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August 30th 2013
Published: September 4th 2013
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Great Central Road Day 3

Friday 30 August

3 months today since we started our road trip and already we feel like we have been having more intrepid adventures than our previous trip around Australia, we have definitely been more remote, spending more time bush camping and doing more challenging tracks.

I opened my eyes to the new day, my body clock is still on Central Standard Time, although we drove through the time zone yesterday which puts us 1 1/2 hours behind the Northern Territory, my watch says 7am yet it should really be 5.30am, I jump out of bed and grab my camera to go for a wander, I was still curious as to what was over the ridge that we were camping near, Andy shouts to me "watch out for snakes!" I always do, but it is never any harm to remind each other.

I had a good wander around, I got to the top of the ridge and all I could see stretching out for miles were trees, rocks, red dust and more ridge lines, it was also clouding over, I wondered if rain was coming, if it rains we have to stay put as the likely chance is that they would close the road,

Back at camp, I get the kettle on, Andy appears and we set about getting breakfast, making a flask of hot water and packing up, we are on the road by 8am Western Australia time. I knew that the track continued West and should eventually spit us back out onto the Great Central Road, but we don't know the conditions, it seems rarely used and plants are growing across it, we came across some fairly deep washouts on the way in and we were cautious not to want to drive 16 kilometres out only to find at the last kilometre it was impassable, so we went back out the way we came in, which did not take long at all.

We don't really see a lot of traffic first thing, but then we are on the road early today, as we get closer to our first stop of the day we start to see some traffic.

Tjukayirla Roadhouse appears on the horizon, we have done 174k's already this morning, Andy pulls alongside the diesel pump
Wildflowers WinduldarraWildflowers WinduldarraWildflowers Winduldarra

These beautiful flowers overflowed onto the track
and with all of these fuel pumps they are in cages, we wait for the lady to appear with a key and serve us the fuel, we only need a top up, signs tell us that the next fuel will be 314k's away, we have plenty on board, but it does pay to keep the tanks topped up just in case.

I asked why we could not get fuel at Cosmo Newberry, she tells us that the fuel there is generally only for the local community and they usually only open for a couple of hours a day first thing in the morning.

Chatting to this lady she tells us that they manage the roadhouse, this one belongs to the same aboriginal council that own 3 or 4 others along this highway, we remember seeing their road trains when we were in Alice Springs. Turns out this lady used to live in Cornwall, she is Canadian and lived in Cornwall for 10 years before coming to Australia. We discussed a few things about Cornwall including the Cornish Pasty, she knows how to make the real thing, I asked if she had any in today, sadly not!

Because I was unable to find an RFDS donation box yesterday, I noted there was one at this roadhouse so fulfilling my agreement to the people who were camped next door to us at Warakurna, I dutifully put the $5 note in the RFDS box for them.

We grab a coffee and a bacon sandwich which will probably now see us through lunch, we sit inside the roadhouse for a short while and then get back on the road again, there is no Telstra here and the paid wifi was expensive.

Stopping at the Beegull Gamma Holes, we take a walk around, there are lots of Zebra Finches in the trees, that would mean there are some water holes around here, there are some skeletons lying around, one looks like a dingo that had perhaps fallen into a hole and broke something and could not get out. Other bones have been there for so long they are bleached by the sun. We make a cup of tea and get on track again.

The first emu we have seen in a long while appears as we come over the brow of a hill, you just know what it is going to do when it sees you, fortunately Andy slows down, we are just about level with it when it bolts across the road, we narrowly miss it, I still cannot figure out why they run in front of you when all they need to do is run away.

The track changes colour rapidly, it goes from deep red to white and then back again. One small stretch of bitumen stands out at the Tjukayirla Roadhouse which doubles as the RFDS landing strip.

I saw a dingo drinking some water at a waterhole, we must have spooked it because he launched himself into the air on all fours and when he landed just stood and watched us go past, it was just like a comedy sketch.

It has been a long day, we were up early because of the time difference and we have covered a lot of mileage, not that we need to be anywhere in a hurry, I had identified a place in Camps that we could check out, Giles Breakaway which is about 56k's from Cosmo Newberry, we find the turn off and shortly down the track we see this beautiful landscape ahead of us.

There is only one other vehicle here, we get out to have a look, the view ahead is similar to the breakaways at Coober Pedy, except on a slightly smaller scale and this landscape has many kilometres of Mallee trees in the distance.

Suitable for setting up camp for the night, we find a nice spot where we can sit for the rest of the afternoon and admire the view. We collect some firewood, there is plenty around, Andy gets the fire on the go and we have our dinner in the peaceful surrounds with the crickets and the bats making their familiar noises.

I think there is one other camper here, they drove past this afternoon and we can see a small light in the distance. I can also see some streetlights in the distance which I thought was Cosmo Newberry, however the lights were placed too far East for it to be that community, and it just seems strange to see street lights twinkling in the distance when we are sat in the bush. Looking at my map I note there is a prohibited area, I wonder who it belongs to, it is very well lit and not very secret with all those lights ablaze in the darkness of the surrounding bush.

Another perfect blanket of stars in the sky, we had hoped to see a shooting star or two but alas not, not even a UFO hovering over the prohibited area, we went to bed early because it had been an exhausting day.

Our GPS coordinates for Giles Breakaway: 51S 470898E 6871839N, which are in UTM format at the moment.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


At out bush campAt out bush camp
At out bush camp

Early in the morning, bliss no neighbours
Red DustRed Dust
Red Dust

Gets everywhere
Jack towing GypsyJack towing Gypsy
Jack towing Gypsy

Very carefully through a washout
Day 3Day 3
Day 3

Of the great Central road, it looked the same on day 2 & 1, its a lonely road
Grading the RoadGrading the Road
Grading the Road

Essential, a drop of rain creates havoc with the surface

4th September 2013

Great camp spots
Thoroughly enjoying your trip from Alice across Great Central. What great camp spots you've discovered. Interesting travel - such variety - weather station, camels, wildflowers, breakaways etc.etc. Delighted you have made connections with hero Len Beadell - we know you will venture further into his past in due course. Thanks again for new & old tracks adventures. Keith & Jan xx
4th September 2013

These wonderful pictures!
Thanks so much for sharing a look at such a little-known part of the planet. It is obviously as beautiful as it is remote. I eagerly anticipate your postings. Please continue to share!
5th September 2013

Your comments
Dear Anne, many thanks for your wonderful comments. Your comments to us are as important as our blogs to you, they really do inspire us to do our best even though neither of usare professional travel writers in any way, we love to share the amazing places that we go to and experiences that we have on our journey through this fabulous country. If you can appreciate this blog started nearly 5 years ago when we gave up our life in the UK in search of what we considered was an adventure, two city people who have thrust themselves into the heart of Australia and we have enjoyed every moment. Please keep your comments coming and please keep reading the blog.KJ

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