Off the beaten track

Trip Start Jul 27, 2009
Trip End Nov 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
Goorikianna Creek

Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tiring of the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan Coober Pedy, we set off into the desert for our first proper bush camp. 

Hilary writes:
We went on a bush camp out in the Painted Desert.  We left our camper trailer at the camp site that we had stayed in the previous night because the road was very rough.  That night, we went out stargazing.   We saw three satellites and lots of shooting stars.  Alec and I slept in the car and Mum and Dad slept in our little tent.  The next day we drove back to our camp site and picked up our trailer and started on the way to Uluru.

The Painted Desert is a series of breakaway land forms, spectacular in colour and shape.  Climbing up them reveals that they are made of what looks like siltstone, all full of fissures with veins of different coloured stone between.   The slopes of the hills are a mass of sharp stones caused by continual fracturing of the siltstone along the vein lines.  The stones and the forms themselves have faces of pale blue, mauve, orange, cream and deep brown - most beautiful in the late afternoon light. 

The Painted Desert is on Arkaringa Station - no camping allowed - so we backtracked a little to find a campsite on the Goorikianna Creek.  The relative silence at night and in the morning was striking compared with the bustle of temperate forests down south.

Alec writes:
We saw a flower.  When you squeeze it black stuff comes out of it.  We found out that it was a fungus from our book.  We camped in the desert and looked at the stars, lying down on a blanket.  We camped next to a dry creek. 

On the road in the morning we set off for Oodnadatta, to join the famous Oodnadatta track, which runs from Maree in the south to Marla in the north, following the old Ghan railway line from Marree to Oodnadatta.  (The old Ghan closed in 1980, with the new line opened along a different route).  Oodnadatta is the driest and hottest town in Australia; for any of you sick of the southern cold there is a prime corner block for sale.

Our trip south down the track took us to William Creek, stopping for a beer and/or an icecream at a back-of-beyond pub, then west on the William Creek Road back to Coober Pedy.
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