Mt Hopeless

The picture below is looking east to Lake Blanche. That was unknown territory for me. Sturt had arrived at Lake Blanche from the NSW side in 1845 when he was looking for the inland sea. There was no water – only a dry salt lake with no trees or shrubs; only barren undulating sand. He turned back, went north west and tried to cross a desert of rocks and stones–now known as Sturt Stony Desert–before reaching Cooper Creek west of Innaminka, going north to where Birdsville is situated, then turned west only to encounter the Simpson Desert. He turned back.

We camped the night on the plain below and drove back to Blinman the next morning from Mt Hopeless. We took a track to the Strezlecki Track then drove to Lyndurst, then along the Outback Highway to Copley, Leigh Creek, Parachilna and Parachina Gorge. We had done a loop as we had turned north east at Copley to begin the camel trek at Bend Well on Umberatana Station. 

Looking west to Marree:

Ryan McMillan, the cameleer, and a friend walked the camels back to camel HQ at Blinman in around 8 days. A stunning feat considering that covered two camel trips totaling 24 days. I understand the friend was only able to walk part of the way, due to being unfit. It took me around 5 days to develop walking legs.

We camped the night at the foot of Mt Hopeless and tge people from Alpana Station drove us back to Blinman via the Strezlecki Track, Lyndhurst and Copely and Leigh Creek. We stayed the night in the Blinman Hotel The vastness and the silence in the northern Flinders Ranges is all enveloping. We saw no one on the 12 day day walk. The northern Flinders are a marked contrast to the iconic tourist destination such as Wilpena Pound. The Pound and the southern Flinders are prime tourist destinations.

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