(Note the sexy bandana)
Day 3 started damp up on the lookout; overnight heavy fog and cloud came in and put a wet blanket on everything. Joel and Hector were
minding the campfire and discussing aliens, and they watched the cloud come in and covered the stars, giving them a surreal edge to the conversation. A little more on our campsite. Hancock was actually a government worker in Port Augusta; he had a few bob so he had a car, and he went up into the area and frequented the hilltop. It became known around the district and was established.
It sits in the Mt Remarkable National Park area, overlooking the Spencer Gulf. Awards this morning; premiership went to Scotty for running out of fuel two kilometres from Burra and the Outback Spectacular went to Brockie for just doing everything yesterday. A ripper sunrise photo, riding, camera work, fixing the trailers and then he heated up Cynthia’s chili con carne for our tea. Spectacular!
As is our tradition, we travelled off the beaten track in the morning; a fellow camper (we shared the lookout with another motor-biker, two caravans and a camper-trailer) was spotted going through a gate at the end of the park. That looked interesting on the maps, so we went that way too, going down through some beautiful foothills and range country with some challenging tracks for the bikes and cars. The temporarily-fixed hitches held up quite well to some torturous creek crossings. Somehow though we took a wrong turn and we surprised a local land-owner when we popped out of the hills and turned up in their backyard! After a chat they were happy; turns out it’s a regular occurrence. Gary managed to stay for morning tea as the rest of us headed off; we still hadn’t got to Port Augusta!
Around 11.00 am SA time (daylight-savings adjusted as well) we got to Port Augusta. After fuelling the crews split with some going to pick up the treg hitch parts and the rest of us went to Woolworths and walked out with two trolley-loads of supplies. The treg hitch plan hit another bump when pal at Autopro wanted to charge us $450 for the hitch. The plan evolved with some basic parts purchased with a bit of kit to install it. A quick lunch and then we headed out on the road to Coober Pedy at about 12.30 – 1.00pm. Port Augusta to Coober Pedy
is about 540 kilometres so we still had a fair sort of a day ahead of us.
As soon as we left Port Augusta the country started to change, becoming sparse and initially with Mallee-like scrub, then salt bush and tree-less plains. Lots of sky above us as we continued north and white salt lakes began to appear regularly. There were actually a couple of spots of rain to, but more virga. Between the cars we had our now regular trivia sessions; Joel had downloaded a ripper app for this. he guys on the bikes had a nice side-tail wind to help them along too, in comparison to yesterday’s block headwind. We got to Pimba at about 3.00pm for a refuel (diesel $1.88 a litre) and refresh. This was the turn-off for Woomera and sadly because of our delays that was as close as we would get to this interesting location. Garry’s desire to see Talc Alf over at Lyndhurst was also going to have to wait for the next trip.
Another refuel and afternoon ice-creams at Glendambo set us up for the final run into Coober Pedy. We stopped again for a quick stretch at a roadside stop and then headed on into Coober, arriving at about 7.00pm. Another massive day on the road, Scotty clocked up 622 kilometres. Most of that was on the blacktop with just a small tester this morning. We checked into the Coober Pedy Underground Motel, see HERE, with everyone hitting the showers and taking on fluids. Pizza for tea, as we relaxed on the front porch of the motel. At 9.30 it was still 33 degrees, and the Goon Fairy was visiting again, the naughty boy! An update on the next day suggested another tough one; the Maralinga Ranger Robin suggested 6
hours to travel the 200 or so kilometres to Emu.