Day 51 to 54 of our Big Trip of the Simpson and now the Flinders Ranges

Sunday, Aug 16, 2015 at 17:23

Member - Matwil

Day 51 Thursday 13th

Up early. Today we set off to explore around the lake. We covered 7 klms only to discover that we are camped in the best spot so returned to camp for lunch and to veg out.-It is very warm today and the flies are particularly bad. Before I left I bought two personal fly nets just in case… and guess what today they came out and we are wearing them… but no photos. If you didn't wear one you would go mad.

My one comment is that if anyone is travelling anywhere Innaminka they take time to visit the lakes. It is more then worth it. It is an amazing pace and well worth the bumpy long drive in and out.

Sitting out here in the afternoon watching the sun slowly set in the west was really relaxing. All of a sudden there was a big thump in the bush next to us. Louise looked up to see a large owl perched in the top of the tree. A further inspection confirmed that there was a mate as well. They started hooting to each other, which just adds another dimension to the trip.

Day 52 Friday 14th
We were up early and packed up as we knew it was going to be a long drive to our next stop. I let another 5 pounds of air out of the tyres for the trip back to Innaminka and this help to cushion the bumps a little and allowed us to make the return trip in about ½ hour less time than we took on the way in. We got to Innaminka at about 11am and refueled at $1.80 a litre and pumped our tyres up again. While there we ran into our new friends from Tilba who had been forced to limp back to Innaminka when a nut came off a shock absorber. We had a bit of a chin wag and then set off towards Thargomindah. We dropped in to see the spot were Burke died and took some photos of the huge red gums beside the river. We then headed on to the next historical site, which is the dig tree. This is where Burkes main party had camped while Burke and a few others headed off up to the cape to complete the crossing of Australia South to north. Burke got back to this spot the afternoon the others left camp to return to Melbourne. They blazed the word DIG on the tree to indicate where they had left supplies etc for Burke. The story of this expedition is indeed a one of tragedy brought about one mans desire for fame and fortune. He let his men and himself to a terrible death by not planning properly and having the desire to do the trip first above all else. He even refused help from the aborigines, and the irony is the only person to survive was the one who did seek help from the locals after Burke’s death. It was a trip of major blunders from every angle.

WE had lunch and moved on as we still had a long way to go. The rest of the days driving was through the most flat and barren land I have ever seen. There was nothing on the landscape except flatness and the lack of trees and scrub. Very Very boring.

As we motored on we realised that we would not make Thargomindah by sunset so looked for an alternative. We knew about Noccundra because it was one of the options we had when we left Tiboburra several weeks ago. There is a pub there and camping so we decided to head there. We arrived at about 4.30 and went to find a camp spot by the river. There is a water hole there that has never dried up during the white mans occupation of the area. The pub is an old stone building and is the only building except a hall and shower and toilet block.

Wow. As we drove into the caravan park there are our new found friends from Tilba again. We pitched the tent then the whole lot of us adjourned to the pub for a few beers, dinner and a few yarns. When we got to the pub the news was on. None of us have seen the news for three or four weeks and Louise piped up “Is Tony Abbott still prime minister. The response from the crowd was a real tell tale sign that the government has a problem. It was all negative. Anyway we had a great night. Our friends were going to Hungerford next day and we were heading towards Cunnamulla so we said our good byes for the third time and parted ways after exchanging details and then to bed.

Day 53 Saturday 15th

We again were up early and hit the road. The landscape now changed and we were in more interesting country. However the roads have very long straight stretches. In this position we amuse ourselves by keeping tabs on the distance between two corners. I had held the record between Broken Hill and Port Augusta with a stretch of 10.5 klms. However on this drive Louise broke it with a stretch of a little over 18 kilometres.

One of our aims was to stop at Eulo as there was marked as a date farm being there along with mud bath springs. We stopped at Thargomindah around lunch time. This was the third town in the world to have electric street lighting. A pamphlet we got at Noccundra set out a lot of other things to see including mud brick houses still in use. We went and had a look at the Hydroelectric plant that provided the first lighting, and it was intriguing. They used the power of a bore to drive a turbine and two dynamos to provide the electricity. We then went looking for the other heritage things to find they were a bit over rated. The mud brick houses were made from fired bricks which is not my understanding of mud brick. However the museum did have a lot of historical photos that were well worth a look. We then moved onto Eulo and got there early afternoon to find the date farm was no more. The town is a nice little town. We stopped at a leather making place and I bought a great leather belt for $55.00, had a browse at an opal place and then moved on to Cunnemulla. There are three caravan parks in Cunnemulla so we researched them on WikiCamps. The one on the river looks good so we drove 4 klms out of town and booked in there. We found a bush camp down on the river that is totally private. We then checked out the facilities, which led Louise to comment.. “Wow bush camping with Sheraton facilities”. This without doubt is the best caravan park I have been in. They even provide heaps of fire wood so you can have fires. Great value and great hosts. They have planted trees between each camp spot and there is a little herb garden at each camp spot as well.
We like this place so much we are going to stay another night and explore the town as the brochures says there is a lot to see..

Day 54 Sunday 16th
After breakfast we went down to the information centre which includes a museum. They had a magnificent display which starts with a video on the great artesian basin. How it was formed, how it was tapped, and then how it is being saved from destruction and moving to the sustainable use of this great resource. At truly informative experience. We then went round and looked at all the artifacts in the museum and read some of the stories of the early settlers. Great Stuff. When we finished there we went to look at all the other tourist stuff in the brochure. Gee those brochure writers really put a spin on things. Being Sunday everything is closed except the pubs and the cops so we headed off back to the camp and was breath tested along the way. We made camp and arecamp vegging out. We are cooking a corned beef in the camp oven over the open fire, with potatoes roasted in alfoil in the fire as well. Yummy. Tomorrow we are going to head off on some back roads down to Lightning Ridge so will be off air for about 3 or 4 days. SO till next time au revouir.
Wanting to explore our vast wide land
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