We had a ripping night at the William Creek Hotel as you would expect from this fine establishment. The French bartender was an interesting guy; he has been travelling the world for 10 years, returning home every so often. He had been in Tasmania when we saw an ad on gumtree for the job in William Creek. He was going to
Cairns for a couple of months on Tuesday...to wash the dust out of his system!
We also met Nicholas and Berta from Switzerland, recently retired and in Australia for the 6th time, and John and Carole, an English couple travelling to meet their daughter in Sydney. We got talking to them about what we had been doing and Carole shared with us her family link with Maralinga; her uncle, William Cook, had been a scientist working on the project. He lived in Adelaide with his wife but spent most of his time at Maralinga. The family knew little of what he did, due to the secrecy of his work which he never talked about. They were gracious enough to allow us to interview them for the movie
There was also a group of indigenous people having tea at the pub and staying at the camping ground where we were. They were in the area working on identifying aboriginal heritage and cultural sites. Peter Watts was in this group and he has some musical talent. Hector gave him a run on the bagpipes and he got a more than adequate
sound out of them. The next morning Peter shared with us there work on the renaming of Lake Eyre with a
traditional aboriginal name.
Our day got off to a slow start as Roh-man had a flat back tyre on the KTM. It was a persistent bugger; he changed the tube but unknowingly pinched it when he was putting it back in. So the tube came out again for a patch and then went back in. The poor bugger had to do this himself as we all buggered off inside to watch the start of the Bathurst car race. Sadly after we got going he stopped to check it 5 kilometres down the road and it was going flat again. He put a can of tyre seal into it but it was still flat on the bottom so the KTM went on to the trailer.
This wasn’t bad for him in some ways; it was a coolish day but there was a very strong side wind, making riding and even driving difficult. We stopped at the Strangways Springs for a walk around these interesting phenomena and some associated building ruins. It was getting on to 12.00noon so we had some lunch; literally sandwiches as the wind was kicking up a lot of gritty dust.
We continued on down the Oodnadatta Track that we were now travelling on, through relatively bare country.
There was a bit to look at though as the old Ghan railway once went this way and there are lots of relics of this history along the road side. We also brushed around the bottom of Lake Eyre South, all salt and dust, no water. At this point in time we had an emergency call that needed urgent attention. Not sure what Carl had eaten the night before but he had an urgent call to stop on the bike but had no paper; not even enough for him to practice his one-sheet bum-wiping routine. The gradually more urgent calls on the radio for help were answered by Hooch and Hector who ran out a roll for him.
At 3.15 we got to Marree for a pie and an ice cream and leg stretch. Back on the bikes and in the cars to push for Lyndhurst. Our plan was to stop here for some more bike tubes and to maybe catch the
end of the car race. The day was running late though so we missed what was apparently a great finish as Mark
Winterbottom’s Ford took the honours and Big Scotty scooped the cash in our Bathurst Lotto competition.
We continued on eventually arriving at our destination for the evening, Parachilna and the Prairie Hotel. Obviously once a thriving town when the train ran through, the place is struggling now, although the pub is a ripper with excellent an excellent menu of Australian bush meats such as emu, camel and kangaroo. We stayed at the community caravan park for $10 a head, old mate the local who managed the palce was happy for us to be there and was on for a chat. We had another crack at Rohan's back wheel. He had bought some tubes at the pub in Lyndhurst and after much work we gotone in but it still woldn't pump up. At the puWe met John and Carole the English couple again, and John had a go at the road kill mixed grill which they enjoyed, as did several of our team. Many of us grabbed an early night as the night before was catching up along with the pace and the heavy wind of the day. Of course a couple of the team members stayed on at the pub just to make
sure that the place was safe and to boost the local economy. Good work lads!