Waking up in the hotel and having a shower and breakfast in the warmth was a treat and our publican gave us the key to the museum across the road from the hotel so we wandered over the road to have a look around. The morning was warm, the wind had died and the flies had forgotten to get up this morning, a near perfect day in the outback.
As I unlocked the door to the Museum, terrorists as the publican called us tourists, came out of the wood work. I think they must have hidden behind the old machinery and play equipment that filled the park in front of the Museum. Next thing I was playing host to the tourist trade in Oodnadatta. Oh well what the heck it was too nice a day to worry about that.
The museum is mainly wall panels with photos from days gone by, and plenty of material on the district and it’s biological, geological and social life of the ages.
Once leaving the Museum we returned the key to the pub and headed back out to the track for the 200 odd kilometres to Marla and the black top. The track was no less relenting in the last two hours and it hammered us and our gear all the way out. On unloading our gear in the evening I found we had broken four of our plastic boxes and the ropes holding down the gas bottle had started to wear.
We stopped partway down the road so Al could take some more pictures and I went for a wander in the desert. Again it was warm and pleasant with barely a fly buzzing your ears. This was extremely nice, absolutely quiet and a perfect place, it gave us a feeling we wanted to stay, not to travel any further. Lets just find a private spot and pitch the tent and disappear. Still, back to reality, so we climbed into the truck and continued on to the black top.
There was almost a tear in our eyes when we burst on to the Stuart Highway which connects Adelaide in the south of the country to Darwin in the north. We stopped for petrol and thought about a beer but the pub didn’t open until 2pm, and as we were a bit early we moved on and found a lunch spot around 1.30pm. Continuing on to Erldunda at the junction of the Stuart and Lassetter Highways, we booked in to the motor camp for the night.
That night when we were pitching our tent a tall, dark-haired European guy who was travelling in the area on a push bike turned up at the same time. As we were putting our tent up he was clearing some debris off the grass in a place that was approximately where our awning was about to go up.
“You would like a neighbour?” he asked.
Neither of us believed he was actually asking if he could pitch his tent almost inside our awning. Al politely told him where he actually could stick his tent and he wandered off looking a bit put out from the experience.
We had a good night sitting around a fire talking to some guy who had flown in from Brisbane and had picked up a camper van to spend time around the Rock and the parks.