Desert Ship Territory Log Day 3.
We were on the road by 9.00am after a quick stop at Foodland for a few supplies. After about an hour on the Eyre Highway we turned off to hit the gravel for some hard core 4WD time. Well not as hard core as Googs Track which is even more of a short cut (the sand dunes put me off going that way). By taking the 270km gravel route via Kingoonia we were going to save 400km off our time. Do you think alarm bells should have rung when I booked our accommodation in Coober Pedy over the phone, when the lady asked where we were travelling from and when I answered "Ceduna", there was an awkward silence and she responds with "I've never heard of that before"? There was a big sign saying carry an extra 2 spare tyres, a tow rope, adequate fuel, adequate water, 2 jacks, a shovel, maps and keep friends and relatives informed of your outback travel itinerary. Well we just had to run the gauntlet with one spare tyre, a tonne of lollies and a litre of cordial. Does posting to my blog when there is no internet
access count as letting everyone know where you are? Needless to say I was nothing but a hard core worrier. Worried sick especially with the amount of beer bottles lying on the track but we made it without incident thank goodness. We only saw a few vehicles. To begin with the scenery was quite pleasant with gentle undulating hills and dry lake beds. We had lunch by a watering station on Kolkatha Station with a lake with a little water and sand dunes in the distance. I was also pretty excited to see a Sturt Desert Pea nearby. I didn't think I'd see any this early in the season so I madly photographed it despite my very optimistic or annoyed husband telling me I'll see thousands of them. We only stopped for 20 minutes because we were only averaging 60-70km/hour. As the trip wore on, it was increasingly obvious we were definitely in the outback with the landscape looking like the Nullarbor again. We saw emus, sheep, cows and a dead wombat. We have yet to see a live one.
Finally we got to Koongania which looked to be a lot of a hole, but we made sure we
stopped so the kids could play on the railway. The Indian-Pacific Railway. After another 35km of gravel we hit the Stuart Highway where we travelled another 230 km to Coober Pedy arriving just before 6pm, making a 9 hour travel day. Even though we saved 400km off the trip, we only managed to save an hour off the travel time than if we had gone the 1000 km via Port Augusta due to the rough condition of the road. After travelling through absolute nothingness for hours on end, I wondered what kind of town we were headed for. So I was surprised to find a thriving metropolis. We are staying at the Underground Motel which worried the claustrophobic aspect of me. However, our room is the first from the entry way and we can see directly outside from our room so that was good. It is a very nice motel with a lovely few of the Breakaways where apparently Mad Max 3 was filmed.
Tot: 3.554s; Tpl: 0.056s; cc: 12; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0685s; 3; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb