Western Deserts - Lake Dora April 22 2018
  Shortly after setting off for the day we turned south along the west side of Lake Auld.

The hills we can see are probably the ones we walked up yesterday.

Difficult for them not to be, they are really the only candidates.

  Heading west, the dunes are longish and parallel. We are in the swale, alongside the north side dune.
  A lonely windmill.

We guess not in working order.


At the slow speeds we've been maintaining it really hasn't been necessary to have 4wd engaged.

I forgot.

I wasn't quick enough to change from 4th gear at about 35 km/hr so we came to a grinding halt in the sand.

It took a few minutes to realise all I had to do was engage 4wd and carry on.

There have been a few previous "sand momemnts" but not turbid enough, or long enough, to slow us much.

  We saw the blue drum "campsite" way before Gary Junction. Now we are intrigued by red drum "water".

The drum is at -22.0914,123.3047. The late bore is at -22.1055,123.2952

  We took the 1 km detour to the south.

The solar panel is a Unisolar 64w made in 2002. 12v direct to the pump in the bore. The panel is well and truly dead. The wires to the pump have been cut and are ready for someone to connect a 12v supply. We have no idea if the pump works or if there's any water.

Either it doesn't work, its dry, or no-one has tried for a while. The track is little used.

The old tank has vegetation growing in it. The new tank has been rolled off its pedestal.

  The other side of the dune (the southern border of the swale our road is in).

A much narrower swale. Differently vegetated.

We saw a couple of dingo prints, but haven't seen a dingo since the Plenty Highway.

  Punmu closed on a Sunday. We decided not to stop at the Punmu International Hotel.
  What? Power poles in the desert?

We guess the electricity generator is a bit noisy and has been placed well away from the community.

Surely one day it will be solar with storage.

  Looking back at Punmu as we cross a dune.
  This is the first time in a few days we have been able to consistently drive on the left hand side of the road for more than a 100m without fear of breaking more spring.

Its still patchy, but the road has definitely improved.

We think we are looking forward to Telfer Road which will have been maintained to supply the mine.

  The termite mounds began to look different a few hundred km ago.

We've also noticed afternoon temperatures slowly becoming higher over the same distance. Today it peaked at 39.1 deg C. Pleasant in the mornings.

We are camped at the northern tip of Lake Dora.

The bottom of the mound is very open. Almost as if the mound is on solid stilts. One can only begin to imagine the maze of passages that allow a flow or air through the mound and out the top.

We are not inclined to break open part of a mound to find out.

  The wear plate popped out. Again. The tip of the second leaf has broken off. I felt the bump and heard it break! A difficult  compromise with speed and almost impossible to miss everything. That has changed the angle of hanger and short bit of main leaf. Which has pushed against the long strip I first inserted, and bent it. The second leaf has also begun to bend. It is mostly resting on the polyurethane spacer. Which I think is good! I've become a bit mystified as to why I never see the helper leaf in contact.

Lots of grease for the next day to Telfer. Same, or slower, slow speed. On hopefully better road.

The fallback position is to pack wood between the axle and the bump stop. Which will make for hard travelling but keep us mobile.

We have switched to WA time. Dawn around 6am here. Temperature 26.8 deg C. Humidity has risen to 40% from 20%. Radio reception is a bit scant and only at night. I think I heard there is a bit of rain very much further west.

We used the mobile internet from Telfer Mine to upload the blog and do some housekeeping.

Western Deserts to Pilbara - Carawine Gorge April 23 2018

Cuppa Tue, 24 Apr 18 11:52:59 +1000
Hopefully you will be reading this at Newman with the new spring fitted, or at least in the process of it happening. (Bush telegraph ensured I knew about the breakage before you posted!) I can well imagine the anxiety on every bump & corrugation you must have experienced but hope that this is now fading into an 'interesting tale of desert travel'. If not it will sooner or later. (Must remember to tell myself that should we find ourselves in similar circumstances!) I hope I can display similar ingenuity should we need to. In that vein your experience helps to prepare us. Carrying some U bolts seems like a good idea I hadn't previously considered! 75kms a day sounds wonderful & your pics of the country are calling out to me. Thanks for all your posts.

Julian Tue, 01 May 18 11:59:43 +1000
thanks Cuppa. Yup, we reached Newman and all well now.

Sorry, comments closed.