I’ve just returned from one of our “escape from the madding crowd” holidays.
This time we ticked off one of the wishes on my husband’s bucket list.
So this year we took a 17 day break from work to head “bush” to drive across the Simpson Desert, one of the iconic Australian 4WD tracks.
We drove from Melbourne to started our camping trip in Birdsville.
As there isn’t a town, or petrol station, between Birdsville in the east and Mt Dare, 514 km to the west, this trip required us to be self-sufficient with water, food and fuel for at least 5 days.
I had been a little apprehensive about the isolation of the trip but, from past experience, I knew that if something went wrong there would always be another traveller coming by within a day.
Little did I realise how true this would be! I think we passed, and spoke to, more people on the road in the four days, crossing the Simpson Desert, than we have met on any of our other bush camping, escape work trips.
The difference on this trip was the knowledge that there isn’t any internet access in the area, and no telephone service for emergencies unless you had hired a satellite phone from Birdsville, or Mt Dare.
Fortunately we didn’t need to use our “Sat” phone, but we did meet a group who had had to use their’s to call for medical help when one of their party broke a leg 160 km, or more, out of Birdsville.
Once I realised how “busy” the road was going to be I couldn’t resist counting cars and motor bikes (and bird life):
- Day One: 18 vehicles
- Day Two: 27 cars & 6 motor bikes
- Day Three: 5 cars, (plus 2 Black Shouldered Kites & 5 Wedgetail Eagle sightings)
- Day Four: 24 cars (plus 1 wedgetail eagle & 2 Australian Bustards, “bush turkeys” )
- Day Five: Stopped counting as we were back on maintained roads, driving between Dalhousie Springs and Mt Dare.
Every day we saw budgerigars, zebra finches, willy wagtails, blue wrens and a variety of other small birds, and large raptors, in numbers too great to count.
Apologies for this post not being truly textile related.
I didn’t take any sewing with me as I knew how dusty, and rough, the roads would be, and that the light would not be bright enough to stitch at night, but I think I have a collection of photos for landscape quilts that will keep me occupied for a long time.
Although the actual Simpson Desert crossing was the reason for the trip, it was only 4 days out of the 17 day holiday.
So don’t forget to pop back regularly to see future posts about the inspiration from the colours of inland Australia and women’s life in the outback.
Did I mention that I took 705 photos in the 17 day trip?