Archive for June, 2012
Prior to leaving Alice Springs, I checked for any new cache listings since I had left South Australia. What luck, there was a new one at Glendambo - only 940 kilometres away. And at this time no one had made a find on it. The cache is Dam Glenbo.
It is only 10 hours driving away. Sounds like a good spot to stay tonight and maybe grab a FTF as well.
Today was uneventful, however, it was getting cooler the more I headed south. There were clear skies all the way to Coober Pedy and then there were some rain clouds heading over from the west. It is probably a good decision not taking the Oodnadatta Track as I wouldn’t want to get stuck there (or would I )
I arrived at Glendambo just after dark, negotiated a few tracks to find a tree on the edge of town.
Out with a torch, found the cache, opened the cache to find a virgin log book – Yay, another long distance “First to Find”.
Another big drive tomorrow across to Loxton.
Today was a “rest” day of sorts. This meant that no long distance driving but take in some of the sights around Alice Springs.
I started at the northern end of town and drove what is left of the old Stuart Highway into the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve. One of the popular spots for the locals is Wigleys Waterhole but there was no-one there today.
It was interesting that the track alongside the old rail line was in better condition than the Old South Road. Also managed to take in some of the track used by the Finke Desert Race.
Tomorrow is a 940 kilometre drive to Glendambo.
On the back of my challenge of the longest distance in a day for 2 cache finds (one in South Australia and one in Nevada), I thought I would do another challenge – longest drive for a First to Find (FTF).
The challenge involved having found a cache in every 10km band from your home location up to your age x10 so in my case 490 km.
I did the queries in GSAK and found that I had found a cache in the 49 distance bands required. Now to get the cache and hopefully a FTF.
I was heading north anyway so a long distance FTF was going to be a bonus.
Well after 4 days and 2902 km I arrived at ground zero (GZ) to find it all burnt out and on the ground were some burnt spray cans and a sorry looking eclipse tin. Surely this wasn’t it.
I looked over a couple of metres and there appeared to be something buried. I unscrewed it and it appeared to be the cache or was it.
I opened the container only to find a puzzle to be solved to find the final GZ.
Thinking caps on and a few texts to the owner on clues to solving the puzzle then finally about 10:30 pm I had the puzzle solved.
The only problem is that I would not be able to get to the final GZ for another 18 hours due to my commitments in Darwin.
It seemed a long day but finally the time came to find the cache.
I drove up to GZ, thinking surely the FTF would have gone by now. Opened the ammo tin, took out the log book, opened it up to find …… I was FTF.
So after 5 days and 2902 kms (plus a few extra back and forth into Darwin) I had a long distance drive FTF.
I guess now how many have driven further for a FTF …
It was a cool start today for the big drive with overcast skies and a few drops of rain but this was short lived with clear skies for most of the day.
I didn’t make too many stops today as there was a mission of getting to Mataranka and a soak in the thermal pool – a drive of 1065 kilometres which was achieved in 11 hours with fuel stops.
The fuel gauge went down a little quicker in the first leg to Tennant Creek as I sat on 125 kph (the speed limit up here is 130 kph). For the second leg I dropped it back to 115 as the roos were starting to appear but they are only little ones.
Tomorrow is an easy drive of 400 km into Darwin.
What a great day for travelling – clear skies and not too warm and no wind (although there was a little cloud around Coober Pedy). Today was another big day on the road with a 700 km drive from Coober Pedy to Alice Springs.
After filling up and a quick drive around town it was time to head north. The landscape around here is a bit of a moonscape with all the diggings – you wouldn’t want to stumble around here in the dark.
Made the diversion to the Breakaways and was surprised to see no-one else out there.
The further north I went you could see the results of the good rains over the last few years with plenty of growth in both the trees and the grasses. The colour of the soil also changes to a deep red.
While at Marla, I checked wotif.com as I knew that accommodation would be scarce in Alice Springs including the caravan parks due to the Finke Desert Race having just finished. Although there were a lot of cars and bike returning south, the locals were cleaning up with their rates and minimum stays. I managed to book a room in a B&B for only $10 more than what the caravan parks were asking for an unpowered site. My digs tonight would be the B & B Pathdorf.
I had filled the tanks at Coober Pedy thinking that I had plenty of fuel to get through to Alice Springs. From previous experience, when the low fuel light came on there was about 10 litres of fuel left which equated to 80 kilometres travel. At about 80 kms out from Alice Springs, the low fuel light came on. I slowed it up a bit and took it easy into Alice Springs.
After arriving in Alice Springs, it was a struggle to find a petrol station that was open and eventually found one with only 4 litres of fuel remaining.
Through Facebook, I found that a work colleague was in Alice Springs as well so we met up in town and had some steaks at Bojangles Saloon – this place would look right at home in the Wild West and the meals were good too.
That is it for today. Tomorrow will be a bigger day as I have 1000 km to drive to get to Mataranka.
Another below zero start to the day and once again the Clare Caravan Park’s power system overloaded and our power went off (we had been lucky to miss out all weekend).
This meant that we packed up to keep warm in the cold conditions. The final event for the weekend was the Riesling Trail Recovery Ride but unfortunately I had to hit the road for Coober Pedy. After getting a few photos of the riders and waving them off I started north through the Bundaleer Valley grabbing caches along the way.
One of the caches was at the Bundaleer Aqueduct. This was constructed back in 1903 and is some amazing engineering for the time. If it wasnt for geocaching, I probably wouldnt have found this.