Day 5

Trip Start May 11, 2010
Trip End Jul 04, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where do I start with today? As far as adventures go today ticked all the boxes. We woke to the sound of rain yes rain in Coober Pedy! We decided to still head out to William Creek for our booked 1 hr flight over Lake Eyre as we knew we would never get another chance to see it with water! After checking the website again to make sure the road was ok we headed off! 128km of dirt pretty good road though bits of corrugation nothing too bad we managed to cruise about 100km p/h most of the way. We arrived in William Creek at about 10.15. Not much in William Creek just a pub & a couple of aeroplanes & lots of dirt. We got on our plane an 8 seater with a girl who had arrived less than 24hrs ago who was going to be a new pilot for them & the owners' brother Adam (from Boort!) who was showing her the ropes. It takes about 15mins flying time to get to Lake Eyre the country side on the way is so barren, it’s all crown land leased by the owners of Anna’s Station, in total about 100,000sq miles (we think) you can fit Belgium into it twice I remember Adam saying they run cattle & have about 6000 head didn’t see one!

LAKE EYRE is breath-taking there are no words to describe the enormity of it. It has a constantly changing perimeter with "tidal winds" moving the water almost while you watch. The different colours are magnificent with the fresh flood waters coming down from QLD through the Warburton Grove which then mix with the salt & create streaks across the water. There are dark holes where water from the artesian basin bubble through & Islands made from salt deposits. I’ll try & show some detail in photos!

All too soon our flight was over we had been up for well over an hour but it felt like 5 min!! A very smooth landing & back into William Creek (walk across the road) we wander into the famous pub covered in business cards & photos from travelers all over the world. Ordered a quick lunch but as their delivery is 2 days late there is no milk for coffee no chips no pies….. no stress. We just wanted something as now totally unexpected a bus tour of oldies pulled up & they wanted lunch!! All done photos taken car re-organised & we head off back to Coober Pedy full of our stories how wonderful the day was. Knowing the road a bit better we cruise along on 110ish saying how lucky we are it’s not 50 odd in the shade & we see the big black clouds over the horizon hope we get back before they hit! Famous last words my friend….About a third of the way out we came across a fellow traveler in his “jayco hire camper” stopped taking photos of a car wreck we wave each other hello & head on. Then the fun begins. It started raining not too much but the ground was wet so the top layer became really slippery. It was getting harder for Bill to control in 4WD so we switched to centre lock high range 4WD still no control slipping all over the place at one point nearly taking out the one & only road post! We stopped to change to low range hoping things would get easier but no. Still no traction, just plenty of slipping & sliding. Bill certainly had his work cut out for him but I have to say did a fantastic job under conditions he’d never driven under before! (Taga Rally here we come!) We just wanted to get to the end but ever rise saw an endless road ahead. Finally we got mobile reception & I called 000 at this stage we knew we’d get out but our concern was now wondering how campervan man was going not to mention tour bus travelers we’d met in the pub who were due to come this way! We stopped a few kms out from the town to survey the damage & Claire couldn’t even open her car door it was so thick with mud. No worries we’ll pressure wash it in town! NOT no pressure/car wash in the whole town! So we head back to the van & start with a bucket of hot water to at least clear the tow bar (poor Bill tries scooping off clumps with his hands from under the wheel arches they are completely clogged). Ahh Adventure over!

No not yet…. Once in the van were noticed the curtains over our bed behind our pillows looked wet. No not wet saturated! The mattress, front couch cushion, the lot looks like the windows leaking?! No worries Bill start drying it with hair dryer while I cooked dinner kids sitting doing their diaries of our day (helped them de-stress) & power cuts off! Bugger I think we blew the fuse with having so much on. Nope whole caravan park no power!!! How good is this day getting?? Anyway as I sit writing this it’s just after 9pm kids are all snug as bugs asleep Bill is just drifting off to sleep (no snoring yet) the heater is slowly warming the van (now the poweris back on) & the bed has been quite effectively dried by my trusty hair dryer!! Now I wonder what tomorrow will bring?? Please let it be event free! We’re off to Ayres Rock not sure if we’ll get there tomorrow if not Monday! 'til then xo Mad Mackay Mob……………p.s it’s still raining!
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Brian on

Boy what have you done to my hauntingly beautiful outback? you took the Melbourne disease with you! cold and wet. It will get better the further North you
go I must admit I look longingly at the weather maps of Darwin and am looking to
go back as soon as I can
Best Wishes Brian

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