Day 3 Currawinya National Park, Hungerford to Mt Wood
Hungerford is on the edge of Currawinya National Park, two blokes Frank Manthey and Peter McRae have been on a crusade to save the native Bilby. http://www.savethebilbyfund.com/
They have got this u-beaut enclosure in the park to protect the Bilbies which I had contributed to funding (I reckon native animals are generally pretty cool). So I wanted to see how things were going, so we set off after breakfast to have a look around the National Park.
(Pyro and his very well set up Toyota, I’ve been riding with Pyro for over 25 years. He’s done a lot of four wheel driving with his family and is one of those quiet understated people who make things look easy)
On advice from then park ranger and publican we set off in the Prado. Firstly to the ‘Granites’ then to the ‘Woolshed Complex’. All the while keeping an eye out for the elusive Bilby.
There are two types of Bilbies, the ‘Greater Eared Bilby’, they are cute getting all the attention and then there are the ‘Lesser Eared Carnivorous Bilby’ (thought to be extinct in the 1950s, but that was a government cover up) they eat Swedish Back Packers. Here at the ‘Granites’ Yogi points to a burrow with the remains of Inga the Swedish Back Packers bones.
As we didn’t has any Swedish Back Packers to lure the evil Bilby out, we continued on to the Woolshed Complex. Now we weren’t sure if there was lots machinery components that made the place complex or that the place was small and it had a complex because of that.
This place was a bit of a gem, lots of the old machinery, well preserved shearing shed, tally office, shearer’s quarters, butchers chop shop, boss shearers quarters, pretty much a Woolshed Complex.
Right next to the woolshed was a Bilby information display complete with funky sculpture, information panels and a 15 meter replica of the fence. You see the location of the enclosure is a secret so people won’t upset the bloody Bilbies! FFS I’ve donated money and rode 1000km to some God forsaken hellhole next to the bloody desert, I don’t want to see some figgen replica, I want the real thing.
Large pick of sign> http://people.aapt.net.au/~groovin/desert_ride/d306.JPG
As the day was getting on a bit, the others weren’t keen on looking for it, so we went back to Hungerford and got kitted up to go riding.
Notice how clean, happy and shiny we all look. How long do you think that will last?
Heading south across the border into New South Wales, this is the Dog Fence. Personally I think this fence is locked when the State of Origin Football is on to keep the southerners out of the Pub.
With the cool change came a howling southerly that blew all night and still a gale. The track to Wanaaring was loose with plenty of drifting sand, Tank and Yogi struggled in sections. This was supposed to be an easy run. At the intersection of the Bourke road we were warned the surface was a bit dodgy for the 10km ride into town. Dodgy is a good way to describe pot-holed corrugated loose sandy rocky poor excuse for a road!
At the Wanaaring Caravan Park & Store (well critiqued from the OCR – Off Centre Rally held every two years with at least 200km of dirt riding) their supply trailer had succumbed to the poor road conditions to Bourke and there was no fresh food for sandwiches etc, so we settled for some fried chicken pieces.
Riding west from town the road was in far better condition and we made good time. Arriving at Mt. Wood camp site in the Sturt National Park, 20km east of Tibooburra with a couple of hours of day left. We set up camp with the only argument being about how beer there needed to be in the fridge.
The Brisbane guys had pre-cooked meals, tonight it was Tank’s spicy spare ribs. Everything was going along well, then a group of four wheel drives rocked up, setting up camp. They were nice enough but insisted on lighting up the camp site with all their LED flood lights and sang ‘Kumbaya’ type songs!
210km riding for the day 1430km total, Tiger making the ride easy (especially with no luggage). In the soft sections it was a case of point, roll the power on and the bike just does it. Yogi took a while to get on with the DRZ some of the clips from his GoPro were entertaining, Tank, making a return to riding was slowly getting into the groove.