I loved lake eyre, so vast, more vast than I had imagined, almost hard to comprehend! I could see the water although it is no longer flowing in. The yacht club cracked me up, they really sail there. Apparently the lake has only filled to 2m in the deepest places the past 3 years, in 1974 it was 6m in the deepest places, they say it has not reached capacity recently at all? There were photos and maps showing where they had sailed that didn’t even get wet over the past 3 years, so we might get the chance to experience lake eyre full in our lifetime again after all. If it does fill, i want to do a boat trip up the cooper. My favourite thing….The wild flowers, they were simply gorgeous.
William creek was cool too, the oldest pub in Australia. A lovely meal that cost a small fortune and a really interesting bar. It has been built out of railway iron and sleepers, the iron stands vertically, the sleepers lay horizontally in between, this makes the walls. I hope you can imagine it. We spoke to some pilots that mentioned lake eyre is the only place they know of that you can fly below sea level, some places are 16m below, the lowest part of Australia! Interesting and a bit of fun for their instruments as they are set to calculate from sea level.
Mostly these remote roads have been pretty good, we escaped a flat tyre on the oodnadatta track, it was recently graded so the old ghan line was stirred up. Some people we have passed have had two flats in a day.
We have had a bit of damage from the rocks out here. Luckily Rob has spent 20 years in engineering! His next business venture is going to be Beetroot Bob’s running repairs, check out the piccies ( he has emptied all the beet root out of my pantry to use the tins to fix our wheels. The latest upgrade to our bearing caps, beyond the beetroot tins that is, has been foam strips wired on as the rocks are unforgiving and ruthless! We have chips in our front and rear windows, reversing camera, we lost a headlight today. I reckon we are doing well on the whole considering conditions.
Coober pedy was BIZARRE, really truly UNIQUE. The town itself and all the under ground buildings are interesting and have their charm, and at the same time the vibe in town was unnerving for me. It felt like it was the kind of place you go and some how it may entwine itself around you, it felt like you could very easily get stuck. We met lovely people, ate lovely food (a melting pot of culture and cuisine) and I even scored a really beautiful opal ring from Rob. The country surrounding town was a mixture of mining holes and striking colourful formations. The Breakaways is an area where the earth exposes herself in such rich and varied colours, so it was worth a visit, I won’t be lining up to return to Coober Pedy too soon though.
When you leave town and head towards Oodnadatta thestretch of road is called the moon scape. All you can see are flat rock covered plains, totally devoid of life. Nothing growing at all. Not even a blade of grass. I didn’t even see a bird or hawk. I didn’t know country like that existed. It sure was something else to witness!
Traveling further along, the road into the painted desert was a shocker! Horrifically bad road actually. Really really terrible. The view was tainted a little by the experience of the road conditions, beautiful colours and again unusual formations, happy to share piccies to save you the trip and damage to your vehicle!
We booked into the caravan park at the pink roadhouse in Oodnadatta, intriguing place! Photos tell all. It was a huge day of rough driving and we were tired after setting up, so thought we would grab dinner at the Oodnadatta pub. Holy moly it was a rockin’ place. Seems they only sell packet chips and drinks. Today they got their first duke box. We could hear it from a km away. We turned up after dark and their was a huge fire out front, half a dozen dogs and a dozen people with skin so dark and gorgeous you couldn’t see them aside from the fire glow.
We stepped inside and I felt so white, I’ve never felt white before, but I now know to the core of myself what it feels like. There was so much joy and dancing and fun, and I felt like I was crazy being there with the girls!!! I ordered a lemonade and came to terms with being out of place, slowly realising i was not going to die, then a beautiful woman smiled at me. I smiled back, she came over, her name was Anna and we had the best connection and conversation! Such a wise soul who has experienced so much in her life, and blossomed with the colours. Next we met Rutherford a real old fella, he came over and asked me to dance but i opted to talk instead ( partypooper I am). He must have been in his 80’s. He told me about his country and the days when the big old black train would come through with white people. Such a remote life out here. Oodnadatta is the hottest driest place in Australia, and it looks like it. I like it a whole lot more than Coober Pedy. I am feeling so utterly relieved to be out in open spaces again, away from all those buried little worlds.
Our Next stop will be Dalhousie Springs. Looking forward to 38 degree spring water, been missing my bath. After that we are heading towards Alice. Praying the smooth road and travel gods are with us.
Blessings and love to each of you from this remote wild country.