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May 24, 2013

We arrived at Marree after stopping at the Bakery at Farina to buy a “just out of the oven” apple & cinnamon roll and a bacon & cheese roll- for morning tea when we got to Marree. There is now some sealed road before Marree which was a pleasant surprise. The country looks good with greenery everywhere. As I had already rang the hotel just to check that it was still possible to park behind the pub we drove straight in. They now have many demountables as onsite accommodation- all since we were here in 2009. Still allowed to use the showers for $2- beautiful soft & very hot water.
Decided to have dinner in the hotel- Bruce’s cooking for Mother’s Day! Sat with another Sydney couple who had left their van at Rawnsley Station. They had just arrived back from Birdsville, after driving up there on Friday for 2 nights, only taking the vehicle. Said that the Birdsville track is in good condition and that they used the now open inside track which is about 40k shorter. Got back here & realised that they had left their esky beside Cooper Creek!
This morning, Monday did some baking, cleaning- why I do not know? Also went to the telecommunications to use the internet. It is $2 for 20 mins & it is soooooooooooo slow (via satellite) that in one hour only got to read 4 emails & reply to 2 of them!. The woman must have heard me complaining about the continual windows appearing “Time out has occurred- try again” She did not know what that meant so was no help.
Probably leave here in am after have baked a fruit cake. No power so have to use the generator. It does not cost to park here either so that has not changed.
We are surprised as the small amount of travellers we have seen pass through. There were 2 other couples here who did the Lake Eyre flight this morning but they left after that.
Noticed the fuel is $1.98 but that is to be expected.

Bruce lighting the donkey hot water system back at Farina.

Went back to the Telecommunications centre before we left. Decided that it would be quicker & easier to get on to FB to send messages- that worked well & even “spoke” to tennis friend at home.
Into general store for a couple things & they had pasties just out of the oven & as it was lunch time, guess what we had for lunch? Bruce’s decision. Filled up with fuel as well.

Finally on the road about 12.30 & heading up the Oodnadatta Track towards Coward Springs for the night.

The road is VERY good with only a few corrugations. The reason is probably because we are so early in the Tourist season for travellers out here.
The few cattle we have seen have been very fat & the country us much greener that it was back in 2009.

You can be sure of sighting Emus somewhere along the track.

This is the first ruin which we stopped to have a look at.

Continuing on we met the Dog Fence- one of many.

Starting to sight many bridges along the Ghan Railway as well as salt pans.

Continuing the next attraction was an area with many & varied “sculptures” made from what ever scrap could be found.

This windmill looks as though it was decorated in hippy style- looks great.

This is where the scupltures were situated.

We got here & decided to spend the night, hoping to get good sunset & sunrise photos. The salt down at the Lake was walking on crust.There was no sunset because of the heavy cloud cover
however the sunset was OK.

The next stop was at Curdimurka railway ruins and a drive up to the long still standing rail crossing over Sturt’s Creek.

As you can see by reading the sign, there is an annual Curdimurka Outback ball with Tuxedo dressed men & Taffeta dressed women.

The railway crossing is worth the extra drive to view. It is starting to gat some serious rust after all these years.

Back on the Track & decided to collect some wood for a camp fire. Naturally we headed straight to the sleepers along the rail track (had collected some in 2009). We got one full sleeper as well as some smaller bits- guess who collected that!

Margaret Ruins was the next spot but we did not stop here as wanted to go into the Mound Springs before reaching Coward Spring for the night.
Wondered what the “Mound Springs” would be & they are springs on top of small mounds/hills. Fascinating and rather beautiful.
The drive into the Mounds was a good, just graded road with a very rocky rough creek crossing.

Only 6k up the track & we came to the Coward Springs Camp ground where we stopped in 2009. No sunlight to-day so had to start the generator to charge batteries for Sat phone, camera shaver & Ereader. Working on computer as well while genny running.
Went to the spa, which Bruce tested the temp & was 31 degrees so decided to get in for a dip. However, I only went in waist deep & out again. If the sun had been shining probably would have been Ok but way too cold especially with a breeze blowing- maybe to-morrow.


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