Friday, August 7, 2015

July 26th

Oh, What a beautiful morning at 1.5 deg with a clear blue sky. We left early at 8.15 am.
 Mature and juvenile Marble Gums were with us for most of the day. The juvenile trees are really pretty with round glaucous leaves. They often lined our track. We stopped quite early for a walk up to the top of a dune to see the view and to see the plants which like to grow on sand dunes. Some dunes were quite sandy but mostly they were quite stable with trees and bushes well established on them. The area between dunes is called a swale. The swales were quite wide and the track wandered back and forth through the bush. Many areas had been burnt by lightening wildfire. Thankfully regrowth was taking place. The mallees especially were regrowing from their lignotuber.  Hakeas and grevilleas do regrow quite well too. Some trees and plants will never sprout again but only regrow  from seeds.

 We could see camel tracks along in front of us but no camels to be seen. There have only been a few birds but no kangaroos or emus or even a lizard sunning itself on this warm winter day.

Our first point of interest were the Sunday Surprise Rock Holes, Frank Hann named this on Sunday, July 26th 1903 exactly 113 years before our visit which was a Sunday, July 26th as well. This is such a coincidence. We found 7 of the 9 rockholes which have been recorded here. Some have clean water in them but others have green or muddy water.

We enjoyed our lunch at Winterbottom Rocks after which we found one rockhole up on the ridge. Really it was liked ‘jump-up’ with a flat rocky top. The rocks were bright with daisies and hop bushes. Instead of camping early here we decided to travel the next 15km to Amy Rockhole. The track across the top of the rocky flat topped area was very rough and challenging for the drivers. Luckily the track was marked by simple stone cairns.

Our camp was set up on the other side of the rocky ridge near a mulga thicket. John returned to the ridge and located a rock hole with clean clear water in it. We will drive back there in the morning to pump some water into our containers for use along the way. It will be clean enough for showering, washing clothes and dishes.

We are privileged to drive this remote track across the Great Victoria Desert. It is said that less than 200 vehicles have ever driven through this country. We are driving a winding, simple 2 wheel track with the occasional branch over it which we drive around. It is a slow trip but that gives us the opportunity to stop for a closer look at plants or to take photographs. Today’s speed was between 10 kph and 30 kph.
Early morning track

Juvenile Marble Gums

Red Hop Bush

We have not seen another vehicle for 2 days so there are no traffic or parking problems!

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