Broken Hill to Milparinka 30th June 2014
We left Broken Hill early Monday and headed north on the Silver City Highway.
We arrived at the Packsaddle Roadhouse around lunchtime
And had a huge hamburger in the colourful bar.
Arrived at Milparinka and circled the wagons.
Then settled down for a happy hour in the desert evening.
Milparinka to Cameron Corner 1st July 2014
Some magnificent wedge-tailed eagles enjoying the fresh food along the way. Not much road-kill in evidence yet. Must have been good rains in the area.
First stop is Tibbooburra for a tank fill and a bite of lunch and then off onto the rougher stuff toward Cameron Corner.
We pulled up on a dry lake bed for some afternoon tea.
And snapped a picture of three of the four vans in the team.
We crossed the gate in the Dog Fence at Cameron Corner from NSW to SA.
Then back into Queensland to the Cameron Corner Store.
Coco was not to sure of standing on the post but she persevered and straddled three states, NSW, SA and QLD.
We only straddled two states.
We had a drink in the standard outback colourful bar.
Collected some firewood along the dog fence, a 5600km fence to keep dingoes and wild dogs from getting to the other side. I’m not sure which is the other side.
The flies were pretty bad and fly nets were de rigueur. I think this mob were trying to spell out a message on Ray’s back.
Cameron Corner to Innamincka Attempt 1 – 1st July 2014
After lunch we set off again bound for Innamincka. We were slowed down by a large drive of cattle crossing the road at Bollards Lagoon. As you can see there were a few corrugations on the road.
About 26Km west of Cameron Corner we lost track of the team. Got a call on the radio that Rob (Rob Farrington) had a jammed brake back down the track and had pulled off the road. We turned round and headed back.
The locked wheel left quite a furrow on the road and the roadside before Rob pulled up.
The van was jacked up and the hub removed to reveal a minor disaster. A wheel bearing had overheated and seized, welding itself to the stub axle and the hub. The hub and wheel was replaced and we limped back very slowly to Cameron Corner to complete repairs.
Cameron Corner 1st July to 4th July
We settled back into Cameron Corner and ground the failed bearing from the stub axle. Local mechanic didn’t have any of the correct size so replacements were ordered from Broken Hill. They were scheduled to arrive on the 4th July.
We made the best of the situation and happy houred round the camp fire every night.
And enjoyed the outback sunsets.
The crystal clear skies made for a perfect night for enjoying a cigar, a Romeo and Juliet Commemorative Edition Churchill, courtesy of a Qatari prince, accompanied by an excellent 2007 Maurice O’Shea Shiraz courtesy of my mate, Steve Shipley.
Finally the new bearings arrived and were fitted. Lots of grinding and sanding and bashing involved before we had finished the repairs.
Friday night we had dinner in the Cameron Corner Store.
And farewelled the crew at the Cameron Corner Store.
Cameron Corner to Innamincka Attempt 2 – 5th July 2014
A short way down the track we stopped to check undercarriage on Rob’s van. His was OK but Ray’s was showing one wheel very hot.
A quick wheel and drum removal revealed a brake magnet had dropped off . This was disconnected and wheel replaced before setting off again across the 139 sand dunes between Cameron Corner and Innamincka.
A few beef started appearing over the dunes, but it was too early for a BBQ.
Turning right onto the Old Strezlecki Track. We were told it was better than the new one through Moomba. And it wasn’t too bad.
A few oil pumps along the way.
And a strange skeleton beside the track. Probably a southern Min Min.
Arrived at Innamincka.
And it was Terry’s shout at the pub. $38 for four beers. He’s still complaining about it.
We set up camp on the banks of the Cooper Creek at the Innamincka Town Common. Great spot, plenty of room and $5 per van.
A chilly night but the excellent BBQ meal and the wine fended off the cold.
The two masters and the apprentice. Take your pick.
Visited Burke’s Grave just out of Innamincka.
Then went out to the Dig Tree and set up camp for a couple of days.
Ray went fishing and caught one. Unfortunately not quite big enough for all of us.
The Dig Tree, quite poignant.
I tried a bit of fishing. Quite futile actually.
Headed off up the Arrubury Track towards Birdsville. Not bad conditions, recently graded and stretches of bitumen over the steep bits.
The vanishing horizons at the end of the Arrubury Track, we turn right and head for Birdsville.
We camped opposite the abandoned Beetoota Hotel. Great camp spot, toilets, shelter, fire pits and visitations by the ghost of the publican.
Had a great campfire dinner that night.