CSR - Project
© 2023 Tofisch & Partner In the end of September I flew together with my friend Tilmann Waldthaler to Perth in WA-Australia. Our destination was the CSR Project.
CSR means Canning Stock Route. Named like Alfred Canning, which was occupied around 1900 to built a 2000km long cattle track from Wiluna to Halls Creek. He tried to build a track right through the Great Sandy Dessert that the stock mans can bring livestock from north to south. For this he build 52 wells nowhere out in the Australian outback. They used also some water holes showed by aborigines. Fact is: The track is today 1900km long in a breathless scenery, where you have to cross over 900 Sand dunes. The wells are today mostly dry, only a view are restored.
Todays the CSR the dream of any 4WD enthusiast. In the main season about 1500 cars are crossing the dessert on this fantastic trail.
What about the cyclists...?
We found out that two cyclists tried before us to cycle the CSR. We know that they used a view support vehicles and that they didn't ride the bike all the time on the road. They used also the vehicles for transport. For these reasons there was for us the opportunity left to cycle the CSR unsupported. This project was Tilmanns and my reason to fly to down under.
Of course you have to have quiet a lot of experience to prepare and organize a project like this. We could find an agency which is organizing 4WD Tours through the CSR professionally. This company helped us during the preparation. We planed to drive the whole 3000km long distance with 4WD Land Cruisers and drop supplies Depots during driving from Perth to Halls Creek. Arrived in Halls Creek we take the bikes from our cars and start to paddle. That was we have planned.
© 2023 Tofisch & Partner In Perth Tilmann and I have bought 800l of water and food. We packed everything 4WD secure in our cars and started the trip. 1000km on paved and unsealed road was the start of our journey up to Wiluna the start point of the CSR.
Arrived in Wiluna we filled up the tanks of the land cruisers at the petrol station and our stomachs at the BBQ at the local pup until the top. We started early in the morning. The first Well we reached just a view km outside the village and we dropped the first depot. In the depots were different thinks like water, coffee, sugar, muesli and dried food for one day it depend of the maintenance from the track before.
We decided to make the depots out of plastic bags and to borrow them into the dessert sand or put them under trees or rocks.
Done us sad. The days were running over and we took alone with the car 14 days to get through the CSR. Until the well 41 we dropped depots this is 3/4 of the whole stretch. But already 3 days before I was discussing with Tilmann the sense and make ability of the CSR project, because of what we have seen on the road we had to talk about it. Both we were with full energy behind the realization of the CSR Project. We were surrounded of a fantastic and wonder full originally landscape of the Australian bush, but also these can be very dangerous.
Not the orientation, refinding the depots, water or food, the loneliness, the heat or our condition were our main thoughts. For this we were prepared and we had experience to handle it. Very bad and sandy road conditions over hundreds of kilometers and huge bush fires let our thoughts get insecure. We even not have known if our depots were still there. Because of the bad road we had to borrow them in a distance of 15km. For us there was also the question what should we do if the depots are not there! We would eat and drink our possibility to return. Because of this, there was only the escape to the arrival, perhaps...? to the next depot.© 2023 Tofisch & Partner
There was no useful escape track over 1000km In the first third of the track there was an aboriginal community and in the last third of the track was a homestead 50km of the track. These situation you can compare with the following picture: You are sitting on a tree and you try to cut the tree of. For this reasons I decided on well 41 not to turn back on the bicycle. For me was the main reason the absolutely sandy and the about 60% not ridable track. And you can believe that to fell this decision was everything else than easy.
Some of you were thinking that we could plan and organize this from home and save so time and money. But I'm the opinion that also with the huge information we get through all medias you can not get every information of nature and the variable nature will be forever unknown. You will never can plan and organize an expedition second by second.
These I say for every adventure which plays out in nature and also for all product developers who are believing that on the designing desk it is snowing and the wind is blowing.
Reviewing was the CSR Project for me a success full adventure. It was an adventure not for my legs as planned, it was an adventure for my mind. Alone to drive the 4WD car on the track was for me as a cyclist a real adventure. I never have driven before through dry creeks, over sand dunes, rocky outcrops and flooded planes. I could see fantastic sunsets. We had typical evenings with campfires under the beautiful night sky full of stars. All fatigue and thoughts made in the hot dessert over the day are forgotten and cooled down. All in all a fantastic unforgettable adventure.