Simpson Day 15

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 22:41

Dusty Hat

An early start, then breakfast at the Pink Roadhouse, followed by a look around the place including the Ghan railway museum. I was surprised to see (but perhaps I shouldn't be) that Oodnadatta has an outdoor cinema; the Cameo in Belgrave (Melbourne) is the only other one I know of.

Next stop – the Painted Desert. When we turned off the main highway to Coober Pedy, the sign post said “Painted Desert 45”. Somewhere around the 35 km mark we got to Mt Arckaringa which is truly spectacular; we could have explored there for ages but the Painted Desert beckoned. At around the 41 km mark we arrived at Arckaringa homestead, which is where the junction is that would take us back to the main highway – but absolutely no signposting for the painted desert!? So we headed back down the planned road (towards Mount Barry homestead), stopping at a very pleasant, shady creek for a late morning tea. Later when looking at other literature I realised that the Mt Arckaringa area IS the Painted Desert area.

My fuel consumption from Oodnadatta had been much higher than anticipated due to significant head winds, the result being that about 40 km from Coober Pedy I ran out of fuel, necessitating access to the 20l can I had on the roof rack. About 4 km later Damian had the same experience, but he didn't have extra fuel, instead he borrowed 20l from Stephen. Stephen made it in with about 50 km range still remaining. These turbos sure can suck the juice.

Peter and Jean met us at the caravan park; Jan and I have taken a room, Bev and Stephen are sharing a room, and Damian and Martin are tenting it. Peter's shoulder is not great, but he is intent on proceeding with us from here.

While dining this evening we finally made contact with Les and Jamie – they called from a public phone at Kulgera (no mobile coverage there). Apparently they were delayed in their trip from Lambert's Centre to Kulgera while they made more running repairs, the details of which I do not yet know, and camped overnight somewhere along the road. Although a long drive, they are planning on driving to Coober Pedy tomorrow – feasible because being on the smooth black top Les will be able to travel much faster in the Brumby. Since we have all decided to have a rest day here tomorrow, we will hopefully be able to (at least temporarily) all come together again (well, all except Jessica who is back at work today).
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