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Tanami Desert and a jaded P1

jastel

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Back in the Olden Days i.e. 80's, we used to go around to the Desalination Plant in Coober Pedy and put coins into the machine to buy drinking water by the litre. If you can now buy Fiji Water in the supermarket then I consider that to be a very big step up - although trying to do the conversions for inflation etc in my head, it was probaly about the same cost
30 litres of water for 20c from the machine when I there last year so your Fiji is a bit more expensive...lol

Coincidentally my road trip from NQ to Ayers Rock to Adelaide and back again last year is appearing in my FB memories now. I liked Riddicks ship in Coober Pedy. Had a snack at Spuds, Woomera was interesting with the little museums etc. Only had a car not a 4wd so had to stay on the bitumen.
 

juddles

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Hi all, survived the Tanami, then went through Halls Creek, Kununurra, and now in Katherine - continue south tomorrow - no time for more trip report for a couple of days. But still have cold rum and all good....
 

juddles

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Hi all,

finally made it back to Queensland - a hell of a trip! :) It will take me a few days to get back into the online thing, and post. But I will do that - now I have internet and time etc. Because I really want to tackle the trip in the order it was.

It was not exactly as expected - many eye-openers. My friend and I sought refuge in the solitude of the great outback to get away from many South American wanderings - but most people we met spoke spanish!! More about that later....

But in summary for tonight - am back, did just under 8,000km of pure Aussie desert, and at the end of every day we had ice cold rum cans to enjoy.
 

juddles

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Woomera. Our first real stop. I was only a few years old when I left there, so had no real memories. But I knew the "address' of my first ever house I lived in, the hospital where I was born, and also that my parents mainly hung out at the pistol club as that was their passion. So I endeavored to track these places down....

The town is not dead, but it is very quiet now. The explosion of nearby Roxby (with Woolworths supermarket, etc) has been a death sentence to Woomera township. The airbase will always survive (not many places on the planet with such an expanse of controlled airspace to play in) but the civilian side is very humble now. There is a tiny shop, a few government entities, and a caravan/motel place that did not attract me. It is like a ghost town that still clings to life. Due to the rocket range history there are the inevitable touristy things, like a park with some old warplanes and rocket relics.

_DSC1561.JPG


I found my old address - but the houses have been removed and only some street tarmac remains....

_DSC1557.JPG

This is me standing on the block where I used to revel in the dirt as a small baby :)

But even in the desolation I found beauty. Check out the road gutter:

_DSC1549.JPG

It is a tad disconcerting to find that one's ancient home has been obliterated. But even more so when I found the hospital I was born in - it has not been levelled, but it has been "closed" - perhaps I broke it :)

_DSC1568.JPG

I wandered out to the outskirts to find the pistol club - it looks in OK condition but I suspect noone has used it for decades:

_DSC1542.JPG
 

juddles

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This trip report is a cluster - as due to lack of time/net I could not post along the way.....

Anyway, after Woomera we stayed in Coober Pedy a night - as per previous posts, then camped just south of Alice in the bush. But then we were stranded (?) in Alice for a couple of days while we resolved mechanical stuff. This was unexpected and tedious. Our intention was to effectively bypass Alice - as in stay just short of there, then restock and move through in one day. But that plan went to ruin.

The main mechanical issue was that even though we had the fanciest upgraded rear suspension, it was not coping with the combined weight of the trailer and the obscenely heavy fridges in the vehicle itself :) (And also we were carrying a tool and spares kit that would make a workshop proud)

Went into ARB and Pedders at Alice and they set to work - installed rear airbags to supplement the heavy coils. This made a huge difference - was really good. But it meant two days waiting while they worked.....

There was only really one "sight" I wished to see in Alice - the old pistol club where I actually lived in a tent for a while:

IMG_20191016_104934561.jpg

This had not changed much in the 40 years since I lived there. But was nice to visit :) The Alice pistol club is just a few km out of town, and I used to walk to school each day. Bugger that though - was much more enjoyable now doing it driving and sipping on a "red can" :)
 
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juddles

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Due to our abundant time there, I also got an idea and made my companion drive me out to the airport. He flies an obscene amount, but is not a nerd like all of us, so he could not fathom my interest in visiting Alice airport. We went out and I got this snap - for all of us that follow the 737 MAX debacle:

_DSC1633.JPG

There they are, in the aussie bush - even more 737 MAX aircraft parked........
 

juddles

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But apart from the pistol club and watching road trains, the Alice stop was, as said, unwanted and a pain. So we did what we do best - a night on the town. Matt_01 and Buzz could likely picture the scene.... :)

We made many friends there, and almost ended up with an entourage of dozens to accompany us to the Tanami :)
 

juddles

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The Tanami road is a hard one. It has been improved greatly over the years, but it is still a beast that has long distances without fuel (700km or so?) and the state of the road depends on sheer luck. If it has been recently graded it is ok, but if not, it is a thousand km of hell.

We were really lucky - the road conditions were good the entire length - but that is a fluke. We also went in very well prepared. With the overladen Landcruiser plus trailer we were chewing through 20 lts of diesel per 100km. We had long range fuel tanks so even with this fuel burn comparable to an A380, we could still manage an independence of about 1200 km.

But you would never want to take a prize car through it. Despite the good state of the road, and our preparedness, there were still quite a few small details that blew themselves to pieces. The trailer was a Patriot - probably one of the top pieces of gear on the market, and even though it did well, small things like D-shackle fasteners literally wore through with the vibration.

_DSC1640.JPG

_DSC1665.JPG_DSC1672.JPG_DSC1647.JPG_DSC1704.JPG
 

shambles

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opusman, If we are ever on a flight together, where I rejoice in row 1 but you, as a "mere WP", are trapped way back in row 2, I will gladly invite you to come and visit me so you can also bask in the glory of a row forward

But that better happen soon - my days left of P1 are exactly 82. Then I will have to suffer the reality of second row.
I choose row 2 over row 1 any day on AU domestic short haul. More leg stetch under the seat in front and don't have to get up and grab my PC/bag. As P1 (or CL), we do tend to get auto-allocated row 1 more often than not, I make a point of checking onlie and moving to row 2.
 

craven morehead

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The Tanami road is a hard one. It has been improved greatly over the years, but it is still a beast that has long distances without fuel (700km or so?) and the state of the road depends on sheer luck. If it has been recently graded it is ok, but if not, it is a thousand km of hell.

We were really lucky - the road conditions were good the entire length - but that is a fluke. We also went in very well prepared. With the overladen Landcruiser plus trailer we were chewing through 20 lts of diesel per 100km. We had long range fuel tanks so even with this fuel burn comparable to an A380, we could still manage an independence of about 1200 km.

But you would never want to take a prize car through it. Despite the good state of the road, and our preparedness, there were still quite a few small details that blew themselves to pieces. The trailer was a Patriot - probably one of the top pieces of gear on the market, and even though it did well, small things like D-shackle fasteners literally wore through with the vibration.

View attachment 195077

View attachment 195078View attachment 195079View attachment 195080View attachment 195081
Bottom photo is a ripper !!
 

RooFlyer

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The main mechanical issue was that even though we had the fanciest upgraded rear suspension, it was not coping with the combined weight of the trailer and the obscenely heavy fridges in the vehicle itself :) (And also we were carrying a tool and spares kit that would make a workshop proud)
Is it my imagination that the pic of the ute and trailer above shows the wheels of the trailer well behind its CoG - meaning its front presses down on the rear of the ute, hence the problems? And why the really long trailer-ute linkage - more then the rear door opening arc?

1572649641616.png
 

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