THURSDAY 5 AUGUST ALICE SPRINGS
This was a busy day. The rain was clearing, which pleased us.
We spent much of the day packing and moving stuff between the van and Truck. I defrosted the van fridge, turned that off and we put the fridge things we are taking with us, into the Chescold.
Had to go out. for John to use the pre-booked Internet time at the Library. While he was doing that I went to the Post Office and collected a letter from H – another one! I had a print made of the photo of John and me collecting our Mildura bowls trophy, and mailed that off to our bowls club, along with a cheque for our ’99 subs.
Did what I thought was the final shopping for the trip, except that it turned out to be semi-final!
Though we worked all day, it did not seem as bad as when we went through this routine to go up the Cape, last year. But we will not be away for as long, this time. We are only taking the hike tent, as we probably will not be staying long in any one place.
So, instead of the weight of the big tent and its associated poles, we will have the weight of the water that we will need to carry for the desert section. There will also be two jerry cans of diesel, and the second spare wheel, up on the roof rack.
Planning meals has been an interesting exercise. We need food that will keep well, as we only have the Chescold fridge; fresh meat is not an option after the first day or so. I was conscious of trying to keep weight down, but also had to avoid things like pasta that use a lot of water for cooking. It was not easy.
We had prepared a proposed schedule. Took a copy of this to K at VKS base, also mailed a copy to K. Told VKS K that we would try to sched in every afternoon. As an experienced operator and traveller in these parts, he knows that conditions may not always allow us to make contact, though. Instructed K that if we had not phoned him by the 25th of this month, he was to sound the alarm with the Birdsville Police – contact number provided!
VKS K said that the Old Ghan Track to Finke was in pretty bad condition. He’d been down there yesterday, helping Variety Club Bash people through. However, these are usually conventional cars, not 4WD’s. K said he nearly rolled his vehicle in a sand/bulldust area – and he is a very experienced driver. We shall see, but I admit to some apprehension.
Topped up the fuel at the local servo – was 82cpl, but it was too late to drive out to the refinery.
We were very tired by the end of the day and bought fish and chips for tea. Slept very soundly!