Day 7 - The Red Centre - Travel day from Coober Pedy to Alice Springs


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Published: May 25th 2017
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BugsBugsBugs

It's a bugs life. Grow to an enormous size then get splattered against my car.
Hi everyone, today is another one of our travel days. The distances between these towns in outback Australia are hundreds of kilometres apart and a simple drive down the road can easily be in the hundreds of kilometres. Today is one of those days. The trip from Coober Pedy to Alice Springs is 699 kilometres. Basically driving time is 7 hours on an average of 100km per hour. We left Coober Pedy just after 9am after filling up with diesel and water. We even had to pay for the water. It was 20cents for 40 litres. Now given we have driven so much already my expectations of this leg were somewhat confused. We're we in for a boring drive, was it going to take forever and what types of towns were in our path? First let's talk about the wildlife. we saw only one roadkill on the Stuart Highway and there were no kangaroos visible. Mind you they normally show up up early morning or later afternoon. What we did see were two mobs of Emus. As I have mentioned before these emus love to get in front of your car. Didn't happen this time. It was just nice to see
Northern TerritoryNorthern TerritoryNorthern Territory

Now we know we are deep in the centre of this arid continent.
these majestic flightless birds free to roam this desolate land. The next animal we saw was an eagle. Now this eagle was munching on the roadkill I mentioned earlier. We could not tell what the roadkill was because the eagle covered the carcass completely. We have never seen such a majestic bird up close, mind you we were driving past and only just slowed down. This birds head for the size of my fist. We saw another four eagles but these others were sitting on faces and dead trees waiting for roadkill. It is such an interesting twist on how nature adapts to its environment. Lunch was at Marla which has a population of 72. home made pies again. Back on the road again and one thing we noticed on this road was the number of cars lying derelict on the side of the road. They were all of different shapes, sizes and condition. It was obvious that these cars have either had accidents on the highway or broken down. There had to be at least 10 on the journey. Not sure why they were abandoned but I can understand the desolation of the locations the cars found their resting
The signThe signThe sign

This is the sign that woke Xavier up. He couldn't believe his luck. He had the chance to drive at 130 km/ hr legally.
place in and over time stripped of all usable parts. With 275 km to go to get to Alice Springs we approached the border of South Australia and Northern Territory. We took the obligatory photos with the Northern Territory sign in the backdrop and headed back on the road. Up to now we had been driving at the speed limit of 110km per hour. Obviously Xavier was the lead car. Well 50meters down the road and the speed limit sign changed to 130km. Well this put Xavier into a frenzy. His immediate reaction was to put the Ranger to the test and to immediately increase speed. Following some negotiations with myself and Paul we agreed we would all increase our speed to 120km an hour. We kept this speed up for the rest of the way passing every caravan that tried to hold us back. The scene also changed a number of times during the trip. Within the 30km min limit of Coober Pedy the landscape can be compared to a moonscape surrounded by mounds of debris and mullock heaps from the mine activity. We also passed quite a few dry creek beds all the sand a striking red in
Alice Springs Camp set upAlice Springs Camp set upAlice Springs Camp set up

We will be here for five nights
colour. Of all of the creeks only one had some puddles and it wasn't running. Throughout the trip we saw very few if any tall gums. The trees that were visible were low and scraggly and trying to survive on whatever small amount of moisture is presented. I also noticed flood markers quite a few times along the highway. I suspect when it rains it pours. Well we finally made it to Alice at 4pm. A total of 7hrs travel time (including lunch). We can thank Xavier for his enthusiasm in keeping to the new 120km speed. He didn't stop talking about this for the rest of the evening. We were surprised with the Alice Springs landscape. We are settled in our park amongst tree lined hills. I was really expecting a flat sandy landscape. Perhaps we had stayed in Coober Pedy for too long. After settling in we went out to a steak house and finally tried out Kangaroo meat. Certainly edible and well cooked but nothing beats a medium rare t/Bone steak. Not many pictures today so I have spared you.


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Paul's rooftopPaul's rooftop
Paul's rooftop

Paul and his family are sleeping on top of their camper box which can be lifted of the car ute tray


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