Two nights on the road

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mon 26th Dec


Snapped a photo of one of the Port Germein special boat
launching ‘tractors’ – a classic example of engineering to serve a need!
Because the tidal part of this spot is very shallow, boats have to be towed out
several hundred metres through water less than a metre deep. Launch the boat,
turn the tractor off and let it sit and wait until you come back! Not practical
for a normal road vehicle.

Said farewell to Pt Germein this morning and headed north.
No rush. First stop Port Augusta for fuel then on through town and a too brief
stop in at the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. Wow – at a quick glance, these
gardens went on the list to come back to another time to spend at least a day.

Weather much cooler than it has been so we decided to push
on. It is fairly windy, but at least not a head wind. Travelled past a
surprising number of salt lakes and lagoons (some even had water in them).
Evidence can be seen everywhere that there has been more rain than usual up
through this area.

We drove in to the village of Woomera.
Lots of houses seem to be vacant and none of the museums or other tourist
venues was open (Boxing Day). We wandered around the Missile Park,
had lunch and refuelled at Pimba.

We pulled up at the Bon Bon rest area at about 3.00pm to set
up for the night. No point in trying to rush! Time to kick back with a novel
using the van as a windbreak! We did get buffeted throughout the night.
Eventually some 5 other lots of travellers spent the night there as well.



Tues 27th


Motored on to Coober Pedy and I decided that coffee in an
underground café sounded like a good idea. So we parked the van and wandered in
to a place that said it was an underground restaurant and didgeridoo shop.
Lucky the sign said underground otherwise we never would have guessed – sitting
looking at the didgeridoos on one side and the street on the other with the sun
shining brightly!!! Also, didn’t ask the price before ordering - $7 for a
fairly ordinary coffee seems a little exorbitant!! …mmmm… lets move on – still
good weather for driving!

Best top up with fuel on the way out - price reasonable -
171.9c/L! Whilst there, a minibus pulled in beside us – at first glance, it
appeared full of adults with pillows, then I noticed the baby on a man’s lap in
the front and small children started to tumble out of the back!!!!! I wasn’t
bold enough to look hard enough to count, but ….. Guess that’s how it’s done in
these parts!

Topped up with fuel at Marla – 190 c/L. Ouch!

The wind abated a bit and we pushed on to Kulgera rest area
– right on the SA/NT border, again pulling in a bit after 3pm. Toilets here
much more ‘pleasant’ than they were at Bon Bon! (Think SA has plenty to learn
about providing and maintaining appropriate facilities for travellers). No
phone service still but the 12V power supply we bought in Port Augusta for the
laptop is working. At least I could sort the photos I had taken.

A shower and shampoo and curried chicken with rice for
dinner – feeling rather civilised!


Only drama was that the fridge opened itself during the day.
Am afraid the milk didn’t survive!

Wed 28th


On the road by 7.30am! A record – no cuppas to linger over
and Kulgera Roadhouse just 19km up the road. Drats – turn the clocks back 1
hour, roadhouse opens at 7.00am – have to wait. Good thing we aren’t rushing!
Drats again – no milk available here! Back to the van for black tea and toast
with vegemite for breakfast.

Stopped at Erldunda and we were going to topup with fuel but
drew the line at 195c/L – call me tight, but we were sure we had enough to get through
to Alice Springs. $4.40 for a1L milk was enough! Coffee was good though!

We were thinking we might go into Uluru but then decided to
leave it until after we are settled at HDYC and come back with the tent rather
than drag the van in.

Given the mild weather we have had we have made the trip in
much less time than we had allowed. We will be in Alice
Springs before lunch today.

Fuel light has come on 15km out of Alice (440km on the trip meter since last
fill up) (not cutting it that fine – we do have 40L backup untouched in the
back of the ute.

Arrived in Alice Springs
quite early as it’s turned out! Time to pull up, check out the Tourist
Information for caravan parks then a wander through the shopping centre before
buying lunch and booking into a park for the night. The park provides WIFI for
$1/10minutes. This overrides my bigpond connection, so instead of doing all the
things I wanted to do; I have to wait a bit longer.


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Ray Kingwill on

How lucky were you with the weather . Getting all the way out there and barely working up a sweat . It could so easily have been the next few days and 45-50 degrees . Good to see prices in S. A. north are the same as ever !

Amanda & Louis on

It's great to read all the blogs, keep them coming, it seems that maybe we need to book another week off work.......if only....we will have to condense everything into the time we have.... have fun and see you in 2 months xx

Nicole,Robert,Charlotte on

Good to hear everything is going well. xo

Karen on

Have really enjoyed reading the blog!! Great to hear there were no dramas. Take care & keep writing
Andy & Kaz

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