I was wrong about it being a doddle today, we travelled 454 kms sitting down all the way! I’m going to check out seat and back cushions when I get back home!
The countryside varied, some areas were hilly and rocky, others very flat and the vegetation ranged from dry grasses to dense shrubby trees. Although we didn’t see any water today, in the past we have seen water covering vast areas of the flat terrain.
Most of the traffic seemed to be travelling south including several vehicles carrying BMX bikes. Coming north were a few flash cars being transported to Alice for the Summernats event on the weekend and one was even pulling a caravan.
Our first stop was in a Truck Rest Stop, it’s the first time we’ve been forced to do that but we’d driven on and on hoping for a Rest Stop but it was one Truck Stop after another. A caravan pulled in a few minutes after us then, of course, a road train came in, luckily we were ready to move on by then.
We stopped at Kulgera for a snack and drink. The last time we were there the place was buzzing, some people were stopping then carrying on trying to beat the SA Border closure because of Covid. The Caravan Park has only about six powered sites which were taken and people were camped out in No-man’s Land far away from the amenities. There was constant demand at the fuel pumps because Marla, the next place south, had no diesel. Today was a very different story, there were only about three campers in the whole place.
We stopped at the border for the necessary photo, I think it’s time some maintenance was done on the artwork, “Welcome to South Australia” side. The Sturt Desert Peas are looking less than vibrant.
We noticed some signs indicating that “Emergency phones” were available at certain spots along the road. I think it would be a miracle to find yourself in just the right spot when you needed it.
We arrived at Marla about 3 o’clock and like Kulgera it was very, very quiet compared with last year when police were manning a Covid checkpoint here. There isn’t a lot to see but we walked around the place and were surprised to see an oval with lush green grass. A man was exercising his dog there and Fergus was able to join in. The man was a “local” as far as we were concerned because he’s lived here for 10 years and we were able to ask him about the school etc. It looks well maintained but he told us there hasn’t been a functioning school in Marla since he’s been here, the building is used by various community and government groups.
Tomorrow we plan to go down the Stuart Highway then turn off to Arckaringa Station which is not far from the Painted Desert. We might stay a couple of nights at the Station.