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Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010 at 00:00
Member -Desert Doug
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to Port Augusta
This leg was a little frustrating, as I had planned to drive to Leigh Creek/Copley (the end of the tar), then on dirt to
, a flight over Lake
, and on up the
then hang a left across the
. This didn't happen - roads over all this normally dry area were flooded and closed.
Planes got bogged on the
at Willam Creek, and the only way north was via the tar road - a 500 km detour back to Port Augustand back up the Stuart Highway to
I had one pair of Blundstone boots but they got wet - so I bought another pair with elastic sides like the farmers do. I got a free beanie too! Only problem was they had no laces so I couldn't tie them just outside my elevated tent home, they had to come inside (yuk!).
067 New Blunnies and matching beanie from Elders, Broken Hill.
067a And here's the Elders
I went to the top of a big pile of rocks in town and had lunch. I noted that Pro Hart's daughter Julie Hart had some paintings on sale there, so I went to her gallery in town and bought a great acrylic painting of a Flooded Creek as a reminder of the trip ... it's now on holiday with me.
068 The Broken Hill with restaurant on top
069 Julie Hart (Pro's daughter) gallery at BH where I bought a painting
070 The painting (veiled)
And now some vital pieces of info from the
071 Behind Lane St of course - only in BH
072 McClures in BH - Oil change and Grease
Then back down the Barrier Hwy into SA, cutting a corner off to reach Ororoo campground just on sunset. Next day there was a need to repack the Troopie by replacing some Reject
plastic boxes that had broken, with new ones I bought in BH finishing up with fewer boxes ...
073 Sunset near Ororoo SA
074 Spring clean and tossout at Ororoo
075 Another Nullabor in SA
The end of the tar on the way to
where I had flight booked across Lake
- roads closed due to rain. I waited a day in Copley to see if it would dry out and re-open - no such luck.
The nice lady at the Copley Campground rang her mate Dougie the pilot at Arkaroola, and it turned out he had a
or two available on a flight next day, and agreed to drop into
to pick me up, saving a 4 hour return trip in the Troopie.
Then followed a memorable 3 hour flight over
and North and South Lake
. The Cooper was in flood and spreading over the country. It had cut the
and an ancient ferry (made of 44 gallon drums) was in operation. We flew over it and watched the queue of 4WDs waiting to get across. A few pelicans but not many on the Cooper. Funniest were the three tinnies racing down the river - usually this is a dust bowl!
- it was full, with 85% of the water coming down the Warburton and rest from the Cooper. We could see the Waburton Channel clearly - the path that the river dug when it initially started to filll the Lake many years ago.
076 I never got past Copley - roads flooded
077 Instead a flight over L Eyre and the Cooper
078 Dougie the knowledgeable pilot - picked me up at Leigh Creek
079 Cooper Crk in flood - a ferry and tinnies needed- why I couldn't get up to Birdsville and the Simpson
080 Lake Eyre full - mostly from Warburton Crk
081 The mighty Cessna with Dougie at Leigh Crk
A night in the Flinders
I had to make the decision to backtrack on the tar to Port Augusta to eventually make my way north via
- very sad as I had been looking forward to a dash across the
(named after the washing machine man interestingly).
On the way back I noticed the
on my left and decided to detour there for a night as my trip last time had been a bit rushed.
Very cold and no firewood, but a delightful sighting of a mother
and her fi ve "chicks" (bigger than a full grown goose!) fossicking for food. A walk along a trail in Bunyroo Gorge then back
on the road
I bought some provisions there and admired the only Sturt Desert Pea plant in a planter box that I saw - they seem to grown very selectively and apparently are hard to cultivate.
082 A detour into the Flinders for a cold night ...
084 A stroll thru Bunyeroo Gorge ...
085 ... and an emu mum and her huge chicks
086 Yellow flowers (!)
087 Dried creek bed with old gums (dentures required).JPG
088 Emu footprint about 30cm long (for kicking down dunny doors)
089 Cockatoo and Galah arguing re seeds
Then onto Port Augusta (no pix) and a very bad reef and beef meal - why does the quality of the seafood increase as you get further from the sea?
Now on to
and some underground rooms in the next blog ...
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