Day 2: Katherine to Tennant Creek
"There's no vehicle on earth that can do what we're doing" – Peter Gubbins, EOS project coordinator, 22 October 2007.
This was something said over the CB today that made us stop and think. He's right. This adventure is not just a trip of a lifetime for the Annesley girls and their support team but an important piece of history in the making.
The Panasonic World Solar Challenge is a global event that helps to put sustainable fuel sources on the social and political agenda. It heightens the awareness of such eco issues for not only the people involved and those who know them, plus those who live in the towns the Challenge runs through, but also those who hear about the event via the media and word of mouth. How fantastic it feels to be a part of it!
Today we drove from Katherine to Tennant Creek, along a highway with tar bleached almost white by the unrelenting sunshine.
Lissie drove well again, with her drivers and navigators using instinct and knowledge gained before and during the trip (road inclines and curves = heavier or lighter pressure on the accelerator = more or less amps) to achieve the best possible fuel economy. The car averaged around 10 amps at 90 kilometres per hour, ensuring they will match or do better than the approx. 7 litres per 100 kilometre petrol usage they achieved yesterday.
Along the way, we saw a flat landscape of light green/brown flora and deep red earth. At times, with its thin blonde/orange appearance, the grass of the brush stretching out from the roadsides looked like the hair of a girl whose hair is damaged from way too much bleaching. The thin, black trunked trees had bushy foliage of a brown/green colour. Quite a few roadtrains carrying army tanks passed us, making us wonder if a war had started that we hadn't yet heard about.
A special highlight was one of the girls, Jemma, pulling over to the side of the highway to be interviewed live on Triple J this afternoon via telephone. It was an excellent day-after-birthday present for her!
The Annesley team heads to Alice Springs tomorrow (approx. 500km away), with the petrol consumption check, fill up and sealing of tanks starting in Tennant Creek at 8am.