Day 36 - Saturday 14th May 2016.
Birdsville - Big Red and sightseeing.
We slept fairly well, seeing that we were in a double bed. But we slept on top of the sheet and used as sleepingbags as blankets, so we were warm. I awoke about 6am
and went on the internet. Marg woke about 7am. We had brekky, some weet bix that we bought with us.
After buggering about at camp, we left at 9:32am and did a circuit of town looking at all the attractions listed on their map, before stopping at the Bakery (9:40am) for
some lovely homemade Lamingtons and coffee. After coffee we headed out to the Racecourse. I was the only one there queued up, at least I was 1st in the queue, the
downside is that the race meeting isn't until September.
We stopped at the Info Centre, to check the status of Big Red, whether we were allowed to drive it or not, They said we can't BUT there had been a few vehicles
up it this morning and we were going to go as far as we could. SO we headed out to Big Red, which is approx 35kms from town, and the Road Conditions sign said Big Red
open to 4WDs. I was happy. We continued.
Driving along the gravel road, we came across a grader, so we stopped and asked the driver for tips on getting through the water etc. He said follow the tyre marks,
which we did and don't make your own track, as it is still extremely muddy and SOFT. A couple of kilometers past the grader, we stopped and I let my tyres down to 28psi,
as we were on gravel and mud I thought that was a good pressure.
The road was going over many sand hills and the views from the top of the sand hills were sensational, SO we stopped and took photos. We get to the turn off to Big Red,
and came across 2 cars on their way back to town after climbing Big Red, we stopped and chatted with them and they reassured us that we would be able to drive it easily.
This was good reassuring advice. This last 2 km section was mostly covered with water, so there were new tracks beside the existing water logged track. We eventually
made it to the bottom of Big Red. We looked at it, put the mighty Navara in 1st (we were already in 4WD High), lit candles and prayed, Marg started the video
and away we went. When viewing the video later, I was a little upset with the language that was coming from my videoer, Marg managed to use a few 'naughty' words.
I was shocked at her.
We got to the top from the East side, which is the easier side and definitely would not attempt the West side. We stopped up the top and walked over to the steep edge
on the West side, where I saw a 4WD trying to drive up the West side, SO I videoed him. He failed once, backed down and let his tyres down, tried again and failed and
3rd time lucky. He stopped beside us and I told him that we videoed him, he was rapt.
Another small world moment: Now we are on the top of Big Red and further away
from the middle of nowhere, if that is possible. Are you ready for this. He lived and grew up in the same suburb as we live in. Unbelieveable. He is also staying in our CP,
so I gave him a copy of the videos later in the day. We left them there taking photos and headed back to camp.
There were a couple of muddy, water sections that we had to drive through, so Marg videoed them. As we approached town, we stopped at Barnesy's Roadhouse aand pumped up the tyres.
We got back to camp at 2:02pm and had lunch. It was an absolutely magnificent morning, driving up Big Red and as I said a few days ago, the scenery is BRILLIANT.
As Marg was going to have a nanna nap, I hired a bike from the Office and recorded my ride around Birdsville and uploaded it to Strava. After my ride, I drove the mighty
Navara to the town's truck wash, which has a high pressure hose and washed away heaps of MUD. Back at camp, I walked over to the Pub, had a chilled refresher and bought a
"Birdsville Hotel" polo shirt $65. After that I walked to the Billabong to photograph some Georges (pelicans) there wasn't a bird to be seen. I was disappointed.
Dinner were pies that we bought at the bakery this morning. They were YUMMA.
Over the next few days we plan to stay at:
Tomorrow, we hope to drive to back to Boulia about 400kms.
- Sat 14th May - Birdsville - last night
- Sun 15th May - Boulia - an overnighter and pick up our fiver.
- Mon 16th May - Winton - an overnighter.