Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Running Repairs

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Took the opportunity to get some work done on the Sorento while I'm in Alice Springs. Got all the disc pads replaced and had the disc rotors skimmed. These hard, metallic brake pads wear hell out of the rotors. I also replaced four tyres 'cos they were getting fairly low and I want good rubber before heading up through the Tanami Desert; that really is the middle of nowhere.

I tried to get the Kuhmo Road Venturers which were originally fitted but Tyrepower tell me there are none in Australia - a bit hard to believe! I have fitted Dunlop AT3's, hope they're as good as the Kumho's have been.

I saw the new 2010 Kia Sorento for the first time here in the Alice and what a heap of crap!!! It isn't a real 4WD anymore, it's now just a "crossover" like a Rav4 or Territory. Gone is the full-rail chassis, gone is the genuine 4WD, replaced with all-wheel-drive, no low-range any more, the towing capacity has dropped from 2800kg to 2000kg and they have jammed another two seats in the back in a vehicle which is just not big enough to be a 7-seater. It's now just a Santa Fe instead of being an equivalent to a Pajero, Prado, Cherokee or Pathfinder. I definitely wouldn't be recommending this one to a friend.

I'm leaving the Alice in the morning and heading up the Tanami Track heading for Halls Creek and I don't expect to have any coverage along the way, so I may be out of range for 3 or 4 weeks. I may get a bit of cover near a couple of the mine sites along the way, but if not, I'll see you when I get to the Kimberley.

See you soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Into The Desert

Brrrr! It's bloody freezing. Only up to about 18 celcius during the day and down to 5 or 6 at night. And a stiff breeze to go with it. I think I left my run north a little late.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Some great bushwalking around this area. I have the NATMAP 1:250 000 map series on my laptop and it shows a lot of features that the usual maps don't. I notice a dam called "Bluff Dam" towards the foot of Uno Bluff, which is just N.E. of my camp and decided to do a little exploring. A little disappointing in that it was dry, because there has been a fair bit of rain through here lately. Shows just how much rain is required to really break a drought. All this recent rain seems to have just been absorbed into the arid soil.
Even out here there is still the occasional sign of civilization.
I take back what I said about not NEEDING a campfire - I really need one these nights, the temperature plummets as soon as the sun goes down.
Monday, 10 May 2010

I've been in this bush camp for a week and I think it's time I started north. Took off this morning and I still have the Flinders Ranges off to the East. Truly, IMHO these are the second most beautiful mountains in Oz (after the Kimberleys).
Pulled up for a couple of nights at Island Lagoon, just south of Pimba and Woomera. What a view to wake up to in the mornings, overseas tourists would pay a fortune for a view like this.
The other thing I've noticed is how green it is at the moment. It's hard to remember that this is a desert, be interesting to see it in a year's time.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Popped into Woomera (population 400 or so) for a quick squizz. Nothing much left here these days. It is now totally run by the RAAF for defence personnel and this shows in the shops and facilities - just like being on base at Puckapunyal or Kapooka.

The town square is a memorial to the days when this was a rocket range and frankly, there isn't really anything else to see.
Onwards, ever onwards. Made it through to Roxby Downs and pulled into the caravan park for a couple of nights to fill the water tanks and do some washing.

Thursday, 13 May 2010.

Took a run out to Andamooka today - What a shit-hole. Truly, I've seem aboriginal communities which were better run and tidier than this. It looks as though the local population figured that seeing they live in the back of beyond, why take any trouble.
This is the Town Park. Note the sign!
It was interesting to see some of the dugouts that the locals had built to live in. They hadn't gone to the effort to dig them underground as they had at Coober Pedy, they simply dug them into the sides of the creek banks. What is surprising is that this wasn't back in the 19th century, like the diggings at Burra and Kadina, this was from 1931 onwards and some of these places were still being lived in in the 1970's !!!!!
I was going to head on up to the Oodnadatta track, but I did that last year, so I'm going to back-track to Pimba and then head north through Coober Pedy. I don't think I'll make any extended stops, it's too cold, I'm going to push on to Alice and then up the Tanami to the Kimberley.

See you soon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just a Short Hop

Sunday, 2nd May 2010

I've been a week at the Tent Hill North Rest Area and I'm glad the "No Campfires" period is over. I love a campfire, even when there is no real need for one. I can't think of anything nicer than sitting around a nice fire in the evening with a few nibbles and a glass of the good stuff. It's a good ice-breaker (no pun intended) if there are other people camped nearby, they often wander over if they see a fire going.
Also, the evenings are starting to get quite cool as Autumn progresses and the warmth of the fire is very welcome.

Monday, 3rd May 2010

This would have to be close to a record for the world's shortest travel leg. 3.1 kms!

On one of my rambles through the bush from the campsite at Tent Hill North Rest Area, I came across a delightful little spot. It is not a designated camping area, but there is evidence of a few campfires and a bit of junk around, and there is good access off the highway, so I whipped back into Port Augusta to replenish bread and milk and get some petrol for the generator and hitched up and moved to the new spot.
It is a great site for a bush camp. It is a little close to the railway line, but there are only one or two trains during the night, so it's not a big problem and, as it is about 500 metres in from the highway, there is hardly any noise from passing traffic, unlike the highway rest areas. Not likely to be any drop-in visitors, but who cares?

Tuesday, 4th May 2010

The weather has changed a bit, quite a lot of cloud and a threat of showers, but I spent a couple of hours this morning and collected a bit of firewood for a couple of days and I can catch up on my reading.
See you soon.