One of the nice things about travelling is being able to have a chat to fellow travellers; we had some people from Melbourne and a guy from another country at the camp spot with us last night. It was nice chatting and hearing about their travels until the wind and the cold got to us all, it was an extremely windy night.
This morning the sky was clear and blue but very windy. We left the van at the camp site and drove the 10km up to the Painted Desert, which are these hills that are different colours and patterns. They cover quite a big area and an awesome site to see. You can drive about 1km up a turn off and then from there do a short walk up some steep hills. But the view that greats you is worth it, takes your breath away, I mean literally from the climb, nah the view too. You can be there at different times of the day and they look different, even in the time we were there they changed. One side of them were lit up from the sun where as the other side was in shade. In the arvo it’s the other way around.
The road coming out of camp was a bit rough and some corrugations, the main road wasn’t too bad, and then back onto the road between CP and Oodnadatta was even better. Chris found travelling above 80kms gave a smoother ride. The van tows behind like a faithful dog.We went back to camp, had a quick shower in their hot showers that were quite good, hooked up and set off towards Oodnadatta. This took us back past the Painted Desert that now had some nice fluffy white clouds so we took a few more shots. Up at bit further is another look out where you are greeted again with a wow. The only downside was it was really blowing a gale and it was freezing, it was hard to hold the camera’s still, I am having a serious bad hair day.
I saw this hat in Broken Hill which I didn’t get at the time; I saw it in the Pink Roadhouse and decided to get it this time. It has little embroidered flies all over it, writing that says wot flies and an attached soft fly net. The flies were even a pain inside the store eating lunch, not the store’s fault.We stopped at the Pink Roadhouse, Chris had the famous Oodnadatta burger and I had steak, chips and salad after checking they didn’t put anything on the steak, due to my food restrictions. Chris said the burger was nice but not awesome or anything. My steak wasn’t cooked enough for me and was too think and tough, but I like my steak well cooked and thin. Chips and Salad where good only I don’t think it has agreed with my tum, we did think the prices were a wee bit expensive but what has to be kept in mind is freight costs are very expensive in the outback so one would expect to pay more for fuel and food. In the Roadhouse they have a bit of everything, from hardware, car parts, fruit and vegies, mini supermarket, post office, souvenirs and of course petrol. But you do get 4 cents off a litre if you spend over $30 in store.
The Pink Roadhouse is an Icon of the Outback, they provide a lot of useful information to travellers and the signs posted on the track are wonderful information for travellers. It’s a must see stop.
At the time we were there we did think the town was a little junking, old car parts and rubbish everywhere, this might have changed. While we were stopped for lunch a foreign lady was taking a picture of our car with the Kayak on the roof. She asked us where we were going to use it out here. She thought it was funny to have a kayak in the desert. We did a quick tour of the place and moved on. We are stopped at North Creek, next to an old bridge from the Ghan railway.
The road is mostly gravel and is throwing stones up underneath the van, the cable ties that Chris used to tie the van brakes wires up have been sliced off by the stones. They have also managed to cut through the wires, so Chris is now soldering them back together with his fly net on as the flies are so bad here. Obviously the brake wires need some better protection. Chris said it was broken it 2 places, we may have a water leak and between the tanks and the stone shields there is a couple of buckets worth of gravel. Chris has checked out off road vans underneath at the shows and has said they are no better than ours, yet it is obvious they all need a bit more shielding underneath.
I am playing a new game called swat the flies and then see how many you can sweep up. (I won’t be sweeping up until late) At CP a lady at the servo was swatting flies with a fly swat (we saw quite a few of them on store counters), she missed one and said to Chris nah that’s a freshie, she said when they have been inside for a while they are slower and easier to swat, the freshies are quicker and harder to swat. I have to agree, I can now tell the difference between one that has just come in and one that has been in here for a while. The freshies are more sport to hit and worth more points but any blood and guts are minus points. Got to watch how hard you hit your head though, Chris let me hit one on his head, hee hee that was fun. There are so many on your back when you are outside that even after wildly flapping your arms behind your back like some sort of abnormal person before you come into the van you are still bound to bring several in and of course they lay in wait at the door ready to zoom in the moment the door opens a crack. So we have a regular fresh supply for our game. I’m cooking mince so have a pile of flies on the sunroof flyscreen pushing down trying to get in, oh goodie more to swat, I am so over these flies, why do they always have to go for you face , nose, mouth and in your ears. Chris has just come back in and he is wild with fly madness and he has the fly swat and he is out for revenge. Chris wants to know if he gets more points for left handed. We get bonus points if you get them between your hands, have to watch you get your nose caught it between though.
We just had a chat to a couple of other travellers who are travelling together, one lot full time for the last 17 yrs another lot are away 7 months of the year. They travel around gold prospecting with the latest gold detectors; they said for the most part it pays for their travels. One of them also had a broken back window happened on the first 100km of the track. They do tell you to put cardboard on your back window, Chris has decided to do it now; we have used some ginger beer boxes.