Camel, Simpson Desert

Crossing the Simpson Desert

Semptember 2004

Day 1 - Saturday 4th
After three days driving across the desert, I was overwhelmed by what lay ahead of me. Before I even started walking I noticed that the belt clip on my pack is broken, so I'm holding it together with string. All my leg muscles are aching and I have two blisters on my feet. However, I walked 30km over vast flood plains.

Day 2 - Sunday 5th
My pack has started to wear the skin off my hips and is quite painful. I walked another 25km and made it out of the boring flood plains.

Walking through Witjira N.P. Flood Plains

Day 3 - Monday 6th
Unburied my first food store after 80km of walking.

Day 4 - Tuesday 7th
I'm experiencing a new pain in my knee and feet while walking. Its helping me to forget about the existing ones though.

Day 5 - Wednesday 8th
My first day walking along the French Line. I only covered 14km, but I camped overlooking several kilometres of sand dunes.

Day 6 - Thursday 9th
My left foot was hurting so much today that I wrapped a triangular bandage around it to divert the pressure. Walked 17km and retrieved my second supply cache.

Day 7 - Friday 10th
I felt like the only person left on the planet after no human contact for 30 hours.

The French Line

Day 8 - Saturday 11th
Reached my third cache today.

Day 9 - Sunday 12th
An uneventful day. I'm carrying too much water and its slowing me down. Still around 250km until Birdsville.

The French Line

Day 10 - Monday 13th
Another uneventful day. Only saw one vehicle.

Day 11 - Tuesday 14th
Unburied my fourth cache today.

Day 12 - Wednesday 15th
Walked across the first salt lake today.

Day 13 - Thursday 16th
Spoke to mum today on satellite phone and camped beside a salt lake.

Day 14 - Friday 17th
Was running very low on my supplies before reaching my fifth cache. The flies are totally out of control now that the days are so hot. I made a left turn today into the Northern Territory as I finally completed the French Track.

Day 15 - Saturday 18th
Another bloody hot day. Walked 23km and made it to the Queensland border.

Day 16 - Sunday 19th
I broke my record, 48 hours without seeing any people.

Day 17 - Monday 20th
Reached my sixth cache before lunch, so set up camp early and had a 'rest'.

Day 18 - Tuesday 21st
Another hot day with lots of flies, but it was good to see people on the road again.

Day 19 - Wednesday 22nd
My midday siestas are becoming unbearably hot and boring. Today's break took five hours. After 19km I reached the border of the Simpson Desert National Park and the Rabbit Proof Fence.

Day 20 - Thursday 23rd
There was a huge change in vegetation today. I retrieved my final food drop today without any problems. I have 58km remaining to Birdsville and I will not set up camp again until I finish the walk.

Day 21 - Friday 24th
Didn't stop walking today until I had reached the top of Big Red.

Sitting on Big Red, 35km from Birdsville

Day 22 - Saturday 25th
Leaving Big Red just after midnight, I had completed the final 35km of my journey to Birdsville by 10:30am.