Saturday 16 June 2012

Oz Trip - Day 46

Day 46 – 16/6/2012 – Chambers Pillar

Because the heater parts hadn't turned up by Friday and we were getting a bit bored sitting around camp, we decided to pack up and head out to Chambers Pillar for the night.

It took us about 3 ½ hours to do the 160 or so kilometres. The first part of the road to Chambers Pillar is alongside of the Old Ghan Railway and is the road that everyone used for camping along the rally track. After about 15,000 people had been along it in the last week or so, it was pretty rough.

On our way we also passed the same old guy on a push bike that we had passed on the Oodnadatta track! He was heading towards Alice Springs. Talk about doing it the tough way. I will take my air conditioned 4WD any day thanks!

There was a bit of a steep climb to a ridge that you had to cross. It gave fantastic views over the surrounding landscape and the pillar in the distance

Chambers Pillar just left of centre

It doesn't really depict the grade down unfortunatley
After setting up camp on a nice level campsite we went and explored the Pillar.

Camp site with Pillar in the background
Chambers Pillar
Chambers Pillar on the right, Castle Rock middle, don't know the name of the one on the left but I am calling it Skull Rock because if you look closely in the centre of it you can see a face.  When you zoom in it looks a bit like a skull.
We were a bit miffed that according to the sign below, NT Parks doesn't think that our names carved into the rock would be "significant" in 150 years or so - "These old engravings are significant.  New ones are not".

How do that know that we are not going to be significant in future?

Generally any of the engravings that included "Waz here" weren't the historical ones that we were looking for.

I also took another set of photos to do a time lapse of the sun setting on the pillar.  Again you will probably have to follow the links in the e-mail back to the blog site to be able to watch it.

That night we also managed to catch another Ranger talk around the camp fire. He said that the area was a hot spot for the blind marsupial mole but he still hadn't seen one. He had seen the tracks but not the mole itself. The mole actually lives about 20-30cm under the sand and “swims” through the sand dunes and only surfaces when they hit rock or at the bottom of a sand dune or there is a lot of rain and the sand becomes to heavy and the can't breathe so they pop out on top of the sand for a bit. They are a pretty rare species. The ranger said his boss found a dead one on the side of the road a few years ago and put it in his freezer. He was later talking to a guy doing a PhD on them, and when he found out he had a specimen, he jumped on a plane from Melbourne to come up and collect it. It is now on display in one of the museums, I just can't remember which one!

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