ASCEND JOURNEY PART 5 – Daly Waters to Tennant Creek – DAY 2


Today kicked off much like yesterday, the piercing alarm at 5 am, our eyes squinting open. But there was a serene moment amidst the rush. As we began our day in Daly Water, the sky slowly painted a vibrant show for us. Unlike the pinkish tones we see in Victoria, today’s sunrise was a blazing, fiery red.  

We started on time at 8 am, with our car cruising steadily at 70km/h, it was smooth sailing on the highway. The electrical and mechanical components worked harmoniously all day, making our phrase for the day: ‘everything is perfect’. 

Nick took the wheel of the Lead Car, and although his drive was pretty monotone (think seven hours at a constant speed), Bohan and Tahj added some fun, making pretend snoring sounds and blaming them on Yiwei. 

And speaking of our journey, about 625 km from Darwin, Angus, who was driving our solar car, had a mini heart-stopping moment. Picture this: cows, casually lounging near the white line on the road, keeping cool as the vehicles pass by, we cautiously rolled past, praying they wouldn’t decide to take a sudden walk. They didn’t move an inch and seemed to calmly wish us luck. 

Angus recalls the rough roads with potholes, making the ride slightly bumpy, but it was those very cows that made the trip memorable. For him, the wild and local animals were a unique highlight. 

Every driver cherishes the beautiful landscapes they pass, and for our solar car drivers, the scenic views provide moments of pure joy. Beyond the cow adventures, another challenge was navigating through roadworks, especially around Renner Springs. But our aligned radio communication and slow driving ensured safety. 

Entering Tennant Creek was a visual delight. Majestic mountains besides the roads, and the rich history and culture of the aboriginal residents of the area resonated deeply. Their connection with the earth and the mountains is palpable, and it was an honour to journey through their lands. 

One noteworthy feat today was Bohan’s resilience. After taking over from Angus at the 2nd control stop at Dunmarra Highway Inn, he commanded the wheels for the rest of the day. The 38-degree heat didn’t deter him. Our team manager Matt even jokingly described him as a ‘robot’ for his incredible durability of driving. 

By the end of our journey, we settled at Tennant Creek, near our third control stop. Here, the night promises fellowship as we camp with other solar car teams like Apollo, Sunswift, and Solaride. Everyone’s spread out, ensuring ample space. 

As for camp logistics, the efficient Josh and Rupert arrived ahead and secured our camp spot, with Mick, Ben, and Nigel lending hands, and setting up swags for us. And what’s the best way to wind down after a day filled with adventures? Tacos! That’s right, our kitchen captains, Sunny and Janidu, have decided that tonight is Taco Night!