Day 70 Woomera to Gladstone
As a little defiant gesture to Herr Commandant when we left the Caravan Park today the Prado Pilot drove out the Entry gate. We’ve learned a bit more about Woomera and it isn’t a town at all but still a Defence Force Base, we still went to check out the “centre of town” though and this time in our drive around we saw one man and also a black and white cat.
There were some more roadworks on the Stuart Highway but that gave us some entertainment listening to conversations on the UHF radio. The vegetation does change from completely flat for as far as the eye can see to quite hilly. There were also a couple of salt lakes.
Our first stop was at Range View Rest Area where the composting toilets were broken and DISGUSTING. The views though were unspoiled.
As we drove along we heard snippets of conversation between two truckies and it seemed that there was some connection between Port Augusta and Covid so we decided we wouldn’t stop for fuel as planned but drive straight through the town. The wind turbines were impressive.
The Princes Highway is very busy and as we came out of Port Augusta we had to pull over to allow a Fire Truck with flashing lights etc to get past. We decided to take the Horrocks Pass to get away from the madness but hadn’t gone more than about 10 kms when all traffic was stopped. A motorcyclist had crashed and the emergency services were attending so the road was closed until everything was dealt with.
The lush green areas were startling to us after seeing dry, red dirt for so long.
Melrose was our next stop, it’s a place we both really like. There are lots of bike activities in the area and we had a drink and snack at one of the cafes. A couple of places actually have GF offerings.
We decided to stop at Gladstone for our last night. I have a photo of my dad taken on sentry duty outside the gaol when it was used by the military to house Italian and German nationals during the war.
Our plans to have dinner at the hotel were scuppered when we discovered that all three hotels are closed, one is almost falling down. The Booyoolee Hotel now has a coffee shop but that closed minutes before we arrived there. The IGA was the liveliest place in town apart from the little park near the Caravan Park where Fergus had a wonderful time playing with kids and other “camping dogs”.
Gladstone was an important railway town at one time with all three gauges here.
This is our last night camping, tomorrow we’ll be back home to cuddles, our own bathroom, beds, kitchen and especially important, space to relax if there is a lockdown.
Believe it or not we can now hear raindrops on the camper, that hasn’t happened for almost two months!