There’s nothing like starting your Simpson Desert sojourn at Dalhousie Springs. It really is worth getting up before sunrise to sit in the 38 degree pool and watch the sunrise through the mist. When everything …
When I travel I love to take photos and to write about my travels. This blog is as much for me as it is for other people to read – maybe more so. Writing helps …
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
Day 5. 337k into the desert
I’ve probably only got a couple more days in the desert so decided to make the most of this one and took my time this morning. I still got up just before sunrise, but I took more time to pack up and enjoy my morning coffee. And I went for a walk. Not too far, and keeping the car in sight, but I had a look around. And found more wildflowers. They are so small and delicate that you really do have to look for them. That’s what I love about travelling slowly, taking the time to see these things.
I got on the road at 8.13am. Four hours and forty minutes later I’d travelled 20k and arrived at Poeppel’s corner. Not because I was driving slowly, because I had to dig myself out of a hole twice, well three times actually. On the same sand dune!
Animals arriving in my campsite are not a good omen for the next day’s travel!
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/simpson-desert-part-5/
Day 4. 286k into the desert
No near roll overs, no having to dig myself out of a hole today. All in all, a good day.
The problem with getting on the road early is that I’m heading east – straight into the rising sun. While the sand is harder, it’s more difficult to see the detail of the track on the side of the dunes that I have to go up. And sometimes at the top of the dunes, when the car is at a certain angle, it is impossible to see anything at all, let alone the direction the track is taking.
So, I misjudged my first dune this morning and had to roll back down to make another attempt. Second time lucky, I was up and over the top. Because of the difficulty seeing properly I was probably a bit more cautious this morning than I needed to be, and used low range where it wasn’t necessary. Though, better to be safe than sorry. As the morning wore on, I could see better, and I was more used to driving the conditions, I used low range less and less, only for steeper dunes and those where it was particularly cut up at the top.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/the-simpson-desert-part-4/
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/