Mon 16th – Was a great camp spot literally in the middle of nowhere. We had a leisurely start this morning, wiping dust from seals, putting tape over locks as the dust is making some hard to open. The back door of the ute is letting dust in (due to the attempted break in) so it’s a daily task of wiping seals down so it doesn’t spread everywhere in the ute. Tighten up screws, nuts and bolts that shake loose on the bumpy roads. We have moved the hand cream to the front of the ute where we can apply it to our dry hands throughout the day, dust dries everything out.The breeze is back and it’s a bit chilly.
Peake Creek Crossing, salty creek with steep soft banks. Downstream is a bridge. 30 feet of water ran through here in 1989.
It’s got quite warm. We stopped briefly at the Algebuckina Ruins before heading down to the bridge for lunch. Last time we were here it was dry, amazing the difference some water makes to the place.
We then crossed the track and went a few short km’s to Algebuckina Water hole. There were heaps of birds in the trees, also a popular fishing and camping spot. Decisions, decisions where to stop for the night. Bridge won out, to get some sunset shots.
Well the sunset was a fizzer, no clouds but we chooses the right spot as the waterhole ended up with lots of people.
Near the bridge there is what’s left of Stanley Cameron’s EJ Holden, in the 1976 floods, Stanly put sleepers on the rail bridge to cross the river. Every few meters he would stop and move the sleepers in front of his car, bit by bit inching across the bridge. The road was closed so Stanley was not expecting the works trains gang to appear, which ran over his car, but Stanley lived to tell the tale. Stanley travelled with his Blue Healer Oscar, who unfortunately disappeared after the train crash.
Algebuckina Bridge – F, OR, D. Another interesting place on the Oodnadatta Track you can stay for the night. Fairly large area, well off the road 58km S of Oodnadatta. Rating – 5
We do the fly swipe here, we do the fly swipe there, we do the fly swipe here and then we sweep them all up. You can get quiet a tune going. Then in the car we have to avoid the couple of dozen or so of flies on each of us as we get into the car every time we get out. Then we do the squish squash on the front windscreen. Usually at servo’s we wash the outside of the front window, when we get out of fly territory is will be wash the inside of the window from all the fly blood and guts. My hat is proving to be very good, you can put up with them, well at least for a while if they aren’t on your face.
We have a very leisurely morning before heading down the Oodnadatta Track once more towards William Creek. Our first stop was the Dutton Ruins; there was an old Ghan railway building, a water tank for the train and a lonely grave.
From there it was onto Algebuckina Bridge which is the longest Rail Bridge in SA at 578m built 1878-91 and official opened in 1892. The last train to run on the line between Marree and Oodnadatta was 31st Dec 1980.
We had a brief stop at Nth Peake Ruins before heading to Peake Ruins. Peake Ruins is 16km up a dirt track that is recommend for 4wd only, they say it’s rough but it’s worth it. Well they are right on both accounts; it’s 16km of very rough and corrugated road. We took the van a little way in off the road before unhooking our faithful friend and leaving it in safety. The road is that rough and bouncing I felt a bit sick by the time we got in and then same back out. But it is worth it. Peak Ruins are part of an old telegraph station; all up there I think there were 8 ruins, in different stages of decay. We had lots of fun taking pics, and admiring the craftsmanship that would have gone into these old buildings and imagining how harsh it would have been in there, it’s in the middle of now where and would have felt so isolated from everywhere. It was very windy out there, when it’s really blowing a gale it’s the only time the flies aren’t around but the windy is just as bad.
We passed several more ruins at Warrina and Edwards Creek, we had had enough of flies and wind and compared to Peake Ruins we didn’t stop. We have camped just past the Ruins at Edwards Creek so may go back in the morning but there are several more ruins on the way so missing one or two isn’t really going to matter.