Leaving our bush camp we turned left onto the Great Northern Highway.
After a short break at Kumarina the road trip north continued. I located the turnoff to Yannerie Pool and we left the highway to see this beautiful outback waterhole.
Kirk got out his drone for a fly around. A slight misjudgement sent it into the trees on the far side of the pool.
We refuelled at Capricorn Roadhouse and then took the obligatory photographs at the Tropic of Capricorn.
Shortly after we turned onto the Nullagine Road and not long after that we turned into the Opthalmia Dam on the Fortescue River, one of Newman’s most popular recreation spots.
Roadworks between Opthalmia and Nullagine seemed to be interminable. The dust was terrible.
The Sturt Desert Pea is the subject of an aboriginal legend where a young girl was promised to an older man she did not want be with so she eloped with a younger man from a neighbouring tribe. The old man attacked and destroyed the younger man’s tribe and when he later returned to gloat over the bleached bones of his victims he found only carpets of brilliant flowers with ebony eyes that had grown from the blood of the people he had killed. Every season the flowers of blood spread their brilliance over the arid plains of the outback as the Sturt Desert Pea.
We met Phil and Peter in Nullagine. They had taken a break from prospecting to join us for a couple of days. After refuelling and a visit to Lynas Lookout we headed off towards Running Waters, our planned overnight stop.
A few kilometres out of town Eugene got on the radio to announce he was experiencing mechanical difficulties – steering problems. The initial diagnosis was ball joints but Garry and Joe determined it was a tie rod end. It seemed like it would be the end of the Tour for Eugene and Corey – but not before a visit was paid to the stockpile of wrecks at the ‘village’ in Nullagine.
Joe, Garry and Kirk stayed with Eugene and Corey in their stricken Hilux Surf and the rest of us continued our road trip. The delay meant that I had to change the overnight stop to Skull Springs.
There were no suitable sites close to the Spring. Just on dusk, Scott located a large cleared area a few hundred metres away.
The remainder of our convoy arrived 45 minutes later. We were surprised to see the Surf with them. They had located a tie rod end from a Pajero that fitted perfectly and the Surf was as good as new.