SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2001, 22.00 hours

Location: Simpson Desert
Written by: Jennifer Laing

Early morning at William Creek, wake to the sound of birds and a gentle breeze. Or is that Jon calling the lazy ones to breakfast? Luckily I have an uncanny knack of blocking it out. Zzzzz

Starting to get into this camping life. Have worked out that it is possible to take off and apply makeup without running water or a mirror, much to Carol's amazement, and am reconciled to dirty laundry, no morning newspapers and cheers from rest of group when I am consistently late to breakfast. Note that these same people are not so cheery at midnight when I am talkative.

James W does an interview with freelance journalist Stewart Taggart, and Jon and James are interviewed by the Sunday Age. Fingers crossed for good coverage. Meet with some German tourists who are amazed at what we are doing - they read about us in the local paper.

There are some incredible Mar-like encounters today, with scenery which is as barren and alien as that seen on the Pathfinder pictures.

We visited a site on Lake Eyre, and encountered a small lizard - life flourishes in the extreme out here. The Strangways were a highlight for me, with strange pools with bubbling mixtures of soil and water called 'the Bubblers'. We watched them pop and plop - oddly mesmerising. John Deckert, head of the support party, tells us of local history, and we view a gravesite of a woman who died out here in the 1800's - must have been a difficult existence out here in those days.

Camp in a remotish campsite (we have toilets!) and enjoy long discussions over a campfire. Michael writes his 'murmurs' for the Website and displays a talent for humour - of the self-deprecatory kind! I'm glad for a break and a chance to unwind. Magic.