We were up before the sun this morning and had to pack up the camper with moisture still on it after a frosty night. Lots of people had said they were heading for Coober Pedy so we expected lots of company but that didn’t happen, traffic coming from the opposite direction was a surprise.
The road was good but Monsieur decided the right hand side, the French way, was best so spent as much time as possible over there. He did remember to indicate before making any lane changes, pity no one was about the see them.
Coober Pedy has changed a lot since we were last here with a new Council Office and Visitors’ Centre, Water Purchasing bowsers, plus new shops and paved footpath. Other things haven’t changed like the decrepit structures, the tired old Mad Max relics and the many opal selling establishments.
We’ve put the annexe up on the camper so that means we’re here for at least a couple of days.
It’s very cold here tonight, Fergus has opened his crate and climbed into his padded “igloo”
The Marree Caravan Park could best be described as “shabby” but we enjoyed using an ensuite beside an empty cabin then drank our morning hot chocolates and coffee while we hoped the camper canvas dried. Because of the weather we decided against the Birdsville Track, the mud at Marree was enough for a while so the Oodnadatta Track heading towards the bitumen, Stuart Highway, seemed a better option.
Along the Track we stopped at a few of the old railway sidings and Fettlers Cottages.
We could see water at Lake Eyre South and when we stopped at a lookout there was “Priscilla” which had come into Marree Caravan Park complete with support car, trailer filled with bikes, Mum, Dad and three kids. Later I heard Dad say he took the top off a normal bus and raised the height. I was quite astonished to see him open a side flap and stuff washing into the machine fitted there alongside a dryer.
We’re off to the pub for dinner tonight, no need to dress up for the occasion and Fergus can sit with us in the enclosed verandah, dog lead supplied. Priscilla and entourage are also here.
Who would have believed it, shoes feeling like lead weights due to mud on the soles at Farina, a town abandoned because rain was so infrequent. The place is busy now though with visitors coming to see the restorations and all the volunteers carrying out the work. The Bakery is the busiest place and any food left unsold at the end of the day is given to the volunteers.
We visited the old cemetery and walked around the “town” before setting off for Marree.
Muddy streets were certainly a new experience for us here, we thought we’d try out the free Pub Camping but the muddy sites didn’t appeal so we settled for the Caravan Park where at least we have a concrete slab base for the Camper.
Hot chips from the Pub were a treat. The checkin man said we were welcome to light the fire so we went looking for kindling to get it going once we managed to light it and were all set to go and buy fire starters. The “maintenance man” saw us collecting the small bits of wood from across the road and came to our aid with cans of kerosene to get it going, petrol to get it to flash over and then deisel to sustain it. Bushcraft 101 apparently…….he still had eyebrows when he left!
Odd things to see around Marree.
The road out to Birdsville is currently open but I think tomorrow we’ll go back to the Police Station (It was his day off today) and ask about its condition and also find out if he can help us with any pass needed to get into Qld. because of the latest Covid cases in NSW and Victoria.