L O N E R

Part 2.

Ok, where were we? Camp. Food.

We had been on a reasonably strict elimination diet for the past 6 months, for health reasons. As it was just me out here I thought I’d try putting some extra plant foods back into what I was eating.

So tonight was chorizo, tomatoes and olives. Well, what you see below.

Start the chorizo in a cold/dry pan and the fat from the sausage will render out to cook.

A superb evening, watching the birds around the camp till it got dark. Then the moon rise up through the clouds. No one else for miles. No sounds. Good, night.

 


By the morning Mr Moon had made his way over to the other side of camp.

The sun was rising through the same trees the moon had last night. Morning in the Australian bush is a great place to be, chilly though. So I had the fire going straight away.

Right, where were we? That’s right, food. Camp food.

Breakfast… Is a meal I eat once, maybe twice a week these days. So it’s almost a celebration meal when I do, especially like this. Over the fire with black coffee. I put the sausages directly over the fire with the coffee, before going in the pan. They take the longest to cook so this starts them off, but most importantly give them the smoky charred flavour.

Celebrate!

No rushing this morning. A solid day of off road driving lay ahead, on all new (to me) terrain, not something you can take for granted once you’ve been doing this a few years.

Good sign.

Absolutely cracking morning for it.

More dog prints.

Soft sand? Yep, there was some of that. My KM3 tyres were working well though, even at relatively high pressures of 18/22, as there were still some faster sections.

A good and fun drive to start the day.

Now at another part of the dry lake system. This was also home to the main campsite and the visitors area.

This sign shows the river/lake system. Wirrengren Plain in the north that I drove through yesterday. Lake Albacutya would be next on this tour.

Aired up for the drive out. I was quizzed by a guy with a stock looking current Prado, albeit on AT tyres about this morning’s drive – have you driven in sand before? I asked. He had – you’ll be fine I said. It looks worse than it is, this is true, the sand was cold, damp and reasonable firm. He asked my tyre pressures, and I assured him I had not needed low-range. Plus the Prado’s suite of electronic helpers would make it easy, I’m sure.

From here it would be around Lake Albacutya and then turn the truck north-west, to take another desert track through to the imaginatively named Big Desert state forest for the final night.

The tracks around Lake Albacutya were soft and rutted, really slow progress. I cut through to the inside track, which was better. A magnificent male feral goat, look at his horns!

The lake itself. Home to several hundred kangaroos.

Squeezy.

Later than anticipated, but still with plenty of the day left. I finally got to the start of the Milmed Rock Track. 65km through the dunes coming up.

I took most of the side tracks, some were worth, some not. But hey, that’s what it’s about.

Take the track away, and it’s a foreboding wilderness – to me anyway.

Pretty desert flowers up here too.

Again, the track looked worse that it was.

Strange fungi here. You would have though it was too dry, but here they are.

Really fresh dog tracks (I would later find out, less than an hour old – in the middle of the day). I think they have a dog problem…

Just after halfway, I arrived at the feature the track is named after.

Now, I have been to some pretty underwhelming sights on my travels over the years but this was right up there… Luckily there was a sign or I’d have driven straight by!

The visitors book provided some amusement though.

I was following multiple dog tracks now.

I was getting to that time of the day when I was just about done with off-road driving and upped the pace a bit, let’s get to camp – the new suspension was working great at controlling the Cruiser’s not inconsiderable mass whilst still riding well.

The dunes got steeper towards the end of the  track.

Arriving at the end of the track, also the boundary for the National Park.

From here it was straightforward run up the graded dirt road to the campground.

On arrival I had another chat with an older female couple who I had met back at the visitors centre. They were ahead of me on the track, in their stock newer Nissan X-Trail. I told them I was impressed how well the little 4×4 had done – it turns out they were pretty experienced outback travellers, know their vehicles capabilities well and recognised the benefit of good tyres. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Anyway, the sun was going so we wished each other a good night.

Time for some food and drink.


A light dusting of frost greeted me in the morning.

Breakfast and then a chilly pack up. I know when I started doing this, my packing would get steadily worse as the trip went on, things just wouldn’t fit in the truck as neatly as at the start – thankfully those days a far behind – it took years to hone this set up, but now IT JUST WORKS.

Enough time for a bit more exploration this morning.

That bore looks interesting, and it’s in the right direction.

Another great day for it!

I’m not sure how old that picture of the bore is. I wasn’t sure I was in the right spot, so I drove up the nearby dune, the direction of the tracks seemed to match the photo from the campsite – it must just have dried up. Like many other features in current Australia.

No worries, my mood was too good to be disappointed.

Super pretty trail out. Plus no tyre tracks in front of me, always a bonus.

One of the locals.

Some history here, plus a great bush campsite to come back for.

Time for one last roof-top selfie, it had warmed up by now!

Good job Victoria. Aired back up. Peak-Human podcast on, continuing the most important education of my life. Head for home.

Thanks for reading.

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