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Simpson Desert - Hay River 2009


Day 19 - The Desert - Eyre Creek Bypass

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We departed from our camp 19kms west of Poeppels Corner on the French Line at 8.05am heading for the Eyre Creek Bypass. Hayden driving the Patrol was the first to get stuck on a sand dune as we all warmed up for the dunes. Ivan’s windscreen remained intact but was like a Kaleidoscope in the morning sun beams as he crested each dune.

A morning tea stop at Poeppels corner ensured our NT girl was able to stand in her home territory – well just for a few minutes anyway.  Following morning tea we stopped to help a fellow 4wd’er with a tyre change. Despite being in the desert there was a reasonable amount of traffic and a few were not so good at securing their load as we collected 3 motor bike tyres and a tarp. Banter over the radio suggested we might swap them for beer yet all we received when they caught us up at lunch was a polite ‘thanks’. The dunes remained interesting and challenging as Gerry took a vertical exit from a dune which we can only assume resulted in squeals of delight from his passengers!

Many a laugh was had at the novel CB call signs we heard through the day. Radio chatter seemed to indicate that Eyre Creek could be crossed and the detour avoided. One vehicle took the detour route and others advanced to investigate whether the track was really open. The ranger talked Ivan through. A mud pit prior to the river crossing was enjoyed by all, however mumbles over the radio indicated Ivan needed to be pulled out. We took the river crossing with Steve yet again losing his number plate but miraculously it was found by Ben. After leaving the ranger at the river enjoying his cuppa we pushed on only to discover another river crossing. Darren walked it to his waist and then took his Patrol across. It stopped just short of the far bank and needed a snatch out with Hayden climbing out the window, across the roof and down to attach the strap.

We all chose not to follow the Patrol and planned to venture down the river a little further for a possible alternative crossing. Almost simultaneously we received word across the radio that Steve in the Navara had discovered a pot hole and experienced a spontaneous ‘shocky’ problem. The team pulled together again establishing camp and commencing bush mechanic repairs on the Navara. Around the campfire we discussed that the trip was definitely not about the destination but the journey.



Poeppel's Corner



A replica of the original post



Onwards to the Eyre Creek Bypass - so green!



Leanne's view - lovely thick bush



Ivan's view - not quite such a sight!



We had been called through by the Ranger, but had missed a turn to the south



A bit like glue



Darren was happy to help, but he wasn't going anywhere near! - Two snatch straps for this one



Tim followed sedately across the river



Cam too



Gerry calls this sedate



And Steve followed Gerry



Losing "Another" number plate - luckily found and presented by Ben



Darren continues on to the main channel - and walks it to make sure that he's happy



All sorted, he progresses towards the far bank



Nope, not today - luckily (though arranged prior) there was another car there to pull him out



Meanwhile Benny and Helen had gone around the bypass proper - seeing the best herd of camels for the trip.



We came across Steve - not quite thumbs up - he had a severely bent shock



<>We decided to make camp here on the Eyre Creek Bypass so that we could fix Steve's car while the rest of the camp had Happy Hour

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What the shock should have looked like (this is the right side)

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What the left side looked like!
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Dr Steve, having put the spacer on his replacement shock (lucky we had the right spares!), fits the shock in place
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We needed pressure from below, and from an angle to push the boot of the shock in place - not normally a challenge, but the spacer on the shock meant things were pretty tight

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