Perseid Meteor Adventure

When I left of last night this is where we were at – Bogged in sand.

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There is however a lead in to how we ended up in this predicament on our way to the darkest point in the desert for the best view of the Perseid Meteor shower.

We had left the gas station following the fellow who knew where we were all headed. After driving for 94 kms and about an hour on the road he pulls over. He was using way points on his GPS to keep us on track.

Now the convoy of vehicles had been traveling along a busy major highway, rimmed by desert sand dunes and hemmed in by fencing. Every now and then there is a break in the wire for access to an overhead pass which is usually just a camel crossing area.

There is not a run off road or slip road like we would have back home – just a hole through the fence and a hard stand graded road.

He has missed it and we had gone a little way under and past the overpass. In true local style we turned around on the same side of the highway and drove back along the way we had come – facing the oncoming traffic. Most of which is going about 130+kms an hour. The other alternative was maybe driving another hour in that direction before being able to turn around again. And who knows how far to get back and turn around to the same point!

In fact is isn’t local style really. They mostly just back up in the lane to get to the turnoff they missed. At least we had turned around and were staying to the side though still on the bitumen.

Anyway this was all fine though a little nervewarcking facing the oncoming lorries and speedy cars. As we headed back under the overpass it widens out a bit but you have to go off the tar road and inside the overpass support as there is not enough room on the part of the road between the railing and the oncoming traffic.

It was graded and would have been fine, except a large sand dune had been swept across and the slip side was covering the graded road. Even this would have been fine as long as we could have kept moving, however the car in front of us slowed as he traveled through the sand and we had to slow so much that the car just sunk in.

Hubbs is saying ” I knew it, I just knew it”.  DS11 is saying “Yahhooo – we’re bogged!!”.  I am saying “don’t worry!”.  Plus I love an adventure and always look at this kind of thing as part of the fun and experience.

We were with experienced desert trekkers, all had 4wd and some had winches. We were the only 2wd though someone was coming out in a Camry sedan.

The car behind us got bogged as well and all the others backed up. This allowed the 4wd that was stuck to gear down and be pushed out. Then they all took a flying run at the sand and moved around us. After that it was our turn.

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Lets try and push it back out. Many hands make light work.

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Nope! Now the other side was digging itself in further. Hubby had wisely stopped as soon as he felt the tires grab and had not kept spinning in the sand. Mind you, I took this photo after we had dug quite a lot away from the wheels

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Let’s put the tow rope under the front and pull it through.

Nope! Guess what? There is no tow point under the front of the car and no place visible to attach it.

Our intrepid leader goes back through the sand putting a fair bit of distance between the two cars. They attach two winch ropes to both back ends of the vehicles.

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DS Jumps in for the ride.

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The car is finally pulled free backwards.

This time forwards The Mr kept the revs up and moved smoothly over the same area and on to the hardstand graded road.

Everyone was so helpful – people we had never met pitching in and doing what was needed. Remembering too it was about 42 celcius even at that time of night. One guy even commented to me about how much fun it was and all part of the adventure. I am pretty sure he was the other one with the camera taking photo’s.

If you look closely in the background of some of the photos you can see how close to the highway we were with all the large trucks going past. Literally right there.

We continued driving along that road for about another hour, trough many sand dunes that had swept across the road till we reached where we were meant to be. The munchkins could not get over how much fun it was to go slipping and sliding along in the sand as their dad guided the car forward.

It was sure worth it too. The heat cooled down out there and as we lay on a large quilt together under the stars we saw about 10 meteorites pass over head in the space of about 2 and 1/2 hours. The first one we saw was the largest and went right across the sky. Two or three others were just as large.

Unfortunately no photos – I am still learning my camera and it was just too dark out there to try and work it out. Especially as no one was using their light to try and get a better view of the Perseids. I have one snap with one star showing as a tiny blue dot and that is it!

I’ll will leave you with a fun though slightly spooky one I took of dd with her torch. Just turned it on and pressed the shutter so not well composed….but it sure shows how black it was out there till the moon came up.

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