19-Jul-2014 -- Man, this was a tough confluence to achieve. 25 kilometres at roughly 206° degrees from our parked position of the WAPET Track. This is not the sort of country you would want to tackle on foot. Our chosen jump off point was on a high point, the track following the top of a broad laterite ridge.
Looking out to the South, a vast plain of some 10 kilometres stretched out to the mother of all sand dunes shimmering in the distance. We had sort of hoped that the heat haze may have had some lensing effect that magnified the size of the dune... it didn’t. This dune was a monster and let me say that some of the ones behind that were even worse. My Garmin indicated 50 metres difference between the floor of the dune corridor and the peaks of some of the dunes. So mighty were they that we were forced to tackle them obliquely, there was simply no way we could have crossed them with a straight line assault.
In many areas, the growth was so thick as to be impenetrable and we were forced to stop and had to back out. This area has not been blessed by the cleansing touch of fire in many a year and is in severe need of cool season patch burning. Our first ten kilometres was mainly negotiating a spinifex covered laterite plain, weaving amongst the many creeks that drained the heights and dodging the odd rocky ridge. The dunes came thick and fast after that with 34 dunes crossed in 10.25 kilometres. There be monsters here!
We were feeling the effects of both the thick scrub and the nerve wracking dune crossings, some of which had taken 6 or more attempts to ascend. On cresting the last dune we were rewarded with a view to the South across another laterite plain that rose slowly off into the distance. Correcting our heading by a few degrees we completed the last 5.75 kilometres easily.
The confluence sits in the midst of this broad plain, isolated with the surrounding flora being predominantly spinifex. There is very little in the way of larger trees and shrubs around. The plain stretches another 20 kilometres to the South and many kilometres to the East and West, slowly narrowing as the dunes encroach.
It took us nearly three hours to complete the crossing on our quads and another 2.5 hours return, it being near dusk on our return.