A bush camp on the Giles Mulga Park Road - Ahh the serenity

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 00:00


Thursday 3rd June, 2010
Bush Camp...Giles-Mulga Park Rd. NT

Well I’m sitting basking in the vermilion warmth of the fires glowing coals. Above me, the southern sky is ablaze with stars and the bull bleep around the fire is at least two feet deep. Finally, we are in the outback. To the south the majestic hills provided a Namatjira like setting to enjoy the setting sun (refer to Mick O’s golden rule No. 2.) It’s crisp yet not dewy. To my right, the dulcet tones of a crazed Canadian is describing Skagway. Best I return to the start of the day.

Up early to a classic Coober Pedy Morning....Feral roosters and barking dogs. It was a speeditious move through the necessary ablutions and repack of the vehicle before heading out to the servo for fuel and a Bacon and egg sandwich. You can always tell when you’re getting further north by the ever increasing price of Fuel. It doesn’t slowly creep either, more like a long jump. Taking advantage of possibly our last exposure to modern communications for quite a while, we made a few phone calls before heading north up the Stuart. Today could only ever be classed as a travel day our main aim being to get as many kilometres under our belt towards the Northern Territory border and beyond. Our little convoy even managed to pass a few of the countless Grey Nomads heading north with their 19” vans. Every road side camp spot was chockers with “free Campers”! There was plenty of amusing banter across the UHF to while away the boring bits as we coasted up the blacktop. We stopped at Marla for fuel and a few last minute supplies. Gaby decided to swap with Al and have a ride in the passengers side of the new beast and once ensconced, immediately began to rearrange the cab to her effect. The was promptly evicted a few short kilometres up the highway and Al retrieved from the guppy.

Lunch was taken at the SA/NT border and knowing our turn onto the Giles – Mulga Park Road was only a kilometres ahead, the tyres were reset for the impending outback roads. At 2:15 p.m. we finally hit what we had come for...the dirt of the Giles Mulga Park Road ...again!

The road was heavily corrugated and I didn’t take me long to build up a lot of appreciation for the way the new ute was handling the rough conditions of the GMPR.John had a few issues with his TPMS and dropped off the airwaves unannounced causing some concern and a 30 minute break near Victory Downs station. The road provided a fairly mixed bag of conditions with sand, corrugations and rocky patches. As usual the surrounding hills provided spectacular views along the way. With the day drawing to a close, we pulled onto the Ernabella road and drove a kilometre or so south before heading bush to find a room with a view. On crossing a minor creek bed, I struck some soft sand and came to a sudden halt. This caused me to engage both diff locks for the first time. The vehicle extricated itself in the first instance causing instant love...how long has this been going on? Low range and diff locks...nothing can stop me now. A great campsite was located in the shade of several large Desert Oaks and my 15 second camp set up impressed everyone.

Our camp is in the grass and acacia woodlands in the shadow of the some unnamed hills. A great fire and company that inspired some words of welcome to the first of the GDEC expeditions. There are many a fancy dinner to be had in this life but nothing tasted better than tube steaks, spuds and carrots cooked on the open fire let me tell you. Mike J broke out a cask of Tawny Port (yep..cask) so it’s flowing deeply. We definitely need a translator for the Canadians now!

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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