Sleeping underground was a bit like sleeping in any motel room, it was not quiet or eerie like we expected, in fact it was a bit noisy. The walls between rooms may be sandstone and very thick but the door is not so people talking outside your door can be heard. Also the pipes that lead outside through the roof had gurgling noises going up them all night. Didn’t bother me as I had ear plugs but Chris heard it.
In the morning the promised rain had arrived, we checked with locals about the dirt rd to Oodnadatta and all had different opinions about what the road would be like. We checked the radar and rain didn’t seem to be around Oodnadatta and Cooper Pedy had only got the tail end. We were advised to go to the local police station, which has 18 police in a small town. The local Sergeant said nah you will be right no problems. On his advice we headed out thinking he would be the one we called if we did get stuck.
Before we headed out we had to get bottle gas, as it had ran out overnight, we could smell a gas leak, which after some investigation we discovered was coming from the low pressure side of the regulator. Chris tighten it up and was going to check it again when we stopped for the night.
The main road was great, more like a gravel road than a dirt one, a few muddy spots. The mud did stick to the tyres and threw in onto the front of the van, but hey that’s our trade mark, lets people know we are serious, and we thought at least we aren’t haven’t dust issues. Cruising at 80km proved to be a good speed and a pretty smooth ride. On the web site of the Pink Roadhouse they have a pdf of recommend tyre pressures for travelling on dirt roads for different vehicles, so Chris had let some air out of all tyres down to their recommendations which was helping with the smoother ride. Best dirt road we had been on, it was overcast and drizzling on and off.
We turned off the main road to head 45kms up another dirt road towards the Painted Desert and Arckaringa Station where the camp area is and the only place you can camp near the Painted Desert since they own the property, $20 for the night. This road was a lot rougher and dusty so we had some dust in the van again. As Chris seals a spot it finds another one for it to come out off, by the end of the trip we should have them all covered. This time it is coming in at the power points.
Arckaringa Station is a big cattle property; the camp area is about 10km away from the Painted Desert. The camp area has showers and toilets, so we will use theirs and save our water, not bad facilities for a bush camp. The weather is still overcast and drizzling, tomorrow is supposed to be mainly sunny so that’s when we will checkout the Painted Desert.The gas issues proved to be more serious that we realised. The flare on the end of the pipe broke off so it wasn’t sealing and gas was leaking out. Chris has fiddled around with that and has hopefully come up with a temporary sealing solution. This could have happened on any road but it just happened in the middle of now where, of course.