Having made camp at Agnes Creek on a large and flat expanse of dirt dotted with Mulga, we cooked snags on the fire and enjoyed the warmth as the air temperature made its way to zero. Wiping ice from the cars, we headed on south and turned left at Marla onto the Oodnadatta Track and aired down. The track was in good shape with rocks and corrugations in places but largely smooth. We bush camped again at Kathleen Creek – the creek was dry but lined with trees – an oasis in the desert as you wouldn’t need to dig deep to find water. There were deep ruts in places and some pooled water just off the track – evidence of the recent heavy rain and difficult track conditions.
Steak and Jamie Oliver Chicken, cooked on the Biji as he probably hadn’t imagined.
The sky was amazing – vast and dotted with a million stars or more. The sliver o f new moon sat close to Venus and sank quickly beyond the horizon. The night was cold and the temperature dropped below zero again. . Happy that we were in vans with gas central heating, we slept well.
Next day, closing in on Oodnadatta, we were privileged to see two Wedge Tailed Eagles having a mid morning snack. We watched them for a while and moved onto the Angle Pole. This bent piece of Mulga wood is a memorial to the pioneers who built and maintained the telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin, allowing ‘rapid’ communication to London and opening up the centre. Ernest Giles, John Forester and Stuart passed this way.
We filled up with fuel and tried to get gas but the National Bronco Branding Championships were on and the Gas Man was there – so no gas.
We pass back this way in two days when the event is over so we will try again.
We now sit relaxing in the afternoon sun at Ackaringa Station. The station stretches out over 2,745 square in and can house 2100 head of cattle – we saw 14 of them but some may have been counted twice. The landscape is desert with little for the cattle to snack on – although there were patches of green thanks to the recent rains. The drive here took us through stunning vistas – the landscape a 360 degree painting that we had stumbled into as if through the wardrobe and into Narnia. The Painted Desert is an ancient inland seabed with hills and mesas rising from the desert adorned in brightly coloured cloaks of orange, red, yellow and white.
This triumph of nature comes about as the top layers of soil dry out, erode and reveal their rich and colourful under coats – more undies than cloaks I suppose.
Once again, like almost sprightly three legged mountain goats we crawled, clambered, slipped and slid over boulders, gravel and rocks to enjoy the magnificent views at the top.
My cup is always at least half full. I am a lecturer in nursing at the University of Wollongong. I studied for my PhD at the Centre for Values, Ethics & the Law in Medicine at Sydney University and a Cancer/Haematology/BMT nurse/interested e learning/open edu/ SL and most things.
I am a member of SWAG and I am passionate about stopping the ludicrousness plan to build an airport at Wilton - a quintessential and beautiful piece of the Australian bush set amongst Sydney's water catchment areas.
by the way... The views, thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not represent views of my employer nor my professional registration body.
- Moved to https://citizenmo.blogspot.com.au/
- Here we sit …………….
- Twice in a lifetime
- Through the back of the wardrobe
- Ghost Gums, bent mufflers and lost antenna
- The stalwarts and pioneers of the road
- Rocks, River Beds and Ancient Gorgeous Gorges
- The very Centre – the gravitational one
- Uranium, saltbush and dust