b'lake. Traffic on theanother driver who had a listen, and it was evident track so far had beenthat something was seriously amiss. An inspection reasonably light. Weunderneath revealed a broken left hand rear shock had been following aabsorber. After some roadside surgery, the broken group of two vehiclesshock was removed and we continued on our way to with a strange waycamp at Purnie Bore.of announcing theirA call was made to Mt Dare but as it was Sunday it position.Coming towasnt possible to arrange a replacement.a dune near you andDay 5:The road across the Spring Creek Delta was Cresting in 15, 10,badly corrugated and very rough. Due to the dusty 5. conditions and varied speeds over the corrugations After Poeppelthe convoy spread out considerably. We eventually Cnr we turned on toregrouped for the run into Dalhousie Springs, where the French Line wemost of the group enjoyed a dip in the warm waters continued for anotherof Dalhousie. After airing up our tyres we drove to Mt 25k and found a spot to set up camp. Dare, unsure of how long it would be before the Prado Day 3:Set off toward the Knolls Track junction,could be repaired.turning south to the Approdinna Attora Knolls. TheseDay 5(P.M.)Mt Dare.We arrived at Mt Dare are two flat topped gypsum hills, which hold greataround 1.00pm and booked into the campground. significance for the Aboriginal People. Enquiries were made about repairs to the Prado, only After morning tea at the Knolls car park, we headedto find that the mechanic was on a day off and no parts back to the French Line and continued our westwardcould be ordered as it was a public holiday in Alice journey. Up until now, the dunes hadnt been too bad,Springs.but as we went further west the dunes became moreWe filled in the afternoon refueling and checking cut up and presented more of a challenge. In mostour vehicles and generally relaxing until dinner in the cases there was more than one track over the dunes. evening.Mt Dare. By taking the harder option each time, we put ourDay 6:Today was scheduled in the trip driving skills and our vehicles ability to the test. Theplan as a rest day. Tony, the mechanic, checked the two Prados with their less powerful 96kw enginesPrado and ordered replacement shock absorbers from were equal to the task, while the V8 Cruiser ate theAlice Springs. dunes for breakfast. The Patrol, Colorado and HiLuxWe were told that the parts required for the Prado also tackled the rough and steep dunes successfully. would be sent overnight to Finke with the weekly We camped that evening 9km east of Colsonsupply run, and one of the Mt Dare staff would go to Junction, and all agreed that it had been the best daysFinke in the morning to collect the supplies.driving yet. We had an early dinner and spent a pleasant Day 4:We headed into more of the challengingevening around the campfire.dunes. On one particular dune, we noticed the ToyotaDay 7: Mt Dare to Old Andado.After breakfast it V8 struggle at the top, throwing giant rooster tails inwas a waiting game until the truck arrived back from the soft sand. There was no way the other vehiclesFinke. The supplies were unloaded and Tony started to were going to make it so we did the wise thing andwork onPrado.took the easier track.The repairs were completed and after lunch we Stopped for lunch at Wonga Junction, where thewere ready to be on our way. The service provided easier Rig Road commences. A group of Mini Mokesat this tiny isolated outback pub/store/garage is arrived heading East, and stalled on the first dune ofabsolutely outstanding. Shaynee and her excellent staff the French line. Theyare so friendly and helpful. 10 out of 10 Mt Dare!turned further southMt. Dare to Birdsville via the Madigan Line.to take the easierWith full stomachs and fuel tanks we started out on tracks of the Rig Roadour first leg toward the Madigan Line for our return and WAA Line. trip to Birdsville. We made good time on the Binns After WongaTrack to Old Andado and arrived in plenty of time to Junction the dunesset up camp and inspect the old homestead, which were much smallerhas been preserved in the same condition as Shen and presented noMolly Clarke left years ago to a nursing home in Alice challenge at all. It wasSprings.in this section that oneAfter another stunning sunset and dinner in the of the Prado driverscamp kitchen we settled into another pleasant reported loud bangingevening around the campfire.under her Prado. SheTo be continued.swapped vehicles with TRACKWATCH|December 2023 21'