To Curtin Springs

Monday, 10th to Thursday 13th of June 2013
We left Alice Springs heading further south along the Stuart Highway. Once again we were surprised by the scenery and the vegetation.
(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

We stopped at the Kernot Range Rest Area [CAW6 NT #65] for our lunch break. Lesley had prepared sandwiches before we left Alice Springs. The rest area is among these trees and we thought it would make a good overnight stop. We forged on, knowing we could meet our friends this afternoon.

We topped up fuel in Erldunda – a madhouse with trucks and caravans everywhere. There were queues for the fuel pumps. Luckily we managed to get our fuel quickly ($1.97/l).

There is another way-finder cache supposed to be here. I went for a look, but could not find it. Returning to the car when I wanted to put my driving glasses on, they were no longer in my breast pocket. They must have fallen out while I was looking for the cache. I went back to the only spot that I remembered bending down and true enough, there they were lying in the dirt.

We turned west, off the Stuart Highway onto the Lasseter Highway towards Uluru. We stopped at Mt Conner lookout, to see the monolith that rises above the plain in the distance. This rock’s elevation is 762m.
(Lesley’s photo)

There is another way-finder geocache here ‘Monolith View’. It was on the other side of the road, up a sand dune. It was a fairly easy find, hidden under some branches, but the plastic bag was shining through and gave it away.

Only now did I discover the salt lake on the other side of the dune. I took a photo with my Android phone, the phone that I use for geocaching with the c:geo app.

I returned to the car to fetch my real camera and together with Lesley we walked up the dune to take some more photos.
(Lesley’s photo)

Once again, geocaching had led us to see something we would have missed otherwise.

From Mt Conner Lookout it wasn’t far to Curtin Springs [CAW6 NT
#70].

We soon found our friends and set up close to them.

It was good to meet up with them and have a yarn around a camp fire that Bruce prepared.

There is a large aviary at Curtin Springs and I enjoyed watching the birds, although in principle I am against caging birds.

On Tuesday our other friends arrived and our travelling trio is now complete, camped next to each other. On Thursday we will start our trek along the Outback Way to Western Australia.

Chris is a keen geocacher and we attempted to find a geocache located here. In this photo you see Chris and Kay watching me emptying a container with rubbish in it, as I suspected the cache might be in it. No such luck.

I noticed that Mt Conner is visible from Curtin Springs as well. In fact Mt Conner is part of the Curtin Springs station property. We enquired whether we could get permission to travel to the mountain but were told the only way to get there is by a tour. At $240/person we decided to just view it from a distance.

I went for another walk later in the day together with Kay and Chris to see the mountain in different light.

Really, the difference was minimal. I think this is in part due to the distance to the mountain. The haze obscures the light.

On the way back, we got close to this tame emu.

We sat around a campfire that Bruce had lit and tended. Here he is sawing branches to the length he wanted them to be for the fire.

I went for another stroll to look at Mt Conner, close to sunset. This time the colour really had changed.

On Wednesday we did a bit of maintenance. Bruce and Val had offered to help me to check the wheel bearings. The bearings were adequately greased but the castle nut holding the wheel to the van required about a quarter turn tightening. Quite pleased that I now know how this can be checked and adjusted – although at the moment I wouldn’t have the necessary tools.

I emptied the back seats of the LandCruiser so that I could access the batteries and the charging circuits. I showed the setup to Val and Bruce. Val is quite interested in the Lithium batteries. He had two sets of AGM batteries die, still within the warranty period and is now looking at alternatives.

We cleaned the awning – amazing how much red soil dust accumulated both on the under as well as the upper side. We started putting things away in preparation for an early start tomorrow morning.

I am glad we decided not to head on to meet up with the Kedron tag-along. It would have been possible, but I really needed a break from travelling, having rushed so much for the last few days to catch up.

On Thursday on the way through Yulara I will attempt to send a couple of blog posts, provided the internet connection isn’t too bad. Then we will be without phone or internet for about a week to 10 days. I think Leonora in Western Australia will be the first time I can send further updates to the blog.

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