Tuesday 11th June:
Finally “D Day” has arrived the challenge of a life time to drive up BIG RED!
So the excitement began with us up early breakfast and the tea bag ready with hot water in flasks and so it was the journey to the beginning of Dingo and Dozer’s dream to conquer the great red sandy mount in the Simpson Desert. We arrived at the bottom of little red and unbeknown to us we thought it was the big one and thank goodness to a kind couple who told us big red is further on so we do give them thanks for that!
But before heading into the desert the ceremony began with Nathan and Dennis hoisting the desert flag, what a moment this was and I’m sure a lump in throats. And so the poles were placed into their holders and many photos and videos were taken.
So now all is good in Dozer and Dingo and off we are to challenge Big Red. So First it was Dozer up little red, then Dingo which I found not too bad. We drove around the other side to find 3 other vehicles there about to attempt this red mount. Out the cars and chatting and looking tosee which is the best way up. And so the other cars went and one failed to get to top so it was decided Dingo needed to take the step. I’m petrified by the way, the engine getting up steam to attempt the big red which to me had a huge smile on it’s face saying “come on try me baby I’m waiting” So here I am with my eyes shut and the camera on video holding it up sort of in line with the from window and off we were like a rocket it felt to me, bounced this way and that until finally we reached the summit feeling like we flew over leaving all 4 wheels in the air landing and everyone shouting “you did it!” I’m afraid my English language somehow came short when we landed I think I forgot it and used some other language called, now what was it? So now it was Dozers turn and up he went it was a joyous time for every one chatting and telling of their experience.
Now next to this track we had just come up was an even steeper one which had a track which someone tried to attempt and failed and this tickled Nathan’s fancy so this itch to try the steep one was just too much for him and down the Big Red and engines revving and up ¾ and slide down and this happened about 4 times and Big red had won on that steep track.
Nathan and Maryleen decided to go to Poeppel Corner to sleep in the desert but we decided to remain in Birdsville for the night. So we decided to travel about 20’s into the desert to Eyre Creek and have lunch there and return to camp. This we did said our good-byes and returned.
That evening the Birdsville camp had a get together for dinner costing $15 each of soup and damper and curie and rice with entertainment which was a singer and 2 children playing the violin. It was a wonderful evening sitting around the camp fire and chatting to everyone. The Birdsville garage is owned by a South African strange to come all this way from South Africa to hear Afrikaans spoken. We walked back to camp to find Maryleen and Nathan there they tracked back to camp due to having car trouble that is the shock absorber on the left side had come off and pieces and this was quite some trip into the desert too. They were convoyed in once again God looking after His children.
Wednesday 12th June: Did some washing Nathan repaired his car and guess what? It’s back to big red to conquer the hard part. This time we drove around the back of it getting up to the top but my wind was blowing and the dune had changed its shape over night and before our eyes the shape of the dune was taking place.
So it was down the front of the dune and the sports began with Nathan attempting the hard side and He made it and what joy it was seeing the delight on his face. So quite a few attempts which were done then with us doing the main track up got up and left the Big Red with accomplishment of conquering the Big Red.
We decided on packing up camp and leaving early the next day for Innamincka
Thursday 13th June: Leaving Birdsville at 8h18 but first to the garage that Nathan wanted to go to purchase a something so we dualy followed him and waiting in the car Maryleen and Nathan approached us and with a serious speech handed me a sticker award of me approaching Big Red with my well spoken English that at times I try to hide which just shows you it’s never ever missed by ones children, what a laugh I had and this sticker now sits beautifully in my cabinet.
So onto the Botoota Road taking the turn off at about 116k’s in and going on the Cordillo Downs rd to Innamincka. Passing the Moonda Lake, stopping at Cadelga Outstation another heritage building.
We arrived at Innamincka in the late afternoon tied and the effort to find a place to put up camp was just so hard. To understand this place is along the banks of the Cooper Creek one can camp and certain place one is charged $15 a night but the one at Town common has a honesty box and costs $5 a night there is no difference to this one or the others sites. We set up camp and once again very chilly and the wind blowing which was not pleasant so a decision was made to have dinner at the hotel and that was just so good, food wonderful and it was warm.
Now the camp sites do not have showers so one has to go into the wee town to the ablution block pay your $2 for a 4 minute shower. Water is very precious in this area so wastage is a big no no!!!
Innamincka was another reason for Dennis’ dream to come true and this all started out with him reading Burkeand Wills and the expedition they did and how they died so Dennis wanted to visit the Dig tree and their graves. So along this whole place is of history and it’s amazing how many people no little about. Their trek started out in Melbourne, their bodies were actually exhumed and buried in Melbourne.