Coober Pedy to Birdsville Day 9 - Coober Pedy to Dalhousie Springs

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2002 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 9 - Tuesday 11/6/02
Start - Coober Pedy
Stop - Dalhousie Springs
Trip Odometer - 378.3 km
Stopped time - 0:33 hrs
Moving average - 77.9 km/hr
Moving time - 4:51:33 hrs
Max speed - 100.7 km/hr

Although Coober Pedy is a bustling metropolis with 2 caravan parks, numerous motels, hotels, cabins, and backpacker resorts, 3 servos, 2 supermarkets and 2 bottleshops - there is no cryovac meat available. I find this strange considering the distances most people would be travelling from Coober Pedy to their next major destination. Anyhow, the lack of cryovac didn't really affect our immediate needs but I had hoped to have it for the return trip from Birdsville. Buying meat in bulk from major centres and having it put in cryovac simply means you can buy it at the right price, rather than pick up little bits of frozen stuff, which is usually poorer cuts of meat at exorbitant prices from roadhouses.

I should mention here that we were told to use the coin operated water pump in town rather than fill up our water tank from the caravan park. I suppose someone has to pay for the water! I'm not sure if its a new facility or whether we just missed it last time, anyhow we found the pump on the northern end of the main street on the outskirts of town opposite the independent fuel outlet. We had to wrestle with the stupid thing though - and spent 20c for 2 drops of water!#$* The hose had a kink in it, but the pump doesn't measure water dispersed but is based on running time so we'd done our money for nothing. David threw a tantrum (not pretty I assure you), and needed some convincing to try again. This time the water came out at such a fast flow that the hose jumped out of the filler and water spilled all through the vehicle (our filler is inside the rear window, near the pillows!). I observed yet another tanty, now over 40c worth of wasted water, but I sympathised as we didn't have anymore change (having spent over $10 worth of change in the washing/dryer machines). Third time lucky and 20c bought us about 30L in a matter of seconds. So be warned if you intend using this fine piece of council wizardry.

We headed out of town to the NE via the Moon Plains along the signed route to Oodnadatta. We have never actually been on this track. On the way in from the Anne Beadell you enter Coober Pedy from the west, and previously we have both entered and departed CP via the William Creek track to the east.

The Moon Plain has been used in many well known movies, including Mad Max. For as far as you can see in a 360° direction the ground is bare of anything but gibber.

We stopped and played with the video taking various action photos because its a great place to kick up the dust.

The 197km run from CP to Oodnadatta took us 2hrs 20minutes. Having spent some time in Oodnadatta on a previous occasion, we barely stopped for than 10minutes (just enough to buy the last cold ice-cream) before continuing on towards Dalhousie Springs. We had heard that the trip was currently taking about 3½ hrs, but we found it was a good trip and we did it in 2½ hrs. Again, having done this trip before we had the advantage of knowing what to expect as there are many very rough creek crossings and sudden dips and the odd bit of bulldust.

Dalhousie Ruins - just 9kms before Dalhousie Springs

When you travel with a toddler (same probably goes for kids of any age), getting to the destination before dark is a priority. Leah had been told about the warm swimming pool for days and by now she was constantly saying "swim... pool". We pulled into the campsite with the dying light and managed to get our campsite setup in record time and then gear off for swim in the fabulous warm spring water. The new toilet block offers cold showers, so we all made do with a hot swim.

Dalhousie Springs

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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