05-May-2008 -- Travelling on the abandoned section of the Gunbarrel Highway towards Yulara on the spur of the moment we decide to “conquer” the Confluence S 25° E 128°. We choose a spot on the track that is as close as possible to the confluence point and hide the vehicles in the bushes. From here we will have to walk some 4.5 km through the bush.
This is Aboriginal country and with the permit we have we are not really supposed to leave the track. But we will be on foot and hope that they won't spot us in the few hours we will require to get to the confluence point and back to the vehicles again.
Because of the warm day we only leave the vehicles at 3 PM (still 32°C), well equipped with hats, GPS, lots of water and wearing long trousers because of the Spinifex we will have to cross. On the way to the confluence point we don't encounter any unexpected obstacles and reach it in the planned time. After the picture session for the report on the confluence web page we head straight back. If all goes well we should reach the vehicles at nightfall.
To make the walk back a bit more interesting we decide to try to find our way back just by using the compass and orienting on trees and nature features.
But it gets dark about 10 minutes before we reach the vehicles and we are forced to get the GPS out to find the vehicles. We find that we are close but never close enough to find the vehicles in the bush. We would have missed the vehicles by approx. 350 meters which even in daylight would have been too much to spot them in the bush. Lousy scouts!
Exhausted but happy we have a well deserved warm shower and soon after dinner all are in bed.
Coordinator's Note: Would any potential future visitors please note that that heading out West from Yulara means that you are travelling through Aboriginal Land and you will be required to get permits.