Old Police Station Waterhole – Murray Downs (Imangara) – Atnwengerrpe – (not) Derry Downs – MacDonald Downs (approx. 330 kms)
Fantastic day traversing various kinds of country: rocky tracks; sandy tracks; graded fast road (not much); even rockier tracks; riverbeds; and finally almost-but-not-quite-dry muddy tracks.
The country around the Davenport Ranges is rocky and hilly, with beautiful swathes of colorful grasses in the plains between the escarpments dotted with ghostly white gums – magical. We had a cuppa in a creek-bed, and headed to Murray Downs station to refuel. Refueled: diesel at AUD1.95 a litre (not too bad considering how remote we were) and icecreams. Fast road to Sandover Highway, and then our adventures began. It appeared that BInns Track has been re-directed in places – fortunately there were helpful signs by “territory 4WD” (thanks guys) – usually at places where you were beginning to wonder if you were lost. We “missed”Derry Downs completely (we were further west) following a very tenuous 4WD track as we bobbed and weaved across the rocky landscape. Finally, crossed the river – across dry riverbeds – but deep sand that we just managed to power through, and back on the Binns Track (proper).
Our final challenge of the day – we had been avoiding the worst of water on the road – by bush bashing and/or following other people’s tyre marks but for some unaccountable reason, I decided to take an independent line. Anyway, not a great idea, as we ploughed into gelatinous mud, and just managed to keep going, and get back onto the tracks. As you can see (photos) the car and trailer were a mess.
Wild camped at the MacDonald Station stockyards, where we had Bruce’s excellent chilly washed down with a beer or three. Night brought blessed relief from the goddamn flies, and our coldest night yet, with head swathed in my fleece, and the first use of the “emergency bottle” to avoid getting out of the rooftop tent.