Morris Pass Lookout

Saturday morning seven weeks ago, the day started not very good, as I got a flat tyre at the rear left side. I already expected something like this, as this tyre was a bit low on air the evening before. So I needed to change the tyre before breakfast, as it gets very soon very hot. The main problem was the old jack, as it’s a hydraulic and and two pistons should come out. But unfortunately only one piston got fully out. In essence, the problem was not to get the old flat tyre away from the hub, but to put the spare tyre back onto it. With the help of a large branch for some intermediate support – luckily we were in an area with some trees, I could put the jack underneath another point and finally lift up the car high enough. The whole procedure took more than one hour, and I was fully covered in dust afterwards. As we had mobile reception, we could have called also someone from the community and ask for some assistance, just in the worst case. After a few minutes drive we finally arrived in Papunya. Only the general store was open, where we could refill our jerry cans with water, which wasn’t possible the day before in Yuendumu. There was no possibility to get the broken tyre repaired, even as one of the store employees had a look to it, well I still had a second spare tyre…just for these cases. It was Saturday, so also the Art centre was closed, which Meg was interested in. It’s interested that in the communities the general stores as well as the art centres always get managed by white people. And these are, beside the police offficers, typically the only white persons in the communities. The gravel road for the next section was definitely more often used, than the section before. Hence, the corrugations were a bit more severe. At the mountain of Haast Bluff we stopped, as there was a memorial for the early white explorers, which travelled also along here. Shortly afterwards we arrived in the community of Haasts Bluff. The people were very friendly, and invited us to come over and have a chat. We asked, if we can drive the shortcut directly to the Mereenie loop. We were forwarded to the traditional owners of the land, and first they were a bit sceptical, but in the end they granted us permission to drive to Tarawara Bore and from there onto a track to the Mereenie loop. The road to Tarawara bore was well maintained and graded. The traditional owners told us to stop by the farmer, who’s checking the bore for the cattle. But as we arrived at the bore, we couldn’t see anybody. Hence, we just continued the drive onto a track. The track was not too bad. I just slowed down and it took some time to drive all the way to the Mereenie loop. I guess there might be a car fortnightly driving here, as the traces are not very prominent. Shortly before we arrived at the Mereenie loop road, we had some lunch. The Mereenie loop road to the Morris Pass was heavily corrugated. It was definitely a long time since the last grader came by. From the Morris Pass lookout we could already see the mountain ridge of the Kings Canyon.

Morning Work
Haast Bluff
That’s always a good sign…that you’re on the right way. I understand that the distances are long here in the outback. But speeding, especially during night, combined with fatigue is fatal
After Haasts Bluff we drove in Western direction between two mountain ridges, that’s the one to the right (North of us)
Suddenly something like a forest emerged between the sand dunes
We drove around the western extend of the MacDonell ranges
The sand of the track is still in virgin conditions
Finally made it to the Mereenie loop
In the distance you can see the…no, not the flaring at the Mereenie oil & gas field…but the MacDonell ranges
Lookout from the Morris Pass to the south

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