Margot was up early, grabbing a coffee and warming herself with the already rekindled fire:
Eoin was up too. He took the photo.
Within minutes Margot was photographing the eastern sky at the crack of dawn:
Eoin captured Betty and Len at the fire:
He joined them and was photographed in turn by Margot:
That was 15 minutes before sunrise. One minute before sunrise, Margot caught the moon:
Eoin caught the sunrise:
Margot did too, but then she zoomed in on the horizon nearby:
On this day we were entering Queensland, so lost half an hour out of the day. I think we set out a little after 9am. At 9.18 EST we came upon a dingo in a dry landscape:
Here’s the dingo in the bush on the right hand side of the track:
We thought the dingo was heading for our camp site to see if there were any scraps left behind.
On Day 4 we saw a lot of salt pans. On Day 5 not so many, mainly variations in the vegetation. Here the country was quite thickly covered:
Then we encountered the best example on the trip of a salt pan churned up by traffic in the wet:
And a closer look:
Then another dingo:
Then morning smoko:
Lunch on a clay pan:
After lunch the interdune areas became grey and silty, rather than red. Then we came across the Eyre Creek, heavily incised into the inter-dune swale. Here’s a photo, actually taken soon after we met the walker (see below), but the periodic flooding explains the change in colouring and vegetation:
The next photo illustrates the marked change in landscape:
Here’s an example of a ‘dead’ tree growing again from the base:
About a day earlier, we had noticed some unusual animal tracks on the sand along the ‘road’. They mystified us for a while, but at one of our regular stops, Darral, our on-board expert animal tracker diagnosed the tracks as human, with the strange elongated trails indicating the use of two walking poles!
Eventually, we came upon the walker, a fellow who was walking across the Simpson Desert, apparently because it was there! (Note his walking poles on the ground).
We were told that he had a food and water supply system, with provisions dropped at arranged places. Initially, he had set out with a cart carrying the necessary supplies, but this had proved to be too difficult to push/pull through the sand. In our experience, he would have struggled to carry enough food for the trip. Water would have been impossible! He arrived at the Birdsville pub one day after we did.
We were getting near to Big Red when we stopped for some reason. Marion took a little walk. This is what she saw:
Foot prints in the sand, inter alia.
We were closing in on Big Red. I think this is the last sandhill before Big Red:
When we got there Don, our lead driver, had a go and failed. Here some of us are all ears, listening to a stranger also attempting to conquer Big Red:
The drivers met to pool their wisdom:
Yes, I’m there as an observer. The consensus was that Big Red had won. There was an easier way across to the south.
And yet, here is Len looking intently at the monster sandhill:
We’ll pick up the story there in the next post.
Note: This post is the ninth in a series on our Red Centre holiday.