The Little-Big Trip: Thar She Blows
Although the Farina Campground is a beautiful little oasis amongst the outback isolation, when the wind blows, it really blows! After a relatively relaxing dinner, the wind changed direction and provided a restless night as the tent blew all about throughout the night. Once morning came we had to wait for a break in the wind before packing up, then got on the road to head towards Marree.
The road conditions were great although dusty, but at least the corrugations were minimal. We arrived in Marree before lunch, so had a look around, a bite to eat, and made the decision to fill up to get us as far as possible. Then it was time to head up one of the outback's iconic roads, the Oodnadatta Track. Not more than 5 minutes from Marree it became apparent that it was going to be a bumpy ride, with corrugations shaking the patrol, creating more rattles than have been noticeable over the last years of ownership! But out here, we felt free, free from all worries, free from suburbia, free from everything. In the desert vastness is a beauty that isn't found anywhere else. It is a sense of peace and tranquility that cannot be found in suburbia, or even in the High Country.
As we didn't want to push too far up the track, we had a few scenic stops on the way to the planned Coward Springs campground for the night. Following the route of the Old Ghan Railway provided something of interest in the long stretches of nothingness, looking at the old railway overpasses and stops. Wildlife out here was scarce but gave the kids something to look at when we did come across some. Only a few cows and some camels were seen. Lake Eyre South was one of the stops, and although the lake was dry, the size of the lake could be appreciated from the lookout.
Not far up the road we detoured off the main track to see a couple natural bubbling springs, but wanted to reach camp at a reasonable hour so kept moving. It wasn't long until we reached Coward Springs, at which we found a nice sheltered campspot as the wind was still blowing, and set up for the night. Pulling up early allowed us to get the fire going so the campover could be used to cook up the roast pork. Oh Yeah!
First thing in the morning we had a look around the property, including the natural spring water spa that is a constant 28 degrees. Although we didn't have a dip, it felt like the perfect temperature out here. Not before long we had packed up again for another dusty drive up the track, with Oodnadatta as the planned destination if we could get that far.
The Marree Hotel, although we didn't get a chance to stop for a meal and cold beer... next time.
One of the natural bubbling springs along the Oodnadatta track, definitely a strange feel to it in the middle of the desert.
Dinner cooking in the camp oven. There is no better sight or smell!
Yet another amazing outback sunset! I could never get tired of seeing these!
The natural spring water pool at Coward Springs. Definitely a perfect temperature for a dip!
One of the many Old Ghan Railway overpasses along the Oodnadatta Track.
Amongst all the old relics at William Creek is this classic sign. Paris...? Only just up the road!
These were the only 2 camel we saw. Not too many are found "this far south".
Algebuckina Bridge, the longest overpass as part of the Old Ghan Railway, is an awesome sight.
Our final destination after a long day on the road, the famous Pink Roadhouse in Oodnadatta.