A quick recap. Nine days ago we gathered and headed to Ned’s Corner in the far north-east corner of Victoria. We crossed over into South Australia and started striking trouble with the chuck wagon; major repairs were effected in Burra. We continued on and up to Coober Pedy; more repairs to the small trailer and stuff stolen. Out onto the Anne Beadell Highway and major trouble.
A brutal road broke a trailer spring, disabling the chuck wagon. We sent a team back to Coober for parts, and then decided to leave the wagon here and strike on to Maralinga with a light load; enough food and water for three days. We would return, rebuild the wagon and then return by Coober Pedy instead of by the coast as originally planned.
Once at Maralinga we had the experience of a lifetime, and changed our plans again. Expert local knowledge gave us an easier but longer path back to the wagon; to the east and north rather than back the way we had come. We took it, and completed a circle of the Anne Beadell, down the Emu Road to Maralinga, across the Nowa Road to the Dingo Flat Gate, then back around the Tallaringa Conservation Park on the dog fence track, returning along the Anne Beadell to the trailer four days later.
Now our last challenge; get the chuck wagon back to Coober Pedy. Re-built the night before, alterations effected to the treg hitch, we prepared to leave our home campsite on the track. A quick awards session, with hector getting the Outback Spectacular Hat for his bagpipe playing up the Maralinga Water Tower, and the Premiership Cup being dedicated in absence to our families, friends and supporters back home who without their love and support we would not even be thinking about this boys own adventure.
The D-Max left at 9.30 pulling the chuck wagon with the rest of the team following a bit later. It took us an hour and a quarter to cover the 30 kilometres to the dog fence. A quick check, no problems, keep going. We rolled on and happily with no more dramas or breakages we got into Coober Pedy at about 1.30pm. Planning on the roll, we quickly re-fuelled and re-stocked, and rolled on to William Creek. Out through big sky country with few trees or even shrubs we continued on. The team has a sense of going home now, mission accomplished.
We have ridden and driven the hardest part of the Anne Beadell Highway not once, not twice but three times…and we have the movie to prove it.
We arrived at William Creek at about 5.00pm and set up camp at the camping ground, had a beer and relaxed; that’s what it’s all about Joel!