05-Aug-2009 -- Continued from 27S-126E.
Once back to the Connie Sue Highway, we headed south for our next intended diversion from the Connie Sue, turning off on the Sydney Yeo Range Track. Permission and permits for this section of track took the longest. While most permits can take up to 2 weeks to be approved and issued, at first it looked like this section of the trip was going to be out of bounds. Because of the location of this track through Aboriginal land, the permits took 7 weeks to be approved, having to be passed through various Aboriginal permit sections in Perth, Alice Springs and finally Warburton Community for their approval.
On reaching the turn off, a sign at the start of the track had many in the group concerned, as it stated that this was a private road and not to travel this section of track. Even though we did have approval, many in the group did not want to travel this section of track. Out with the Satellite Phone and I rang the Alice Springs Phone number on the sign. Explaining the situation to the Lady in the Aboriginal Council office, and our permit details, we were again given the green light to proceed on this very remote section of track.
The remoteness and isolation of this track meant that it was a very long time since any vehicles had travelled it, evident by Spinifex as high as the bonnet of our four wheel drive over the track and the very thick vegetation now slowly taking over the track. The drive out was constantly changing from dense stands of Mulga, open Spinifex covered plains, to sand dune country with the tall and majestic Marble Gums. Along the way, we had many encounters with wild camel, some being quite curious at our approach, while others would run off at our approach. The final 10 kilometres after leaving the Sydney Range turnoff petered out completely and it was slow as you go, making our way to the closest point to the confluence.
Due to the “Cross Country” nature of our track in, when we reached a point as close as possible to the confluence, I was greeted to the sound of a very fast deflating front tyre. Repairing the puncture before heading off, it was a very easy walk through stands of Mulga and Marble Gums. The real giveaway that we were near the exact location, was a star picket left by the previous group in 2007. My advice to any would be first time confluence seekers, is do not leave any traces of your visit, as this man made object is so out of place in this truly remote and pristine location. The dense stands of mulga at the location made the usual confluence dance take a little longer to get those magic numbers, then the required photos.
Once back in our vehicles, it was a slow retreat from this remote area and yet more punctures to be encountered by the group. The final tyre tally for this track, was one tyre ruined by a large side wall puncture and one puncture on my vehicle, and a further 3 punctures by the other vehicle. One day later and back on to the Connie Sue Highway, it was further south for another awaiting confluence.
Continues at 28S-126E.