Day 5 ‘The Old Strzelecki Track’ to Innamincka.
With the daily ritual of caffeine, bacon & egg sandwiches and prescription drugs done, it was time to put out the fire, clean the camping area, pack and hit the track.
Flash was having a ride on Tanks bike, heading north we intersected the ‘Strzelecki Track’, this is where we really made a blue. Sand riding was not working for Flash, I thought he was doing well. We decided to head east then north along the ‘Strzelecki Track’.
Things were looking good until 20km south of Innamincka. Fair dinkum, Fred Flintstone must have built this piece of shitty road. The suspension was copping a flogging picking a clean line was next to impossible, Yogi lost his number plate, at one stage I hit a rock so hard it broke my lower front mud guard and mounts also later found a bend in the rim – grrrr.
Despite the bone jarring ride we all arrived safely at Innamincka. Booked into our accommodation to be told that they had double booked the Bunkhouse, but we would be upgraded to the flash rooms, score! It was also getting hot, so we had to have a few drinks in the bar to cool down with.
Just how bad are roads out here? ‘Old Mate’ in the VW had broken a drive line while doing the Father/son holiday bonding thing. Cost him a shit load of money to get towed, then get the part transported up. The 13YO son races RC cars and was quite handy with the repair. So in the end they had a good but expensive bonding trip. VW reckon that ‘nobody had ever done that before’, naturally!
For our overseas readers, Innamincka is a rather special place in Australian history. Ill-fated explorers Burke and Wills meet their deaths on the banks of the Cooper Creek near the township, mainly because they were pretty hopeless Bushmen. There is bit of reading to make sense of the whole sorry tail.
For us it good to see these places first hand to see what they endured and putting that part of the countries folklore into prospective.
The ‘Dig Tree’ at camp 65
The face of Burke carved by Bushman John Dick 1898 (50 years after the ‘Dig Tree’ incident)
Did I mention it was hot? The Queensland part of the road back to Innamincka. The South Australian part of the road is the aforementioned rocky road from hell.
Stupid horses standing in the midday sun.
When you get to 50, an afternoon nap is quite ok.
Meanwhile Flash was giving this Truckie a hand to load a crashed Harley. This bloke was a funny bastard! He was going off about the ‘complete dickhead who tried to ride that piece of shit out here, had no fuckin’ idea what he was doing, look at the front tyre nearly completely bald’ then he went on to tell us stories of having to load up 4x4’s that ‘city fuckwits who drive too fast for the conditions’ had totalled, the best stories were of the wives that had ‘totally lost their shit’ with the lets go explore the outback trip!
If you find something lying about in the bush, place it next to a bowser and people will photograph it.
Map shows us travelling the Old Strzelecki Track, gave up trying to get it to work.
We only did 89km, which was planned so we could do the touristy thing. Cable ties came to the rescue with the front guard.