Following the Finke River

Jun 02

Boggy Hole - No.6 Yards (-5km) - Stuart Highway crossing

Published at 13:03
Dispatch created from email
1st and 2nd June

Tota Distance - 178km

Day 4

The mornings have been very chilly, perhaps only a few degrees. Ay Boggy
Hole the hill adjacent to the campsite blocked the sun just about until
I was ready to set off. The first 30km was on the Finke River 4WD track.
It cut a couple of corners, but it was still in the realm of the Finke
and it will be the only time from now that we will have an easy track to
follow (all relative).

We lunched at the beautiful Running Water Yards Waterhole and after
Brian did another interview for the film before we set off. Here we
turned back on to the river. There were no tracks at all and Bob managed
some very skilled driving to get across several gullies and mounds to
access the river.

It was particularly intense work for me because, now that we are out of
the National Park and back into grazing country, the riverbed is messed
up by the hoofs of cattle mainly, especially near to waterholes.

Bob would go ahead and they would wait for me to catch up, but there was
plenty going on for them to see. I generally followed near to the
vehicle tracks, though I lost them several times when crossing patches
on stones, sometimes the size of watermelons.

Towards the end of the day we all spotted three dingoes feeding off a
cow that a pack of them must have taken down. Another time Brian and Bob
spotted a rare black dingo. The waterholes had other life too, such as
pelicans and cormorants.

Day 4 camp site was beside another exceptional waterhole about 6 km
before No.6 Yard (as marked on our Hema map), with layers of ochre and
gypsum in the hill behind, birds, brumbies in the late evening and
dingoes close by. The dingoes were really active that night - Brian saw
about six pairs of eyes looking at us with his torch and promptly
pulled out his big microphones to try to record their choruses of
howls. We packed all of our food away, but they were around our camp
during the night.

At 10.30pm I tuned in to six classes in North America via the BGAN to do
a live streaming presentation. It was a fantastic to be able to
communicate half way around the world and have students from Florida to
Ontario ask questions as I sat beside the campfire. 46km done.

Day 5

The cold snap continues - it is winter I guess, buy it was again close
to zero degrees last night. This was a very tough day from start to
finish. The gorges and cliffs have gone now and the land has opened out.
Still the constantly changing scenery and activity along the river bed
is always interesting.

It took me about 3 hours o cover 19km to lunch; a constant grind over
pocked sand (from cattle) and loose stony surfaces. By then we were
starting to see the occasional flame-red sand dune - such vivid colours
that I love in the outback.

Later in the day, there were more sections of virgin sand and clay-
covered sand, which are significantly faster for me. I reached the
Stuart Highway just after 5.30pm, arriving to a few bewildered looks as
I emerged from the river bed, under a barbed wire fence with my special
Christini AWD fat bike.

I had lost the team for about 20mins before we connected by the CB
radio. They had to divert around the fence and had then driven a
kilometre down the river.

Tonight we are camping near to where Greg Yeoman and I camped in 2004
during our Australian expedition. It was here that the seed for the idea
for this expedition was sown. 42km done.
You can now see exactly where we are going via the SPOT Tracker map on
my expedition page at the bottom:
(It is missing the first day and a half though)


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    2018-06-05 01:13:41 Jane says: Love that black dingo
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    2018-06-03 16:18:57 Dick Friend says: Inspiring as always. You are way ahead and I feel rather soft her in Chinon, France. Looking forward to you out-finking the outback!
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    2018-06-03 03:03:08 Melinda says: Love following your adventures as usual Kate. Stay safe and well x
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    2018-06-03 00:32:59 Geoff collier says: Tackled the northern end from Hermannsburg down in 1994. Sounds like it has not changed much.
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