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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Default A road trip - destination unknown

    Heading off on a road trip, thanks to help from AF's the D has its new wiring harness installed, and a new laminated windscreen that supersedes the toughened one. The screen was plenty thick enough came thru Denton Christie, from Japan I think, oh and I decided to do it with the bonnet off, can't say it was my favourite job. Couldn't find mastic tape so used Butile Mastic is a tube.
    We intend to head west then north, rear seat is out and two spares take up the rear cushion space.
    I thought I may post trip notes if there is any interest. Our last big drive was from Perth to home.

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    Cheers
    Steve
    Last edited by Big Frog; 20th June 2018 at 10:49 PM.
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    Love going on trips like this. Best is when you take an old penny and flick it when you get to an intersection - heads for right and tails for left. I used to do this with my son in our 203 during the school holidays (bit hard now as he now has a missus and two kids of his own). You would be surprised how far you go and where it leads you.

    An ongong update on where, when and how the chariot is behaving and going would be greatly appreciated.

    FLASH

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    JBN
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    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there". Keep us informed as to where you are with a picture or two.


    John

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    Just started preparations for a road trip in the D special from Melbourne to Noosaville Qld return the first two weeks of July. Last time I did the trip I used the “walk” button on google maps. Took me along some great secondary roads. We plan on going up through western NSW and back down the coast/ hinterland...
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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    I thought there was mention of Central Australia in an recent thread introduction. Change of plan?

    Cheers, Ken

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    Hi Ken,
    You recall correctly, our very loose plan is to head to the Centre, 'god willing and the creeks don't rise'.
    We managed to get away late today, managed to sort most things on the car, as noted earlier we removed back seat cushion and back, installed a temporary ply partion between boot and passenger compartment, this a effort to increase storage ( not wreak seat cushion) and reduce dust ingress.
    2 spare tyres strapped down in cushion position. Hooked up a phone /GPS charger point between front seats. Car runs out of rego soon, so it has its check Tuesday, they put it on the hoist and disappeared for another job. This is when I noticed a drip, a green drip, not a green coolant drip,more like your LHM drip, from the front pan. As the puddle grew on the floor, the mechanic returned, I guess not being familiar with Citroens he either didn't see it or dismissed it as radiator coolant.
    Pink slip acheived, back to the garage, duct out and the culprit was feed to right brake, needed a slight nip up.
    Also noticed I had managed to loose 2 vent caps off the battery, from a recent charging ( long story) had not retightened afterwards , replaced with some donated by local auto elect.
    Camping gear and bread crumbs all stowed in car and a short run to Dubbo for tonight.
    Tomorrow - more west.A road trip - destination unknown-image.jpg
    Steve

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    If you get that far, Geraldton is a short drive up the road from Perth.

    Theres a granny flat, workshop and a lunatic DS fanatic just around the corner (DCoupe) with a hoist in his garage who has forgotten more about Citroens than most people will ever know.

    There's wine to be drunk, and friendly dogs to keep your feet warm in these bitterly cold winters and huge blue skys.

    And of course the Great Central Rd to take you home...

    Happy travels...
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exfrogger View Post
    If you get that far, Geraldton is a short drive up the road from Perth.

    Theres a granny flat, workshop and a lunatic DS fanatic just around the corner (DCoupe) with a hoist in his garage who has forgotten more about Citroens than most people will ever know.

    There's wine to be drunk, and friendly dogs to keep your feet warm in these bitterly cold winters and huge blue skys.

    And of course the Great Central Rd to take you home...

    Happy travels...
    And some good Citroen folk in Perth for that matter!
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    JohnW

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    I don't think we will reach the west coast this trip it's great to know there is a support network out there of knowledgeable people. Our car came from WA before we acquired it, it probably could find it way back one day.

    Dubbo has been departed, after a few errands, onto the highway - west.
    We were trying to solve a quiz proposed on a roadside sign just past Nevertire, that attempts to entice you to Warren. " Last town with a blokes name for 200 KMs.'
    When a truck going the other way through up the stone that chipped the windscreen. Right in the middle, but my cunning plan worked, had the old toughened one been in, that would have ended the trip.
    Made good time, car running well, but we came across a series of super wide loads of mining truck parts in convoy ahead. We spent about an hour in convoy before we could safely pass under instruction.
    ( Pic of wide load and new windscreen chip)

    A road trip - destination unknown-img_20180622_124006.jpg
    Despite our slow start we figured we could make a dash for Broken Hill before the late afternoon animal carnage, there were a few roos keen to cross our path, but we arrived safely in BH around 4.45.
    A road trip - destination unknown-img_20180622_153826.jpg
    Steve

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    What a bummer! And a new screen too. Might be worth picking up and applying one of those windscreen repair kits from a garage, spare parts or hardware store. Nyngan, Cobar or Bourke (or Brkn Hill) should stock one. You can almost make the damage invisible but more importantly, the repair will stop any cracks developing that could force you to get another new 'screen sent up from Denton.

    Are you going via Broken Hill or turning north to Bourke? We're currently at Birdsville in SW Qld but will be making our way soon to Cunnamulla just north of Bourke. Our trip is in the caravan and 4WD and suffering DS withdrawal just now, so I would love to meet a Cit steaming up towards us in the far west. But, wherever you go, this is a beautiful time of year to be travelling inland. Cool nights but very dry, clear balmy days. Enjoy.

    Ken

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    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Hi Ken,
    Picked up a repair kit today in the Broken Hill for the screen, we are heading more west tomorrow rather than your way, sorry.
    A road trip - destination unknown-img_20180623_165358.jpgA road trip - destination unknown-img_20180623_090804.jpg
    Spent the day around the Hill and out to Kinchega NP, had some breakfast out past Silverton first thing, saw the big new AGL wind farm under construction.
    Found another Citroen albeit a Berlingo at Silverton for sale.
    A road trip - destination unknown-img_20180623_100530.jpg
    Tomorrow - more west into SA.
    Steve
    Last edited by Big Frog; 24th June 2018 at 08:33 AM.

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    JBN
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    I remember the lookout in the first photo, where we had a sundowner on our first Taste of the Outback trip.

    Silverton, what a place. Mad Max territory. I remember in the old courtroom there is a story of someone in the old days, sawing someone's wooden leg off. I think the only charge they could apply was cutting timber without a permit.

    You mentioned kangaroos on the way to Broken Hill, but what about all the goats? Apparently they round a lot of them up and ship them to the Middle East. Best meat for kebabs and the wild Aussie goats are free range and very cheap to farm. They breed like rabbits, find their own feed and all they have to do is round them up and sell them.

    Are you/have you visited White Cliffs?

    John

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    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Hi NBNYes plenty of goats around Cobar and onwards, the vegetation is drought stressed and smashed from goats that browse and climb the plants to feed. The economics of the feral goat industry ensures their numbers are not reduced and not treated as a pest, I guess. No side trip to White Cliffs this time, we have been there any times, but it is always nice to swing by and see what has changed and take in another sunset and the lovely non mainstream lifestyles.
    Going left across the map today.
    Steve

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    Two years ago we noted that the goats pretty much stopped at the SA border, and were replaced (in terms of numbers seen) by emus. It was a wet winter - no idea what you'll find in this dry year - a lot of hungry emus I suspect!

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Not to worry Steve. If you stop at Peterborough in SA, there is a really good rail museum in place. Peterb. was a major regional rail centre back in the day. Also quite a remarkable motor cycle museum town (unless it's been sold off recently), if you're interested in some of the older and rare bikes. Lot of interesting stuff in SA, Wilpena Pound towards the north and then the tricky choice of the Barossa, Clare or McLaren Vale to top up your tanks.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    I'd second that. Peterborough is a charming place well worth visiting. There are a couple of Renault 4CVs there somewhere too... The drive to Port Augusta through Horrock's Pass is worthwhile too.

    Cheers
    JohnW

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    JBN
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    I'll second Horrock's pass if going to/from Peterborough , though normally I go from Hay via Morgan enroute to Port Augusta. One of my dog handlers in the Tracker Platoon in Vietnam used to be the ferry master at Morgan so I always try to look him up.

    John

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I'll second Horrock's pass if going to/from Peterborough , though normally I go from Hay via Morgan enroute to Port Augusta. One of my dog handlers in the Tracker Platoon in Vietnam used to be the ferry master at Morgan so I always try to look him up. John
    That's nice! Not much of Morgan but the river is always lovely. One Renault trip from Perth to Junee in 2013 or 2015 we did Port Augusta to Peterborough via Horrock's Pass and on to Morgan and Mildura that night. My co-driver's mother came from Peterborough and I first learned how to remove a Renault 4CV cylinder head there back in 1967.... Same co-driver, come to think of it. Some friends are crazy.
    JohnW

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    Hi all,
    Well not any emus even hungry ones, landscape looks a tad better than western NSW but dry ASA chip.
    We drove to Yunta turned right into the dirt and found a ' borrow pit' on a station road, fantastic, quiet. Heading thru Leigh Creek now , going north
    Steve

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    Good choice - love the solitude on the Yunta to Hawker road - less traffic than on the Oodnadata track. Corrugations can be a pain though!

    Two years ago (almost to the day) all unsealed roads in that region were closed by widespread rain - this (sealed) road is actually in SW Qld, but you get the picture!


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cheers

    Alec
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  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    A bit of an update, been out of range, will keep an eye on the weather Alec.
    From Broken Hill west into Souh Australia. Turned off at Yunta toward Flinders Ranges on the dirt, spent an hour or so exploring the Morialpa mine ruins. Drive till around 4 on station roads, then found a nice ' borrow pit' near Martin's Well Station.
    Lovely and quiet.
    Next day had a wander around the creeks and headed off to Wirrealpa, Blinman, thru Parachilna Gorge, north up to Leigh Creek, had a pie at the Copley pie shop. Carried on to Farina to camp and visit the fantastic underground bakery that operates for a few months this time of year and manned by volunteers.
    Explored the old rail infrastructure and with baked goods on board trundled into Maree to top off the tank ($1.90 / litre). Then onto the Oodnadatta Track, spot of lunch at William Creek, and onward toward Oodnadatta, but pulled up short to make camp in a creek bed near a rail bridge, avoiding the bright lights and temptations of a big town. The track is in very good nick, but sharp stones and some bigger rock mean constant attention is required. We bumped some people in Marree who had gashed a tyre, a helpful traveller stones to assist and advised the spare would not fit, they deferred to his opinion , and had ther vehicle towed back to Leigh Creek, only to find they had everything they needed to change the tire and carry on, they confessed to being new to traveling in the bush?


    Broke camp very slowly, ice dry up for breakfast, rounds of tea and expresso, on the road around 10am. Trundled into Oodnadatta, topped off the tank, and continued on to Marla. Road variable, some newly graded sections and other with wicked sharp stones and grapefruit sized spherical sump cracking stones randomly along the way.
    Quick stop at Marla road house, swamped with dozens and dozens of shiny 4wd and campers and caravans. We were the only 2 WD and oldest vehicle by about 45 years!
    In terms of investment our camping outfit is sub $20k, everything else out here would be 100k plus.
    Northward, on the Highway and a nice break from steering around stones. Crossed in to the NT. Fueled up 70 K short of Alice Springs and ducked into Rainbow Valley conservation park, 25 KMs of sandy corrugations for a night camp under the stars.Clear skies, 18 degrees day temps, still and below 1 at night, frost on the tent.
    Thursday, slow start , early morning walk thru park, a few tweaks to car door latches , full of dust.
    Into Alice Springs, getting an exhaust rattle checked out, planning to have a look about.
    Steve

  22. #22
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    What a great trip. I've spent months in and around Marree - Curdimurka over the years, and up the Birdsville Track working on artesian bore matters - quite a historic and fascinating area.

    When I was first there in about 1968 in my Renault 4cv I guess, the Oodnadatta Track was just that, a track. Then, about 1985 I reckon they widened it, straightened it and graded it, and suddenly we had to wait for traffic to pass when we got there from Roxby Downs on the new Borefield Road! The majority of tourists appearing then were Victorian mid-sized 4WDs (like Pajeros waiting for their inevitable gearbox bearing failure....).

    More recently the Marree pub has been upgraded - before it went a long way down, later had a sensational wine cellar but that was right out of character and changed hands a few years ago to a couple escaping Canberra and doing a great job of running it!! Here's my last photo of the pub - for generations the largest building in the north of SA. Great area.....

    Enjoy the rest and DO NOT MISS the Transport Hall of Fame near the Alice Springs Airport.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A road trip - destination unknown-marree-hotel-kelpie-front-bar.jpg   A road trip - destination unknown-marree-hotel-tourists.jpg   A road trip - destination unknown-hermit-hill-borefield-road-junction-sml.jpg  
    JohnW

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    How does the DS handle corrugations - do you drop tyre pressures? The only time I've been in to Rainbow Valley the corrugations were wicked, but it was a hired vehicle and I didn't have an air pump, so couldn't drop pressures very much. If the exhaust rattle is your only problem, you've done very well!

    Sounds like you didn't allow much time for sightseeing along the 'track' - did you have a look at the mound springs round Coward Springs? We found these places where artesian water, usually hot and full of minerals, escapes to the surface some of the most fascinating things in the outback. The hill in the background is an extinct mound spring - built entirely from minerals precipitating out of artesian water. The pool in the foreground may eventually form a hill just as high (although human extraction means the pressure has dropped and less water now comes up naturally).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When exploring around Alice, don't neglect the East McDonalds - less tourists than the West Macs, but a lot to see and do - eg Arltunga, an abandoned gold mining town.

    Cheers

    Alec

    PS - more pictures please!
    Last edited by Armidillo; 28th June 2018 at 03:42 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Blanche's Cup then? That extinct spring complex in the background shows that surface erosion in the area is still active, much of it wind-caused I suspect.

    Fascinating area, and John McDouall Stuart's route to the north coast and back included these and other springs around the edge of the Great Artesian Basin, not to mention the Overland Telegraph and the original narrow gauge Ghan line to Oodnadatta and eventually Alice Springs.

    Cheers
    JohnW

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  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    Thanks for the input and perspective.
    Regards Rainbow park, yes the road in was very corrugated, but being late in the day we just soldered on to get to camp, and on the way out we just slowed right down and picked a line and it was much easier, but certainly a sh*t 25 K road.
    We certainly haven't seen every point of interest on this trip, for sure, we have both travelled here before ( not in a Desse), our method of travel is to enjoy 'out of the way'd spots and not always to see everything signposted. That's why it is a great adventure to come this way many times.
    Pictures?
    A road trip - destination unknown-track.jpg
    A bit of the Oodnadatta track, plenty wide.
    A road trip - destination unknown-quarry.jpg
    Quarry camp in the Flinders somewhere
    A road trip - destination unknown-shareimage20180628_145035.jpg
    Now that's breakfast!
    A road trip - destination unknown-northcamp244.jpg
    Camp at north creek, Oddnadatta.
    A road trip - destination unknown-bang.jpg
    Died of explosives
    Just as a note, whilst on the Oddnadatta track we did pass a fellow on a pushbike making his way north, also a fellow leading a camel with rider many many miles from anywhere, they were having a nice time.
    Exhaust was just a fatigued bracket, patched up in Alice, only other issue has been door latches but solved largely with lube and some adjustment.
    In any case it's a good trip so far, the missus is equally pleased, she enjoys the most minimal and remote campsite, and revels in the birds, plants and landscape supple variations.
    A day to sightsee in Alice tomorrow, and then thinking 800 KMs of dirt across the Plenty Hwy?

    Steve
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