4WDing across Australia travel blog
























Day 23: Well 37 to Well 42 (Day 7 CSR) – 164 kms

Woke to blue sky (yay!!!) and the sounds of birds and the sighing of the wind in the oaks – sounds like a gently rolling ocean. Bit of a leisurely morning packing up. John cooked scrambled eggs and Reg scorched himself making toast on the fire. Well 37: ruins. Found graves of murdered drovers. A peaceful place to lie. Old timbers and names punched into tin. Had expected well to be amongst oaks but it is in an area of dead trees – possibly wattle. Says a lot for the water quality! Quite stunning in a strange way. Once again zebra finches led us to the well. Stopped to climb in and on Wandurba Rock – a small Aboriginal shelter with some faded rock art, whiteman graffiti and evidence of past cooking fires. Great view over the valley. We are relishing the sunshine.

I have decided to nominate the inventor of wipes for the Nobel Peace Prize. Bush mechanics make frequent use of them and being the 7th day without proper hot showers they are helping to keep bodies smelling sweet. Think I am going to soak in a tub of sorbelene when I get out of here. Feeling a bit like a red sandblasted prune. Not game to look at my hair though I’m sure I’m going to see it for years to come with paparratzi John around!!

Getting rockier between dunes. Well 38: rocky hole blasted in creek bed. Grooves in rock wall where Aboriginals have sharpened spears. Man-made rock wall in part of creek. Creek bed dry but obvious high water marks on rocks. Large circular rocks where water has worn through. White gums, blue sky, red rocks. A very different and picturesque Well. Very exposed when not in creek bed.

Wonder how many sand dunes we’ve been over?! It’s just an endless parade. Well 39: hole in ground but still has some timber around the walls, windlass pole still standing, trough, more finches, stench of a dead camel, squillions of flies. Everywhere we go there are dingo and camel tracks. Lake Tobin – dry bed, 5 camels mooching along the middle, 2 more close to the track. Good, smooth driving across lake bed, very small grasses, giant brown termite mounds. Reg and Peter climbed up some and pretended that they were Mr Atlas. Well 40: a little tricky to find, so many tracks, GPS helped, at end of saltpan so trough rusted. Tobin’s grave 300m away on a hillside under a gumtree. Has a marble cross and is well cared for. He was an important member of Canning’s original survey party who was speared. Had lunch near here and boys found some good firewood so spent some time sawing before putting the logs on the troopie roof. Colours are so much more vibrant with the sun out.

3 bustards near side of track – finally got some photos as they didn’t fly, just walked stately away. Valley with masses of holly grevillea. Next valley = all wattle. Well 41: some restoration, tea coloured water so collected some for washing, same dead trees as 40, dried up white clay, lots of large wasps, sunbleached timbers, quite atmospheric. Original plan was to camp here but no shade, flies, wasps and too early in the day so will probably go another well.

More sand dunes. The track never just goes straight up and over. You get to the top and never know which way the road is going to turn. Well 42: Green grass around well, windlass still up but that’s about all, zebra finches again, massive amount of camel poop so have decided to go back a few kms to find a better spot. I hate going backwards – would much rather go forward a few kms. Have chosen a spot just off the road. Lots of Spinifex, not a lot of cleared area but boys are happy. Got a fire going early and Peter cleared the Spinifex away. Burnt it and it created a huge fire and black smoke. If we had been in suburbia the fire brigade would have arrived. Another magical night under the Southern Cross. Love, Carol xoxo

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