Saturday, 26/07/30.

The day starts well enough with the men and Archie Giles enjoying a fine breakfast on the Company's stores, today the men expect to break new ground and there is a sense of anticipation in the air. Blakeley leaves his old friend with full tucker bags and receives some sound advice from Giles, don't camp on water, mind your manners with the Aboriginals and no flirting with the girls. He accompanies the expedition for several miles, the vehicles proceeding at camel pace.

At Giles suggestion and guided by Micky the men travel west to Oonah Springs and have a difficult day of it, through sand, mulga thickets and numerous creek crossings, the foothills of the northern Macdonnell Ranges are maze like and their formation puzzles Blakeley. Lasseter also causes concern, this afternoon he recognised a camping place from his 1897 journey, Blakeley and Sutherland consider the spot, several hundred feet up a cliff face suitable only for eagles and impossible for a man. the doubts grow but will be put to the test tomorrow when Blakeley intends to confront Lasseter re the location of the reef as promised.

He calls camp mid afternoon, several hundred yards short of the spring, it is impossible to get the vehicles closer and the men struggle to haul water to the camp, they collect 27 gallons of the putrid horsey liquid from the spring and the lack of plentiful clean water irritates the men to point where Blakeley decides to carry on to Dashwood Creek with existing supplies.

Blakeley has a troubled nights sleep, Lasseter has remembered yet another landmark from 1897, the same two bean trees that he slung his hammock between over thirty years ago, as Blakeley recalls these trees only live for about twenty years and certainly weren't there when Lasseter passed through on his first trip, the doubts pile up. Lasseter sleeps in the cab of the Thornycroft.

9 in the morning at Oneri, Williams sights a large smoke signal along their backtrack, both men are quite sure it is Colson and Bird with the camels, they torch the spinifex in reply and it becomes a good smoke with several acres of spinifex and brush blazing furiously, the answering signal indicates the camel team is about nine miles away, a day ahead of schedule.

Colson and Bird arrive shortly after midday and all's well, a trouble free journey in very good time, in fact the camels are looking indecently fat from the excellent feed about. Terry plans to rest the men for a couple of days, the reunited team spends the evenings camp reviewing the journey west and wondering what sort of reception they will receive from the Aboriginals.

LASSETERIA