Wednesday 19th October
After a late start due to bush fires we began the day from Tennant Creek to the sound of a full battery pack and set off to a record distance for a day with Richard cooking nicely at Gas Mark 4 for 3 hours in the solar car. We then took some time during the driver swap to look for aliens at Wycliffe Well but were unsuccessful. At the end of the day we set up camp at the Tropic of Capricorn along with the MIT team – it is to get significantly cooler from here on! John and Richard made the most of the opportunity to sleep on the trailer roof under the fantastic starry night.
Thursday 20th October
We drove further South to the Alice Springs stage stop and served the mandatory 30 minutes stop. At the stage stop we changed observers and heard rumours of bush fires up ahead. We continued on but after a while it became clear that there was trouble up ahead after seeing several large lightning bolts. After a hasty stop to put the car on the trailer we carried on towards Marla and headed straight into the storm. Through the storm we passed flames literally licking the edge of the bitumen at the side of the road – the Calgary team also took the safe decision to trailer the car and brave past the fires. We finished the day’s drive with rain still pouring from the sky at Marla ready to get to the next control stop.