We headed from Chambers Pillar to Finke. There were still a number of motorcyclists testing out the route of the Finke Desert Race and a number of teams had set up with containers with all their gear. Wilko made a revelation which has had a dramatic effect on our trip. Apparently he actually doesn’t like driving and in fact it stresses him. He only says “Do you want me to drive?” as a favour. I have completely misunderstood this thinking he wanted to drive. Why else would anyone ask if you wanted them to drive first thing in the morning. Anyway we arrived at Finke which is a very nice and tidy aboriginal community. We stopped at the store and the guy outside said the shop was re-opening in a second and he was just waiting for the shopkeeper, who’s house was straight across the road to come out. He went back to sleep. I had a chat to a few pigs across the road.
The shopkeeper didn’t turn up so we decided to head for Mt Dare for fuel. We had rung Mt Dare to ask a few pertinent questions about the quality of the road and
whether they sold takeaway alcohol. The lady on the phone (visualise fat, black tights and possibly a fag) was strikingly monosyllabic. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to hang up before Catherine started ridiculing her, so I’m thinking she will spit in our Diesel.
We arrived at the Mt Dare Hotel which was a great hotel. The bloke behind the bar looked like a gray nomad whose wheel had fallen off his caravan so he decided to stay (beard, talkative). His wife (let’s call her Raelene) was actually skinny, in black tights and I didn’t notice the fag, but that could have just been because of health regulations. While she was filling up the Landcruiser she even showed interest in where we’d come from. The hotel had everything we required including cask wine and a souvenier T-towel which will be a much cherished gift for one of the Wilkinson clan (Benjie?). Raelene gave us some advice about the road and told us to go the longer route to Dalhousie. It’s possible she was taking the piss and paying back Catherine as that route seemed to be as rough a road as possible. We’ve been trialling Catherine with driving
and she’s been quite good really. She is a little better than Wilko and on a par with Bec’s mum Fleur (who admittedly hasn’t driven for some time).
Dalhousie Springs is unexpectedly a massive thermal spring heated to about 38. There are a lot of campers here as it seems to be a starting point for the Simpson Desert. After a beer in the springs we settle in for dinner and Catherine forces us to play a card game, which may have been good if she could have remembered the rules. A dingo tries a minor raid on the food store but he is valiantly wrestled away by Wilko. Throughout the night you can hear groups of dingoes howling.
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