Twelve months after my first solo trip across the Simpson Desert I’ve completed my second. I’m still sorting out my notes, so stories will appear soon. It’s also twelve months since I put in my audition …
I never used to go camping. Too cold, too many insects, too uncomfortable. Then Doc dragged me kicking and screaming into the outback in a swag, and I was hooked. All my objections were overcome. …
The colours of Kanku/The Breakaways and the Painted Desert are truly breathtaking. Check out the photo gallery
Well, it’s happened again. I’ve had car trouble. Driving from Coober Pedy to Arkaringa and the Painted Desert, one of the clips holding my back window in place broke. Of course it was the strongest …
The Australian outback truly is remarkable. And ever changing as you drive through it. I left Coober Pedy heading north for the Painted Desert. First stop, Kanku/Breakaways again. Last night I drove in from the …
Day 3. 215k into the Simpson Desert
My how things change, and in a short space of time.
From being cruisy and not in a hurry to get anywhere, I was up before dawn this morning, and straight into packing up. I wanted to get onto the dunes while they were still cool, because that’s the easiest time to drive them.
Though I wasn’t in that much of a hurry that I couldn’t relight last night’s campfire and make myself a coffee. Which I enjoyed while watching the first pink rays of the sun appear over the dunes.
I was on the road at 7.23 this morning. Still not really early, but that was just as the sun was appearing over the dunes. Sunrise isn’t too early either.
I’ve changed my course at the last moment twice today. And both times I paid for it.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/the-simpson-desert-part-3/
Day 2. 155k into the Simpson Desert.
Not being in any hurry, I lay in my swag and watched the sunrise. If only somebody was here to make me coffee! That’s the trouble with travelling on your own, you have to do everything yourself. Eventually I had to get up and make my own coffee, after relighting the fire from the night before.
After taking my time and having a look around I thought I’d better pack up and get on the road. As per usual with my travels, it was 9am before I got away. No sense in hurrying anything!
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/travelling-the-simpson-desert-part-2/
Day 1. 89k into the Simpson Desert
I don’t like to admit it at the beginning of a trip, but I was a bit worried. I decided to come into Dalhousie from Oodnadatta rather than go through to Mount Dare. That meant an additional 130k worth of fuel usage before I started in the desert. I’d calculated that from Oodnadatta, based on all information I had, I would make it through the Simpson and have around 10 litres of petrol left when I got to Birdsville. Not a lot, and no room for error, but I was fairly confident. Sort of. The car had been using a lot of fuel before I got the head gasket fixed, but it was ok now. Wasn’t it? Problem is, if I ran out of fuel most other people passing would have diesel, so it might take a while before I could get any help.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/what-is-it-really-like-to-drive-across-the-simpson-desert-part-1/
Right on the western edge of the Simpson Desert Dalhousie Springs is either the first or the last point in a Simpson Crossing. And it was where I was heading from Adelaide to start my desert adventure properly. Straight up the Ooodnadatta Track, past Lake Eyre, and on to the desert. Because of my enforced layover in Adelaide I had no time to stop anywhere. The Ooodnadatta Track would have to wait for another trip.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/dalhousie-springs-an-oasis-in-the-desert/
So much for my triumphant setting off to go to the desert.
I got as far as Adelaide where I finally conceded. The car is at the mechanic’s getting a new head gasket.
Despite (or perhaps because of) driving 1700k in 2 days OK, the problem is getting worse. Water is being pushed out of the radiator and the engine is overheating (in that order). It is also guzzling petrol, and that is getting worse too. I was considering driving home to get it looked at, but I’m not sure I would make it that far. I also don’t think I can afford the petrol at this rate!! My fuel consumption has increased by about 60%.
So I’m still in Adelaide. There are worse places to be.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/adelaide-the-worlds-best-wine-regions-and-not-a-bad-place-to-be-stranded/
I’m starting to think my little Suzuki doesn’t actually like adventures.
I was supposed to leave last week for outback South Australia and the Simpson Desert. That is, until something went wrong with my cooling system – the day before I was due to leave.
Doc is a mechanic, so he not only gives the car a full service, he checks everything over very carefully to make sure it’s all ok for an outback trip.
Yet, last time I started having car trouble almost as soon as I left home.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/getting-your-car-ready-for-a-big-trip/