Driving down the Tanami
Did a bit of a trip last fortnight.
Just over 10,000 k's in 12 days. Loved it!
Right in the middle of the trip was a road that is one of Australia's great four wheel driver trips. Just so happened I had to deliver goods to two mine sites on that road.
It is the Tanami road which runs through the tanami desert in central Australia.
I left Kallgoolie Monday (20/6/11) and headed north to Karratha and Port Headland and completed my first two deliveries. Then it was off to the far north of W.A. to Halls Creek to the Tanami turn off. The tanami runs a thousand kilometres in a south easterly direction from Halls Creek in northern W.A. down to Alice Spings in the Northern Territory. By this stage it was Thursday (23/6/11) about 10:00am and I headed off. Within the first one hundred metres one of the hubcaps on my prime mover bounced off. So I stopped, grabbed it and pulled the other one off and stuck them in a tool box. A portent of things to come!
I rattled, slept, drove and photographed my way down the track for the next three days arriving at the intersection with the Stuart highway 20 k's north of Alice Springs in the evening of Saturday the twenty fifth of June. I did also make two excursions to mine sites waiting for the goods they had ordered weeks beforehand.
Unfortunately, I took so many photos and videos of that part of the country I ran out of batteries for my camera. I thought.... no problem, I'll just get the spare battries that I keep in the pocket of my camera bag. Hmmmm... apparently the spares where already in the camera and someone... no names please.. had not replaced them!
And no... it was not Mrs Dags.. she never uses the jolly camera! Oh well.
In fact, I had just taken that photo of the truck in front of thje sign to Alice Springs 644 k's to go and moved the truck right up next to the sign to make a better photo and RED lights flashing and no more photos! The depressing thing about that photo is that the other part of the sign indicates that I had only driven 406 k's from Halls Creek and it was already late in day two of the track.
There were many four wheel drivers travelling the track this time of year. Most going the other direction and mostly in groups and all doing about 100k's an hour. Mostly I was jogging along at about 20k's an hour with occassional spurts up to 50 or 60 k's.
I'll show why so slow!
Just check out the video below.
I would say there is probably one wrecked car/four-wheel-drive per hundred k's and numerous dead trailers off in the saltbush. I didn't see any camels although often saw their footprint in the sand bed of the road.
Once I made it to the other end, it was down to Alice Spring to refuel and head north towards Darwin for my last drop. By the time I had made that delivery it Monday afternoon of week two and I happily turned PM 592 toward home.
I made it back to Kalgoorlie by 7:00pm the following Thursday evening, one shock absorber and two engine mounts later! Still... I was one happy camper!