20-Nov-2005 -- On the way to my last of four confluences for the week end, I was pondering how I would go about this one. Because it lies relatively far away from any public road or track. So I had a back up plan just in case. I was to try from the North first and if it didn't work out, I was going to try from South East. I filled up with fuel in Wilcania $1.01 for LPG. Not the cheap $0.59 I'm used to in Mildura. Not that I had a choice anyway. I drove onto the Barrier Highway then found the plan A turn off. A dirt road (what else) that took me to some lovely views of sweeping long grass and sparse trees.
I came to a first gate: unlocked. Good so far. A second one, same story. A third, same. The fourth one required to contact the owners prior to entering the property. I was 15 kilometres from the confluence, too far to walk this time. Plan B was a long way away and what if it didn't work. I took a chance and passed the gate, making sure I closed it behind me as I had found it (an elementary rule of the outback is to leave a gate the way you find it). I had driven a few hundred metres only when I came up to a house. I knocked at the door and got to talk to the owner of the station who invited me in for a cup of coffee. He was very helpful and friendly. He offered to drive with me to the actual confluence so we hopped in my car and soon were on our way.
I'm glad John was with me because i would have gone the wrong way. We drove along a fence then I said I would be a few minutes, that the confluence was only a kilometre to the south. He would have none of that and he drove my car as I was sitting in the passenger seat, showing him which way to go as he was dodging trees (fallen and standing) and drove straight up to the point which was a couple of steps away from the spot. That was my first real off road experience. On the way back, I had a thousand and one questions for John about life on a station. He obliged patiently to every single one of them and educated me on etiquette about outback stations. I am truly thankful to John Elliott a real genleman, and his wife Dianne for their help and hospitality while I was poking around on their land in search of something that is of little interest to them but which meant a great deal to me.
I left the station the way I came and headed home via Ivanhoe, and Balranald. I was so excited about visiting all four confluences I had set out to see and seeing my family again that I forgot to keep an eye on the speed I was driving at. I drove 1633 kilometres for the whole trip and would you believe it I got a speeding ticket less than 25 kilometres from home. Thanks to the officer's leniency who didn't write it out to as big an amount as it should have been. I'm $75 poorer but 4 brand new confluences richer.