Although we didn’t think it was possible after a very late night out we did mange to get everything done and were at the designated spot in Roseworthy before the 8:45 meeting time. There were 5 Jeeps and 1 Prado in the group. Morning tea was at Burra and we returned to the Bakery but we didn’t see our friendly pony-tailed cowboy. After the quick stop we continued on to Terowie where there was a fuel stop for those who needed it but with our extra tank and a full load of fuel we will be fine for the whole long weekend.
It’s great to be out in open country again but my first impression of the of the place was “it’s a shambles”. A collection of swags was right near the drive in and machinery and vehicles were everywhere. They are obviously still setting up the place but because it’s a long weekend there are heaps of visitors and plenty of “Hooray Henrys”.
We set up camp then went for a very interesting drive somehow although we were following the easy main track we ended up descending into a creek bed and from then it came back to haunt us with gutted drop ins and nasty rock stretches. Alex managed it beautifully thanks to Steve’s “brake/accelerator combo”. We were lucky to find our way back to camp before dark.
A night drive starts about 7 or 7:30, I hope the owner can navigate without a map because apparently these were all left behind when the managers left home.
Saturday Night – Night Drive
After dnner we waited for the leaders of the Night Drive to come and round everyone up. We were told there would be about 8 cars going on the drive. About 7:30 a convoy of cars with various arrays of brilliant spotlights came down the track remisniscent of a KKK posse. All the particpants were told to line on a big flat area which we did then waited and waited while disorganization reigned. After about 30 mins wiating then listening to the garbled exolanations of what would be happening my spirit left for the comfort of the campfire unfortunately my body wasn’t with it. The drive was al I expected and I’m just glad we all made it back to camp without any disasters.
We had a lovely day with just the Jeep Club group wandering along the main track of the property. I don’t believe this is a place for novice 4WD drivers because even the main track led to very difficult rocky sections, deep ruts and steep slopes which, I think would totally demoralise someone just beginning to enjoy their past-time. With guidance from our fellow Jeep Club members we were able to negotiate the difficult sections resulting in an enjoyable day for everyone. The track took 6 hours for us to complete with a stop for lunch beside the riverbed. At the odd times the river is flowing it would be an awesome view as the banks are in places 4 or 5 metres high.
After our Butter Chicken dinner we sat around the campfire enjoying the company until the cold seeped into my bones. The weather has been fine and sunny but the wind is cold and the nights downright chilly.
Rather than go on the “Hot Water Service” track, probably so named because there is a dead hot water service lying beside the main track, we decided to pack up camp and head for home. Being a long weekend we expected the traffic to become manic later in the day. On our way out we took one wrong turn which fortunately Alex realized while we still had the option to turn back from the approaching hill track.
The drive back was uneventful apart from the complete circular tyre tread which rolled across the road in front of us. A trailer on a car in front of us seemed to be swaying a bit then later looked low on the right hand side but we went through the towns of Riverton and Tarlee before the car and trailer finally pulled over. There wasn’t a skerrick of tyre on the rim, I think they were very lucky not to have much worse issues since they’d passed quite a few cars in front of us.
After two nights bush camping it was a delight to get home and under a nice warm shower.