Lake Boga – Days 1 to 4 of 180
Well, we are finally under way. Unfortunately, it was raining but that couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm to be finally started.
The trip today was 360 klms with rain showers all the way. One benefit was that it was a cool day for driving so no stress on the vehicles. My average fuel consumption was 16.5 litres per 100 klms. One thing I had realized is that the largest cost for this trip will be fuel so I will keep a running total as it may be of interest to some of you when I fill up.
Our nice clean vehicles are now filthy as the last 10 klms into Lake Boga was across roadworks which was very muddy and slippery.
Here it is nice and clean (above) and now the mud (below). Will not be washing it for awhile as we have many other dirt roads to get through in the coming weeks.
As you can see behind the trailer the weather is very ordinary here at the moment with a few showers and a cold wind thrown in. We have had three days of this now and the batteries are going down. This morning mine was at 61% and Greg’s is down to 41%. Very happy with mine as you can run Lithium batteries down a lot further than AGMs. At this rate with no solar input, I can last another two days at least before I need to start the car and plug the trailer in to charge the battery. In the planning stages we had decided that we would be off grid without having a petrol generator which is saving on space and the carrying of petrol. All our power would come from our vehicles whilst driving or from the solar on our roofs plus blankets. Solar blankets are out and even with minimal sun the batteries are charging albeit very slowly.
My trailer has 380 watts of solar units plus I have a high capacity 250w solar blanket to help charge the Enerdrive 200aH Lithium battery. For the car I have a Baintech 180w portable solar blanket to help charge the 72aH Topograghy lithium battery which runs the fridge & the travel buddy oven (to heat up pies & pizza on the road – it will cook a roast in a pinch although it would take a while).
We may have to change our plans slightly as this rain event has forced road closures to the north of us in Mungo NP. All the places we intend to visit are also closed or under advisement of closure and may take some time to dry out. Our stay here has now been extended so we are busy planning the alternates. This was why I have not booked anything in advance so we would have the most flexibility.
I snapshotted this image from the South Australian roads department. Our plan is to take the Oodnattta Track up into the Northern territory via Wilpeena Pound. As you can see from the image those roads in RED are closed to all travel, YELLOW advised not to travel, BLUE under advisement and GREEN are open. We will be watching this site for updates although current plan does not put us into this area for at least 30 days.
Sunset last night was a bonus even if it was cloudy. This was taken on my iPhone. There is some birdlife around us and the following two images were taken using my Canon 1D x & a Canon 100-400mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. The big guns are still sleeping in their bags in the back of the car waiting for better opportunities. Here two shots to show what was next to our camp.
Welcome swallows will use anything for a perch
Noisy Miner telling his friends where the food was.
The main reason our first stop was in this small town was to see the Catalina Museum. A very good small museum with a PBY-5 Catalina restored from parts found in the local countryside by the local Lions Club. The airbase was setup here in secret in 1942 as there was a major fear of the Japanese invading Australia at the time. It was a major airbase for all types of seaplanes from not only the Australian Air Force but the Dutch Air Force and then the United States Air Force. Many different aircraft types were rebuilt and repaired here including Consolidated PBY Catalinas, Martin PBM Mariners, Sunderland Flying Boats & the Vought OS2U Kingfisher. From here aircraft were launched back into the fray to bomb & mine Japanese bases all through New Guinea and as far north as Hong Kong. It was closed in 1947 and many of the remaining aircraft and their parts were sold for scrap. A sad ending to some of the most graceful aircraft that ever flew.
As a child I was lucky enough to fly on a TAA Sunbird flight using Catalinas from Daru, where my parents were teachers, to Port Moresby. It was very exciting sitting down the back under the cupolas as the mighty engines roared and the water cascaded over me as it plowed down the Fly River to get to takeoff speed. So, I have always been fascinated by old warbirds turned to peaceful purposes but that is another story of my growing up in a strange land.
Here are some shots
And finally, one from Greg as he starting to learn a new skill using my Canon M6 with an adapter onto a canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II. Not bad with a little coaching.
After being forced to move after four days of rain and heavy cloud due to Greg’s critical battery power situation we stayed for one night in the Lake Boga Caravan Park. Whilst it was very nice and the amenities were clean the night noise of the trucks rattling by all night meant a very bad nights sleep. Sorry but I could not recommend this stay to anyone. however the camping spots without power on the other side of the lake with toilets and showers but no power were excellent value at $7.50 a night.
Today we have finished packing and on our way to Lake Crosbie in Murray – Sunset NP just near Underbool. This journey will be via Sea Lake, Lake Tyrell, Patchewollock, Walpeup & Underbool – a drive of 4 hours but that will be in the next instalment.
Until next time…………..