• Thewhiteox

Day 15 : Middle camp (Hay River Track)

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

The people at Batton Hill last night were other campers after all, they were four all in all - a family of three with a sweet boy of around 12 years old, plus the Dad’s friend from school. They’re from Moree and Toowooma, so of course we have mutual friends- that’s how it goes in the outback.

We chatted a while outside the Ox, just after we’d finished breakfast, they seemed nice. I got the feeling the school friend may have recently lost his wife 🙁. We set off reasonably early, after a hot shower courtesy of the group starting up the donkey boiler (fire heated boiler) and it still being lovely & warm for us after they left (they insisted we must hurry to enjoy the warm water 😊 that’s classic Aussie bush for ya). We were aiming for lake Caroline, but got to the intersection at around 1pm, figured the scenery would probably not be that great at this time of year when it’s all dried up, similar to what we’d already seen, but probably not as interesting as the Canning, and decided to push on towards this camp.

The landscape is quite monotonous, but pretty, we’re following the Hay River Bank, which means no real dunes to cross, and it doesn’t change much, but it’s still lovely, the track is fairly windy, we can generally leave it in 2nd in H4, and turn the hand throttle to about 1600 revs, which makes around 20-30kph, and you only really have to steer around steep turns, otherwise the ox just follows the tracks that are already there, so it’s pretty relaxing driving. We passed a herd of camels, with a huge bull, he was massive.

Middle camp spot

We took over the other group as they let down their tyres on the road, we could hear them talk on the UHF for a while but must have soon gone out of range. We got to this camp around 5pm, a great time to stop, just as the sun was starting to glow. I had a bucket shower, which felt great, and we put the blanket down to laze around. I used a wet cloth to clean Jade’s skin as he lay there, and then put oil on him to give him a massage for his sore shoulder. I cooked us dinner, Thai red curry, which he loved, the stars were pretty great (as usual). Next Up: Day 16 - Madigan Camp 16 (Meeting the Smithsonian Expedition Group)

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