Wow- what a great time we all had at Innamincka at CON-NAT14
It was great to see the Conquerors all lined up along the Cooper.
I arrived on 1st August ( a little bit excited I was :-)) and made camp on the same spot that I have used for each of the 4 times I have been here, which was pretty amazing seeing as on some days there was a full house.
Innamincka has so much early explorer history (Burke and Wills especially) and day trips out to see the Dig Tree, Burkes grave and the Wills and King memorials that it isn't hard to find something to do.
Once you have done that you can sit back and watch the birds or catch a fish or two. You don't even need a watch - the 100's of Correllas will wake you at 6:00am as they swarm into the river gums alongside your camper site and begin to strip hundreds of leaves off the branches for no other reason than they can.
The weather was amazing right up to Friday before the start of CON-NAT with blue sky, no wind and definitely shorts and T weather - the batteries were at 100% and 13.9A by 10:30am - ahhh - heaven !!
Unfortunately on the Friday the weather changed, with cold wind and cloud coming through as part of the weather pattern that was to eventually close all roads into and around Innamincka for the next 3 days - although the clouds came over we had only about 1 minute of rain on Friday night
As I said earlier I arrived early and each day I would drive the length of the Common looking for any new arrivals - nothing! - or so I thought !!!
My actual "first sighting' was of Thommo and FourWheelsOffRoad and after greeting them with the secret Conqueror My actual "first sighting' was of Tommo and FourWheelsOffRoad and after greeting them with the secret Conqueror handshake and it was then that Tommo told me that SVX17 and Peta had been camped at the other end of the Common for the last week!! - it is testimony to the cammo colour of the Conquerors that I hadn't seen them tucked away behind a bush.
Friday night the group decided to 'shout ourselves' and went up to the pub for a meal and a beer - as I turned the corner into the parking area lo and behold there was another 490 parked bt the toilet/shower block - ticytoc and his wife had arrived - the camper and car were covered in mud - having driven from Perth up the Strzelecki, they were lucky to get through ahead of the road closures that were following them.
So after SVX17 had moved from his original camp site to near us we now had all for Conquerors in a line along the banks of the Cooper.
Saturday night we all sat around a great campfire thanks to some fantastic firewood supplied by SVX17 and had our bottoms warmed by the 'hot spot' coals placed under our camp chairs by Tommo through out the night and kept our heads warm with the Conqueror caps supplied by Conqueror to all attendees (thanks Dan and Toby)
On behalf of Conqueror Australia I presented ticytoc with a great prize (Conqueror embroidered Duvet, 2 pillows and 3 fitted sheets) for the attendees who had travelled the greatest distance (Perth to Innamincka in 7 days) which considering the cold nights was well received.
I also have the same prize for ' the sad story' of CON-NAT14.That of Larry and his wife Lyn. Larry picked up some contaminated fuel as he was starting to make his way to Innamincka and even though he tried everything (including new pump, pressurising his fuel tank etc) he had to turn back when he and I met up at Quilpie.
I have never seen Larry that disappointed - I am pretty sure that 'dust in my eyes' was in fact a tear or two - so Larry, to cheer you up, I will be dropping off a duvet and pillow pack to you soon :-)
Each night we had a camp fire which allowed us all to get to know each other, tell stories about our travels, drink a beer or wine and do what campers have done for generations when sitting around the 'outback TV" and that is - lie like there is no tomorrow :-)
Like FourWheelsOffRoad I will wait until I have better internet (and my data allowance restarts :-) before posting any pics
So where are we going for CON-NAT15???????? - lets start thinking about it - its worth it to 'put a face to a name' and be able to share stories about our trips and travel experiences.