yeah, our first bush camp – without external power, water, toilet & shower. took us long enough, considering we got all of those on board, which is of course the reason we got the kk in the first place.

leaving halls gap in the grampians we moved north, along the mountain range towards horsham. i know aussies love big things but i feel a line has been crossed here.

this koala isn’t really¬† the kind you’d stroke & cuddle, it looks more like it woud not mind ripping your throat out. scary. and then one must enter via the … let’s not go there.

near dimboola we also came across this pink salt lake, also known as loch lel. apparently in the past the salt was actually extracted & sold and following a fairly recent tv broadcast the idea has been brought up again.

nat did her own scientific research and concluded that once the crust was broken the salt was really smelly. i wonder if this could become a unique selling point. smelly salt from victoria? hm.

the journey was … mostly uneventful. i shot this 180 degree panorama somewhere around horsham. in this part of the world you would be excused to think the world was flat. it really looks like it.

it is, however, nice to see that here real men can still be real men. machismo innovations, just what the world has been waiting for: after all if machismo is expected to make a successful comeback in this world of rampant political correctness innovation will be essential.

we did not check what they actually sold, we are perfectly comfortable with the machismo innovation machine parked in front of it.

for those who stayed at home and check the amazing pictures on this site: not every part of our trip is extraordinary. there is a fair bit of just going straight as far as the eye can see through interestingly monotonous and sometimes monotonously interesting country.

this one is probably beyond restoration. oh well.

we stopped at the info center in nhill to ask about the road to murrayville. that road runs between the victorian big desert wilderness area and the wyperfeld national park. the signs are ominous enough and we wanted to be sure we would not be stranded somewhere way outside mobile range.

the guys took a look at our rig and ensured us we would be ok. the road was actually nice, wide and not very corrugated.

we had a few camp grounds to choose from. the descriptions spoke about ‘the cleanest long drop in the are’ and ”sort of has a shower’. one comment mentioned drunk & disorderly motorcycle (dirt bike) riders but given we were passing through mid week we figured chances to meet those were pretty slim.

we first came across broken bucket camp. the bucket was indeed well and truly broken, or more precisely: shot to pieces. since it was still early we decided to drive on to big billy bore.

that turned out to be a great decision. we found a sheltered spot behind some bushes, right next to a fire place with a bench. we didn’t really look for the long drop or the shower, we just use what we brought. it was the first real test for thorny and it was great.

we enjoyed the stillness out there, which is actually quite profound. once the insects have gone to sleep there is really very little noise.

btw the big victorian desert is not really a desert in the scientific sense of the word; there is too much rainfall to warrant that name. it is very sandy, though, and looking at some of the tracks leading left & right they would give any 4wd a bit of a workout. the entire area is the largest covered by mallee scrub today. mallee scrubs are a type of eucalypt that has multiple branches springing form the ground and rarely grows higher than 6m. you might get a sense of it from the video above.