09-Oct-2012 -- Our great mate and fellow bush traveller Damian McMahon died suddenly in July at the age of 53. He had always wanted to visit a confluence but we ran out of time on our last desert trip in 2011. Under the banner of 'Damo's Confluence Trip' several of his friends, and three of his four sons set out to visit some confluences in the western desert region of Central Australia.
The twelve of us either flew or drove to our starting point in Alice Springs. After provisioning and picking up a fourth vehicle we headed north west along the Tanami Road to Yuendumu. The next day, with the consent of the traditional owners, we travelled to Nyrripi.
Our first confluence lies some 18 km to the east of a track that runs between the community of Nyrripi and the Sandy Blight Junction. The track isn't mapped, but can be traced on Google Earth.
Conditions had been quite warm on the 8th when we reached the point on the track from which we would launch our attempt. We drove along the swale between the dunes through heavy spinifex and other vegetation. After some 3 km of heavy going, and the temperature at 41 degrees, we decided to camp for the night.
Just after sunrise on the morning of the 9th we set off again in three of our four vehicles, leaving the camp site and heavy items behind.
After about 15 km of spinifex and scrub we closed on the confluence. There was an eerie silence in this remote part of the desert. We were excited by approaching our first CP, but mindful of how our absent mate Damian would have loved this adventure.
On foot, we located the confluence, took photos and drank in the moment.
Continued at 26S 128E.