When we left he had unhooked 2 of the trailers beside the road.

It was not far from here to the NT/WA border where we stopped for another group photo with the Pilbara sign. Also another Len Beadell sign.

Sign saying welcome to Northern Territory.

This is the Welcome to the Shire of East Pilbara.

Was this a demountable which had come off a semi? Any ideas anyone?

Our next stop is just up the road called to a spot called Buck Hills, situated at the bottom of Mt Tietkens.

Chist & Val had a scare for a while in that their fridge was not working. All avenues were looked at & suggested. We were sitting with a cuppa with Chris saying that it would be back home for them- not a nice thought. Anyway, Valdis went back to van for something & next thing he had a bottle of Bubbly- it had got over its problem so he & Chris shared a bottle with us to celebrate ! This is only about 3 pm, WA time. Western Australia is 2 hours behind Queensland time & 90 mins behind Northern Territory so we have had a long day.
Dark at 5 pm!

We are getting dust in one spot in the van so after dark Bruce got under the van with the torch but there was no light coming through anywhere. As the vent cover at the bottom of the fridge had come unstuck it probably came in there under the fridge. It was very dusty to-day, especially when in the sandy spots- red at that.

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