01-Oct-2006 -- We have been planning a second attempt at this point for a couple of months since our previous unsuccessful attempt approaching from the south.
We camped at the same site we used last time and set off in the morning after topping up our fuel tanks. This time we only had two vehicles, a Nissan Navara and an old Nissan Terrano, Andy and Kate were back in Perth with their (now not so) shiny new X-Trail. We threw in extra spare wheels, fuel, a shovel, an axe plenty of water, food, a hand winch and other recovery gear. Out here you have to get yourself out of trouble because it can be months before anyone comes this way again.
After some pondering of topographic maps and Google Earth we decided to approach from the northern side this time, either through the scrub or up a creek depending on what looked easier at the time. Everything was a lot drier and hotter than last time we were here. Maximum temperatures were up around 38 degrees at 3pm so we wanted to get it over with early.
We left camp following the existing station tracks and saw a few feral camels about 10km west of the point, the male didn't seem too fussed by our vehicles and actually looked a little curious. Darren and Lee got a few photos of the camels and we continued on our way.
About 6km to the northeast of the point the terrain was rather flat - it looked like a clear run to the point with knee height spinifex grass, the odd waist height shrub and the occasional stand of 3 metre high trees.
We turned off the track and Headed toward the point, it was fairly slow going driving around the thickest of the vegetation and straight over everything else. It was still rather cool and (fortunately) we had the air conditioner off and the windows down. I staked a tyre and heard the air hissing out. We stopped and I managed to get a temporary repair plug jammed into the hole before the tyre was too damaged. We pumped it back up and continued on. Soon after that the other front tyre copped a stick too, this time through the side wall of the tyre by a branch about twice the size of a pencil. Surprisingly another repair plug actually sealed it and after pumping the front tyres up again we were off. Darren and Lee didn't get any punctures at all, on the same brand of tyres and pressures too.
About 300 metres from the point we crossed some tyre tracks, Bugger! Maybe someone has beaten us to it. Hopefully they haven't logged it (they had). Maybe they were just driving past (out here? not bloody likely!).
There was an area of bare rock that looked like a good place to park about 70 metres from the point. It didn't seem right just driving right over the point. We approached on foot and both Darren and myself, each with a GPS and camera in hand began the confluence dance as our bemused partners looked on.
I was about 3 metres from the small cairn the previous visitors had left before I saw it. They must be Geocachers because they left a tennis ball and an old match tin under the rocks. We added a poker chip key ring and a few more rocks. To those who beat us here by a week: Well done guys, It'll be interesting to read your story (and next time I'll check this site before we leave home!)
We took our pictures and returned to our vehicles, The first tyre we staked needed more air and there was a lot of spinifex and twigs that needed to be pulled out so we didn't start a fire.
To minimise disturbance to the environment we followed our tracks back out, a lot harder than it sounds, we had two vehicles driving the same line on the way in. I had the GPS track zoomed right in and we still had to zig-zag a few times to find the wheel tracks again. You can see how people get lost out here.
The Terrano was getting quite hot once we neared the track, once we got back onto the dirt road we stopped for a while and pulled the grass out of the radiator and out from the underneath the vehicles.
It was only about noon so we drove to a nearby abandoned station for a picnic lunch then on the way back to camp detoured via an abandoned mining camp. Once we got back I found abother stake and slow leak in a rear tyre.
So, four punctures resulting in three stuffed tyres, $300 dollars worth of diesel, 150 litres of water, plenty of beer and good food. What a great way to spend a weekend with some friends. Can't wait for the next one, it'll be a much more difficult than this one but what a great excuse to go camping. I urge those of you with easier points near you to get off your backsides and go bush and have a good time. In the end it really doesn't matter that we didn't get here first.