Day 125 | at Wolfe Creek meteorite crater: after some unique cross country travel
75 km | Heading west total: 5,550 km
So we had a slow start to the day in Billiluna but eventually Seb rode in. I had missed his signs across the road and charged ahead a few km to where I thought our fallback rendezvous point was.
It was lunchtime when we finally left Billiluna after stocking up on a few supplies at the shop but I had a certain confusion about the actual time due to the 1.5 hour time difference between NT and WA.
The 55 km along the Tanami road was okay but when I turned off onto the Wolfe Creek access road things changed.
Seb, of course, was some distance ahead. Actually long gone.
We had heard a few versions of what it was like when we asked travellers coming from that direction: all bad.
Someone had said no sand. “No sand? You sure?” “No, definitely no sand.”
Another version was 4.5 km of sand.
The road in is only 20 km or so, but it was corrugated, soft and it was slow. I spent a lot of the ride up the bank on the side or scrub bashing off the road altogether.
I had almost ground to a halt.
Just as it was getting dark I thought I’d better find a camping spot still 5 km from the official camping site where I assumed Seb had already set up his tent. I headed off the road to find a cleared spot in the shrubbery and suddenly an old farm track along the nearby fenceline appeared, more than slightly overgrown. So a half hour semi-bushbash was great fun despite the dimming light. Umm, lack of light.
Seb was rather surprised when I rolled in: pitch black.
It reminded me of one of my early bush walks with G and a few others when we went to Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park in my late teens. That time we arrived at the lake at about 5 pm and almost ran up around the lake to the first hut usually a 4 hour walk, arriving in the dark. Finding some other trampers there we decided to go across to Coldwater Hut, perhaps another hour’s walk, that is, if it was light. It was not surprising we came off the track and found ourselves waist deep in that cold Travers River water looking for a dark hut in a dark forest by somewhat feeble torch light.
Finally about 10 pm we accidentally stumbled across the deserted hut and were wringing out our sodden socks and trying to get a fire going with wet wood to warm up.