After the number of times we have communicated by email and telephone, it was unexpected and a most pleasant surprise to meet you in Bourke, of all places. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to make yourself known to us. We trust that you and your family enjoyed the rest of your trip to Port Douglas and the Daintree. Plenty of rain up there while the rest of Qld. is so dry.
As promised this will be a short note on our trip over country that you are already familar with. We almost completed a loop going from Bourke to Cameron’s Corner, on to the Strzelecke track, Lyndhurst, Marree, William Creek, Oodnadatta, Mt. Dare, Dalhousie Springs, The Simpson, Birdsville, The Birdsville Track, then to Innamincka via Walker’s Crossing and home via Thargomindah. We did not rush taking just over three weeks as our travelling companions had to return to work – what a terrible thought.
At Monte Callina bore we noticed the shell of a fresh water yabbie or crayfish so we inspected the waters edge after dark. It was alive with them so in went the pots and in half an hour we had sufficient for a very pleasant entree with happy hour the next day. I think they were half cooked when we caught them as the water in the bore was very warm. They must come down with the floods and have adapted to life in hot mineral water.
What a pleasant oasis that Coward Springs is. The operator has made every use of the old sleepers from the Ghan for the natural spa and the amenities block to the fire places in the allocated campsites. Have not had to light a fire under a donkey hot water system since I was a teenager – took me back.
Your friend Dave at Mt. Dare has got some ambitious plans for the future and is well on the way with his new hotel, bistro and accommodation building. The timber he has transported from Darwin for the bar and bench tables will look really smart when polished. We had a few drinks in the old bar and a long chat with Geoff the policeman who was on holidays and lending Dave a hand there and then both of them joined us at happy hour for a couple more and gave us some good info on the conditions of the desert.
Your advice on tyre pressure for the Simpson crossing was excellent, thank you Paul. Did not get bogged and only had to back down two dunes for a second go. The first was my fault, not concentrating, the second was the dune before Big Red. With the trailer tyres down to 9 PSI and the car at 12 PSI we charged over in low third at 3,500 revs. We travelled the Rig Road so as to experience all of the desert and would you believe we ran into Denis Bartell who was with his daughter and three other "mums" walking the desert to raise money for breast cancer research. They called themselves "The Desert Mums". Denis is the chap that paddled his canoe from the Dig Tree to Lake Eyre. It took two floods to complete in 1989. Navigation was the problem when Cooper Creek was over 60 miles wide – a most interesting chap.
I would not contemplate towing a trailer east to west through the desert as the ruts caused by over inflated tyres would make it too difficult to gain momentum.
We beat the Easter rain from Longreach by two days at the Cooper Channels near the Jackson Oil Fields. A local advised us that 3 metres of water was due to pass through in a day or two as the water was only .7 of a metre below the causway as we crossed over. It would have been 16 klms wide for up to three days. It’s an amazing river system.
You and your manufacturing staff are to be congratulated on the construction of your trailers. We put that camper through hell on the stones, corrugations and sand. We blew one light bulb and a stone smashed the plastic non return valve to the water tank pipe. Lost all our good Brissy water around Marree.
We carried an extra 40lt of water in two containers in the car so when we lost the trailer water we had back up.
The camper served our purpose well and is most comfortable and workable Well done Paul and your team. Should you direct any intending purchaser my way, I will be only too pleased to sing the praises of your company’s product.
Will send a few photos through next week when we come back from our long weekend camping trip with the family.
Keep in touch Paul and safe travelling
Regards to Frank and your Mum
Geoff and Gayle.